Historic homes and horticulture come together in “A Summer Place”

Skaneateles: ‘A Summer Place’

Historic homes and horticulture come together in “A Summer Place” June 25 and 26 in the village of Skaneateles. The event—featuring a house tour and standard flower show—is presented by the Skaneateles Garden Club and the Skaneateles Historical Society.

Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Highlights of the program include judged artistic flower arrangements in six homes, judged horticultural exhibits at St. James Church, and judged educational/special exhibits, a raffle and refreshments at First Presbyterian Church.

Homes to be featured are:

• Thayer House, 77 E. Genesee St.

The Thayer House was the home of two of the most prominent early settlers of Skaneateles—John Legg, a celebrated carriage maker, and his son-in-law, Joel Thayer. In 2006 it was converted into four luxury condominiums and two carriage house units, while preserving the historical aspects of the house’s interior.

• The Boulders, East Genesee Street

This example of Victorian Country architecture in the style of Stanford White was built in 1883 for Joseph C. Willets, a New York City businessman who later became Skaneateles village president. The four-story residence features grand rooms with beautiful lake views, 11 fireplaces, a “sleep walker’s gate” and a spacious boathouse.

• In-town farmhouse, East Genesee Street

This house, designed to accommodate large family gatherings, is on the site of a former barn, with everything the owners need on one level. Virtually every room has a view of the lake. Although it is a newer home, its owners are often told, “It looks like it has always been there.”

• Italianate gothic house, Academy Street

Built in 1871, this house has many of the original details—molding, trim, marble fireplace with mantle, high windows, pine floors, curved staircase and rail, exterior roof brackets and window hardware. It was renovated in the 1970s and expanded in 1998-99.

• Breezy Heights, Academy Street

This house, a dominant Italianate style, exhibits features of both the Federal and Gothic Revival styles. It was built in 1835 and renovated in the 1880s and 1990s. One of its owners was Catherine Thorne Barnes, a charter member of the Skaneateles Historical Society, village historian and wife of George Barnes, founder of Skaneateles Boats, which developed the Lightning Sailboat.

• 2 E. Genesee St.

Before housing 1st National Gifts on the street level and a residence on the floors above, this building served as a bank for 64 years. What in 1928 was called a “thoroughly modern stone structure” of “dignity, stability and some grandeur” has kept all those qualities, becoming an elegant home as well.

The event’s standard flower show follows requirements of the National Garden Clubs and will be judged by a panel of 12 master judges from throughout the region.

Horticulture offerings include herb gardens, circular planters, dish gardens, urns, houseplants and perennials. Special exhibits will be devoted to milfoil, teasels, trees and rain barrels.

Tickets are $25 at the door/$20 advance sale through June 18. Send checks (payable to the Skaneateles Garden Club) to A Summer Place, P.O. Box 96, Skaneateles, N.Y. 13152. Tickets may be picked up at St. James Church or purchased there during the show. Proceeds benefit community projects.

For more information, call Ros Schwartz, 315-685-3394.