The MHS First Annual Tour of Remarkable Homes and the Straw Hat Soiree
June 23, 2013
tour, 11 am to 4 pm/soiree, 5:30 pm
The Madison Historical Society is delighted to present its First Annual Tour of Remarkable Homes on Sunday, June 23, from 11 am to 4 pm. The Straw Hat Soiree, a separate event on the same day, begins at 5:30 pm.
Co-sponsored by five corporate partners--Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Page Taft/Christies, Prudential Real Estate, William Pitt/Sotheby’s, and Julians Interiors--the tour features five outstanding Madison homes that are rarely, if ever, open to the public. Each home has been thoughtfully selected for its historical, architectural, and/or design features. The homes range in provenance from the late 1700s to the mid-l980s. The tour starts at Lee’s Academy (14 Meetinghouse Lane, at the eastern end of the Green), where participants can pick up the program booklet that serves as the ticket for the event. The tour is self-guided, but docents will greet and direct visitors at each home.
The tour itself begins at the nearby Curtis Wilcox House, built circa 1815 by Madison’s first postmaster. A lovely center-hall Colonial, the home is now owned by Eileen and Tom Banisch.
The second home, built in 1986 and recently redesigned, is a sprawling Colonial representative of many of the large homes presently being built in Madison. This 6,000-square-foot home provides uninterrupted views of Long Island Sound that may be enjoyed from most rooms. Both the first and second floors will be open for the tour.
The third home, an example of the large summer homes built in the early 1900s along Connecticut’s Shoreline, is located across from Madison’s East Wharf Beach. Built by Benjamin Scranton and known then as “The Locust House,” it is notable both in design and in historic interest. During the 1938 hurricane, it was the refuge for a dozen or so sailors who washed up on the beach after their vessel capsized in the storm. Visitors can see where they were housed in the home’s loft.
The fourth home, one of the oldest properties on the tour, is the Benjamin Wilcox House, built in the late 1700s. Located on the Old Boston Post Road in the downtown village district, the original one-and-a-half-storey house is thought to have been constructed in the Cape Cod style, but historians have struggled to definitively pinpoint the original design. Intriguingly, after many additions during three centuries, the original house has been fully incorporated into the much larger present-day structure of two-and-a-half stories.
Last on the tour is "Seafield," a six-bedroom, five-bath, shingle-style home built in 1890 at the end of Hotchkiss Lane. Its current owners purchased the estate in the early 2000s and fully renovated both house and property with careful attention to their original feel and character. Now this remarkable residence has such modern upgrades and amenities as central air conditioning, and it features an enlarged eat-in kitchen with professional-grade appliances, Carrera marble countertops, and a teak and bamboo island evocative of luxury yachts of yore. Most spectacularly, the views from the house capture the sweeping acre of waterfront lawn that leads to a 105-foot sandy beach on Long Island Sound.
Tour tickets are $35 per person in advance and $40 on the day of the tour. Reservations for advance tickets can be made now by calling the Madison Historical Society at 203.245.4567. You may also purchase your advance tickets online. Use the secure Purchase Tickets Now button below or click on Give Now in the left-hand navigation bar. You may also visit the Society’s administrative offices at Lee’s Academy during its regular business hours (Wednesday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm) to purchase your tickets in advance. Those who purchase tickets in advance will be given or will be sent a receipt, which you will use on the morning of the tour to redeem the souvenir program booklet that will serve as your ticket. Program booklets, which include a map and capsule descriptions of each home, must be picked up at Lee’s Academy at 14 Meetinghouse Lane on June 23, beginning at 10:30 am. Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour for $40 and may be purchased at Lee’s Academy from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The Straw Hat Soiree, on the premises and the veranda of “The Ledges,” will be a truly gala summer party. The Ledges is a beautiful Victorian home perched on a hillside overlooking the Old Boston Post Road and the historic downtown village district. The home was originally built in the early 1900s by members of the Scranton family and was donated for the event by its current owner, Faith Whitehead.
Catered by Madison’s Perfect Parties, the soiree will offer delicious and plentiful hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and a selection of wines, beers, and cheeses. The perfect place to compare notes after attending the house tour, the soiree will feature a silent auction and live entertainment. The lively and local Biehn Travelers Jug Band will add to the festive ambiance. This evening event will begin at 5:30 pm.
Tickets for the Straw Hat Soiree are $60 per person, available only in advance; no Soiree tickets will be available at the door. To reserve your Soiree tickets, please call the Historical Society at 203.245.4567 or visit the office during its regular business hours. You may also purchase your tickets online using the secure online purchase button below.
PURCHASE TICKETS NOW!
All proceeds from these events are for the benefit of the Madison Historical Society, and the MHS thanks visitors in advance for their generous support of its programs and its mission.