As planned, Brooke and I met up today to attend the Summerville 28th Annual Tour of Homes. I’m sure you could predict the fact that there are pictures. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside the houses, which means you don’t get to see the stuff we were drooling over all day.
After eating far too much at Theresa’s Mexican Restaurant downtown (roughly across the street from Outspokin’), we headed down to the ASU campus, where the tour was to begin. After getting our bearings, we walked to the first historic site, ASU’s Bellevue Hall.
The building has been completely restored and now houses offices for University staff. It looked like a very pleasant place to work :)
We wandered back towards the main entrance where the tour buses would take us to the next site. On our way we stopped and looked at a strange vine maze that I think Connor would love.
Then we hopped on the bus and were off to the first house.
Actually, the bus took us to the last house on the tour first. They’d changed the order of the tour, I’m guessing due to traffic considerations. And so the first house we saw was 2532 Henry Street.
I was pleasantly reminded of the older houses in downtown Lexington, like the one owned by my former linguistics professor, Dr. Bosch, or the one owned by my cousin’s son’s dead father’s mother and her lesbian life partner. (Okay, that was difficult to describe…) I thought it was perfectly charming. Brooke’s reaction was something like: “It’s small! It’s so small! I mean, it’s really small!”
We waited for the bus for quite some time, then got tired of waiting and walked back to ASU. We’d planned to take Brooke’s car to the next house, but the funny tour guide lady and driver guy talked us into trying the bus again, so we did.
The next house was 705 Gary Street. Gary Street is probably a block and a half long, and runs between Battle Row and Gardner, near Milledge. The house was built sideways on the lot, allowing the front porch a beautiful view of a line of tall pine trees. As the bus tour guide said, from the front of the house it looks like they’re out in the middle of the woods. This house retained quite a few of its original features, including dark wooden doors with glass knobs and yellow hardwood floors. It had a fantastic wraparound porch that overlooked the backyard.
After touring the house, we sat around outside waiting for the bus for a long time. We were far enough from everything that we couldn’t really walk to the next one. Well, maybe we could have, but we didn’t. Both of us were a little disgruntled when the bus finally arrived.
This bus, not the one we’d ridden before but the only other one being used for the tour, took us to 1338 Wingfield Street, of which I did not get a picture. Just so you know, it’s a “classic Augusta bungalow”, made of “stucco, brick, and wood trim”, according to the guidebook. I wish I could actually remember something about the inside of the house. I think this was the one with the cute baby’s room done up in green, but I’m not sure. [Edit: I was wrong! See the comments.] Fun fact: the woman who lives here is named “Cheri”. (Cheri-sama!)
The next two houses were within very easy walking distance, so we strolled over. First was 1447 Winter Street, and next was its “sister”, 1453 Winter Street, right next door. “Their architecture is a Southern version of the American foursquare house in the Prairie style, a predecessor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary residential style of the early 1900’s,” says the guidebook. Both of these houses were updated beautifully and were quite luxurious. 1447 had perhaps the largest master bathroom in the free world, and 1453 had a fantastic kitchen.
Next up: 1434 Heath Street. Fun fact! Brooke lives on Heath Street, but by virtue of being on the other side of Wrightsboro Road, does not live in Summerville. This means she pays lower taxes!
Brooke was perplexed by the peak in the porch gable. The guidebook says this style emulates “Oriental” temple roofs and was popular on the west coast. I’m not sure how it got out here.
The final house, 2341 McDowell Street, was Brooke’s favorite. It’s a modified Tudor design with lots of rooms and a two-car garage in the back. Most striking was an upstairs bedroom, quite narrow but with walls almost entirely made of windows looking out on the trees. It was so cozy and open to nature that Brooke and I both decided we’d be perfectly happy living there.
And there you have it. I hope I got all those details right; trying to remember everything without having photographic evidence is kind of a pain. Brooke, feel free to correct me.
I had a really good time at the Summerville Tour of Homes. I would definitely like to go again next year…assuming I can once again score free tickets ;>