Sunday, December 5th 11am -4pm
Twilight Soiree 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Back by popular demand for the 24th straight year, The Westport Historical Society’s annual Holiday House Tour and Twilight Soirée benefits will light up the town on Sunday, Dec. 5. Held snow or shine, the room-by-room, docent-guided Tour of five remarkable residences, from 11 AM to 4 PM, is followed, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM, by Twilight Soirée, a festive celebration of wine, hors d’oeuvres, live music and Silent Auction.
Concurrently, extending its year-long celebration of Westport’s 175th Anniversary as a Town, the Historical Society will host free public open houses from 11 to 4, both at its own Bradley-Wheeler House (Tour ticket headquarters and site of the current “Putting Westport on the Map” and “Zooming in on Westport” exhibits) at 25 Avery Place, and at Westport’s historic Adams Academy, a 19th century one-room schoolhouse, on 15 Morningside Drive North.
Attracting hundreds of style fans and idea-seekers from all over Fairfield and Westchester Counties, New York City, New Jersey, upstate Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Westport’s House Tour, “a self-guided odyssey of architecture, art and antiques,” has something special for every taste. For many, Westport’s Holiday House Tour is a standing annual date among friends, and some confide that they use it as design inspiration before renovating or furnishing their homes or shopping for their own seasonal décor and housewarming gifts. The 2010 Tour offers a particularly intriguing array of architectural vintages and interior home design styles, paired with stunning examples of holiday decoration, floral and tabletop design, all described in rich detail by eloquent docents.
The five private homes on the 2010 Tour range in age from 1840 to 2009, plus free bonus stops at the Westport Historical Society’s 1795 Bradley-Wheeler House (at 25 Avery Place, to pick up tickets) and at Adams Academy, Westport’s own 19th century schoolhouse, on Morningside Drive North. The after-Tour party, Twilight Soirée & Silent Auction (additional ticket required), follows at another lavishly decorated private home.
“We’re very excited about the houses on this year’s Tour and the stories behind them,” says Dorothy Curran, Westport Historical Society president. “One of the homes won a preservation award ten years ago, but has continued to improve. Antique lovers will adore the interior décor–antique English furnishings matched to the 1840 year of original construction, and kitchen cabinets made from attic floorboards. Another Queen Anne-style home won awards for new construction. Using sumptuous patterns and textures, old and new, and a bit of dry humor, the interior designer reinterprets high Victorian style for today’s tastes. By contrast, we have another more recent renovation, near Compo Beach, is a triumph of maximizing views, serenity and casual comfort within the constraints of Zoning and FEMA.”
“As always, a major part of the fun is comparing notes after the Tour, at Twilight Soirée. This year, concert violinist, Gabriela Stastny, will be serenading us, as we sample wine and hors d’oeuvres and bid on Silent Auction items.”
Major sponsors of this important Westport Historical Society fundraiser include BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Weichert Capital Properties, Berchem Moses & Devlin, Patriot National Bank, Kowalsky Brothers, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Cohen & Wolf and Venture Photography.
The five featured homes for 2010 include:
GREEK REVIVAL REBORN as STYLISH 1877 ITALIANATE A number of Westport’s prosperous Victorian-era fashionistas shed their “dated” Colonials or Greek Revivals by expanding and encasing them in new, Italianate facades and rooflines. The Historical Society’s own 1795 Bradley-Wheeler House is one example; this 1840 Jesse Bradley house is another. Its current owners found the missing staircase, created an exposed brick bath by the central chimney, added a chic butler’s pantry, mudroom, bedroom and master bath, converted the lookout attic and cupola to fabulous work/play space and restored the barn/garage.
WIT and WHIMSY in a QUEEN ANNE REVIVAL This eye-catching, custom-built, award-winning 2002 Queen Anne Revival house successfully melds high Victorian style with today’s kitchen, bath and lifestyle amenities. Fancy millwork and sumptuous patterns and textures, choreographed with wit and whimsy by the owner-designer, extend the Victorian idiom throughout. The main level’s stenciled floors, long windows and staircase open to the rooftop cupola offer perfect framing for holiday trimming, including a homemade gingerbread house.
COMPO BEACH HAVEN Serenity and clean lines pervade the flow, floorplan and décor of this thoughtfully designed 2008 FEMA-compliant renovation of a 1928 cottage. Sited just steps from Compo Beach and bathed in shore light and salt air, this active family’s home–raised over 4 feet, flood-vented and framing strapped for hurricanes—rewards its owners daily with Sound views, casual comfort, year-round lifestyle space and holiday readiness. Enjoy the stars!
CONSUMMATE CONNECTICUT COUNTRY RETREAT The curving approach, stone walls, long setback and festive holiday greenery to this 1930’s Colonial revival house and cozy guest cottage suggest that only a horse and sleigh are needed to complete the Currier & Ives tableau, but the expanded interior’s exuberant and eclectic blend of furnishings, 20th century art and lighting—including the dining room’s Murano glass chandelier–will surprise and delight modernists.
RIVERFRONT SPLENDOR, GEOTHERMAL & SMART Sited on a knoll by a branch of the Saugatuck, this splendid new shingle-style geothermal “smart” home pays homage to woodland surroundings while celebrating its owners’ elegant cultural and lifestyle tastes with a grand foyer, magnificent domed ceiling dining room and 3-storey skylit kitchen. The lower level has a stunning wet bar, home theatre and French doors overlooking the outdoor fireplace, pond, river and twin bridges to a private island.
You will be asked to remove your shoes upon entering each home. No photography inside the homes, nor children under 12. Ticket forms are available at The Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, or at www.westporthistory.org. Tickets may be picked up at the Westport Historical Society, Mon. Nov. 29 to Sun., Dec. 5, 2010, 10 am to 4 pm. No tickets will be mailed. Events will be held, snow or shine.
Additional forms at www.westporthistory.org
BNY MELLON Betty R. & Ralph Sheffer Foundation Berchem Moses & Devlin WEICHERT Capital Properties Cohen & Wolf Venture Photography Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Kowalsky Bros
BONUS! FREE OPEN HOUSE
11-4, at Historic ADAMS ACADEMY, 15 Morningside Drive North Westport “Twilight Soiree” A Festive Post-Tour Wine & Hors d’Oeuvres Celebration with Silent Auction SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 4:30 to 7:30 PM Please join us to celebrate the day’s pleasures at a savory hors d’oeuvres & silent auction party, Twilight Soirée, at yet another fabulous home, specially decorated for this event. Stroll around, sample the wines and hors d’oeuvres, enjoy the romantic music of concert violinist, Gabriela Stastny, place a bid or two. Ticket forms also available on www.westporthistory.org
About the Westport Historical Society
The Westport Historical Society, founded in 1889, is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 educational organization dedicated to preserving, presenting and celebrating the history of Westport, Connecticut. In addition to the Holiday House Tour, the Society hosts an annual Hidden Garden Tour, unique historical celebrations and one-of-a-kind events for children and their parents. At the center of the Society’s Wheeler House are its two galleries, which rotate highly professional as well as entertaining exhibits. The property includes the only heptagonal roof cobblestone barn in Connecticut, which was restored completely over a ten-year period and houses the Museum of Westport History, including both a diorama of the town as it looked toward the end of the nineteenth century and an audio guide recorded by Joanne Woodward. Net proceeds of gifts and fundraisers support the Society’s archive, programs, tours, collections, exhibits and scholarships.
Dorothy E. Curran, Chair, Holiday House Tour
Mindy Wolkstein, House Captain
Margaret LeBedis, House Captain
Deborah Kulback, House Captain
Hope Trowbridge & Richard St. Francis, House Captains
Susan Kirby, House Captain
| Twilight Soirée
Erika Horn Miller
Larry Untermeyer, Photography
Miggs Burroughs, Graphic Design
Joni Andrews, Barbara Brauner, Katie Chase, Mary Lee Clayton, Leo Cirino, Maggie Feczko, Lorraine Feliciano, Deborah Gordon, Lois Harner, Mary Ann Laurita, Dave Matlow, Beverly McArthur, Kathy Nixon, Kristan Peters-Hamlin, Dorothy Robertshaw, Leah Scherzer, Nancy Sherter, Laurie Stefanowicz, Amy Tambini
Westport Historical Society President
Dorothy E. Curran
Westport Historical Society Executive Director
We wish to express gratitude to all our sponsors, contributors and the many volunteers who work on the day of the Tour. Our special thanks to the property owners for sharing their extraordinary homes.
Tour are $40 for Historical Society members and $50 for non-members and may be picked up at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, beginning Nov. 30. Children under 12 not permitted. On the day of the event, which will be held snow or shine, all Tour tickets are $55.