Monday, November 28, 2011

VWB District Tour Set for Sunday

An upcoming tour of historic homes will provide the perfect breather from holiday preparations and may even give you ideas that will make your family celebration more memorable. Named for the childhood home of author Van Wyck Brooks, the  historic district includes some of Plainfield’s most stately homes, created in the days when founders spared no expense on engaging prestigious architects and using the finest materials.

On Dec. 4, you can see for yourself why the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Tickets for the nine-home tour are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tour hours are from noon to 6 p.m. You can purchase a calendar featuring district mansions for enjoyment throughout the year. For more details on the tour and information on the district, click here.

Plaintalker posed some questions which district resident Brian Munroe answered:

Q. Some of the city’s most architecturally significant homes will be on the tour, including examples of Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Shingle Style, Second Empire, and Colonial Revival design. Three of the homes were designed by architect Charles H. Smith. What are some distinctive elements of the Smith homes?

A.  Correction: There are only two houses by Charles H. Smith. They are both highly decorative inside and out featuring a more feminine side towards the appearance. However, some of the wood species used in the houses also act as a more masculine look. Also, both homes are loaded with exquisite leaded and stained glass windows. One house even has pocket doors that are all stained glass. Both homes express a high interest in the Queen Anne look and spare no expense to build these homes.

Q. Tours in this district have been very popular, perhaps for providing a glimpse at the Queen City’s “Millionaire’s Row.” What generally is the draw to this district and what do you do with proceeds of the tours?

A.  I feel the draw are the multitude styles of mansions in the area. People are fascinated with the old look of the homes and love to see how today's person can live in "yesterdays" home. This year a portion of the proceeds will go towards a scholarship for a graduating Plainfield high school student.

Q. What do you think visitors will take away from their visit? Decorating ideas? Holiday themes? A better appreciation for Victoriana?

A.  I think decorating ideas overall is a good take away. The rich design in architecture people will take away. We hope they take a holiday ball and calendar with them to show that Plainfield has a lot to offer and little to lose.

(Mark Spivey's excellent article on the tour was published today. Click here to read it.)

1 comment:

  1. I believe the times are noon - 6pm...