The idea of a retreat―a place removed from one’s daily stressors, a secluded haven to be enjoyed by family--is more appealing than it has been in decades. But second homes are far from a novel concept. Families have built retreats since the late 1800s, when the well-to-do began to construct reprieves in coastal areas to escape the combustive atmosphere of city life. Homes on the water have been coveted and cherished for their particular restorative qualities. In an oceanside house, one can’t help but pause to contemplate the view.