Five unique homes will be opened for viewing when The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum hold its 32nd Holiday House Tour on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The tour, which is a non-profit event, will feature Mark Twain's 19-room home at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford and five distinctive and architecturally impressive private homes in West Hartford.
Each home will be decorated for the holidays and will feature live music and floral arrangements.
The Twain mansion will be decorated for a late 19th century Christmas with the Samuel Clemens family.
Gledhill Nursery, Labrazel Home, Moscarillo’s Garden Shoppe, and Nelson Salon and Spa, all of West Hartford, are selling advance tickets for the tour.
Advance tickets are $30 each and also can be purchased at The Mark Twain House or by calling 860-280-3130. Tickets will be $35 each on the day of the tour and can be purchased at the homes.
For more information, go to www.marktwainhouse.org. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration, preservation, and education programs of The Mark Twain House & Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.
Mark Twain Holiday House Tour 2012 Home Descriptions
Old Stone Crossing: The home is surrounded by unrivalled landscapes set against the open sky: gambrel-roofed, brown cedar shingles, shutters, a stone chimney, and a profusion of windows. Entry is through a wide door; rooms are connected by broad, arched openings. Inside you find a formal dining room, a sitting room in pale pinks and blues, a great room with French windows opening to more sweeping views of the Connecticut Valley. The white, gleaming kitchen is an important centerpiece with intriguing details of craftsmanship and style.
Walbridge Road: Enter this pleasant, gambrel-roofed home and you will find a home designed for comfort and color, all put together with a designer’s eye. The home was designed by Edward P. Hapgood in an interesting meld of Craftsman and Colonial, but the rich colors and comfortable, eclectic furnishings are a tribute to its owners. Mullioned windows and painted woodwork set off rich orange and reds, with a pleasant sunroom inviting relaxation.
Mohawk Drive: This gracious 1930s' home has a dusty brick façade, front door shaded by a portico and topped by a vertical arched window and two prominent bay windows. It’s the work of architect Lester Beach Scheide and builder Louis Slocum, both associated with elegant West Hartford homes of the era. The house won a West Hartford Preservation Award in 2005. The wide entry hall, the generous yellow-and-red-toned living room with its large fireplace, the pleasant wood-paneled study and the dining room with its circular table speak of hospitality and gentle comfort
West Hill Drive: This stone Cotswold cottage is an architectural showcase of 1920s' West Hartford. The home is set into the hillside with a steep gable roof and massive, ivy-covered chimney. A cathedral-ceilinged living room, with an extensively stenciled ceiling, is set off by gleaming leaded windows and French doors, contains a grand piano and a great fireplace, which provides a central focus for the ground floor.
Prospect Avenue: Gilbert Heublein, the wine and spirits king, built this Prospect Avenue home in 1895, 19 years before he built his famed tower on Talcott Mountain. For a classic Prospect Avenue mansion, it has a surprisingly open plan – the result of an imaginative remodeling – and superb features including an assemblage of staircases, stained-glass windows and classically styled chimney place that is a work of art in itself.
West Hartford Businesses Selling Tickets: Gledhill Nursery (West Hartford) (860) 233-5692 | Labrazel Home (West Hartford) (860) 232-6300 | Moscarillo’s Garden Shoppe (West Hartford) (860) 236-5487 | Nelson Salon and Spa (West Hartford) (860) 570-1400 |