Historic houses in Stanislaus and Vineville open for tours

lfabian@macon.comDecember 4, 2013 

  • Historic Vineville Christmas Tour of Homes
    The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Trolleys will run from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. There will be an optional reception at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House. Live music, wine and light hors d’oeuvres will be served and the museum will be open from 5 to 6 p.m. Tour tickets are $15 in advance at Creter’s, William’s Store, Chichester’s and online at www.vineville.org. Tickets on Saturday and Sunday are $20 and can be bought at the parking lot of Vineville Baptist Church. Big House reception tickets will be $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tour proceeds will fund improvement loans for homeowners and upgrade the community’s website, said Nora McFarland, of the Vineville Neighborhood Association.
    Homes include:
    • 114 Cleveland Ave., Georgian Revival Cottage, circa 1928
    • 2528 Vineville Ave., Craftsman-style, circa 1915
    • 165 Hines Terrace, American Foursquare, circa 1905
    • 186 Hines Terrace, Craftsman-style, circa 1920
    • 2571 Elizabeth Place, Turn of the Century Cottage, circa 1900
    • 273 Calloway Drive, Cape Cod Cottage, circa 1939
    • 268 Corbin Avenue, Cottage, circa 1918
    • 206 Buford Place, Craftsman bungalow, circa 1913
    • 152 Buford Place, Arts and Crafts bungalow, circa 1915

    Christmas in Historic Stanislaus
    The tour runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will feature a strolling candelight tour of several homes on the site of the old St. Stanislaus College near the corner of Pio Nono and Pierce avenues. Luminaries will light the way to the open houses. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased each evening at the Stanislaus gift shop, or in advance at Chichester’s, Jack and Darcy on Ingleside, Amanda Jane’s salon and in Warner Robins at Yelverton’s Jewelers and Fringe Salon. Proceeds will pay for a new entrance gate to replicate one on the property of the old seminary. The design is similar to one at the Prado, the college’s retreat, said Wendy Cassidy, of Stanislaus.

Sparkling trees aglow in some of Macon’s most magnificent homes beckon roving eyes this time of year.

Passers-by around Vineville Avenue and Stanislaus Circle need not wonder much longer what lies inside several historic houses featured in upcoming tours.

Associations in both communities are hosting tours to benefit their neighborhoods.

“You have these amazing, grand houses built by affluent people and right next to it you have a cottage that is just as beautiful in its simplicity,” said Nora McFarland, of the Vineville Neighborhood Association. “I love that you can walk down Vineville and see both.”

This weekend, it will be trolleys shuttling afternoon guests to nine houses in the Vineville Historic District, which features a variety of architectural designs dating from the 1830s to the 1930s.

Robert and Dina Deason’s 1915 Craftsman-style home is the only house featured on the Vineville thoroughfare. The rest on the tour are tucked away on less-traveled side streets, including Hines Terrace and Buford Place.

Wednesday afternoon, first- and second-graders from St. Peter Claver Catholic School got a sneak peek at the Deason’s home as they learned about historic preservation.

The school off Vineville on Ward Street is more than 100 years old, just a few years younger than the Deason’s two-story brick home originally built for Edgar and Mary Mallary, of the Georgia Kaolin Co.

“We want to take care of our school and our neighborhood and our houses,” school volunteer Susan Milam told the students.

As the children snaked around the ornately festooned dining room, a teacher asked them why they thought there were so many fireplaces in the house.

One of the youngsters replied, “So, Santa can come down.”

After learning about the need for coal-fired heaters, they saw how the kitchen fireplace was renovated to fit the modern gas cooking stove.

The Deasons have made a number of improvements since Dina first moved there in 2009.

Although the house was featured on Vineville’s last tour, the upstairs will be open for the first time.

Visitors are encouraged to note the “Gone With the Wind” memorabilia on the walls going up the stairs. The framed vintage newspapers were purchased from the estate of the late Phil Walden.

The same year the American epic film debuted at Atlanta's Lowe's Grand Theatre, architect Harry “Bo” MacEwen was designing a Cape Cod cottage on Calloway Drive for Albert and Elizabeth Reichert, who died nearly two years ago.

In 2001, their middle son, Stephen, purchased the house, which is also on the Vineville tour. He moved back home from New York City nearly six years ago and into his boyhood bedroom.

He converted his parents’ room into his office.

Reichert hired landscape architect Wimberly Treadwell to build a long goldfish pool and a winding walkway to a formal boxwood garden on the upper terrace in the backyard.

The converted garage bedroom he once shared with little brother Robert, the current Macon mayor, is reserved for guests.

The decor hasn’t changed much from his parents’ days in the house.

“My mother started collecting antiques and I got into it through that and my own bent for beautiful furniture,” Reichert said. “I picked up where she left off and the house is a mixture of what she collected and what I added.”

Beginning Thursday, historic Stanislaus will feature a strolling candelight tour of several homes on the site of the old St. Stanislaus College near the corner of Pio Nono and Pierce avenues.

Luminaries will light the way to the open houses.

“Everything is decorated as if you were going over to your friends’ house,” said Wendy Cassidy of Stanislaus.

One of the crowning jewels of the tour is Villa Theresa, an elaborate Italian treasure designed by Philip Trammell Shutze in the opulence of the Roaring ’20s. The work of renown Italian painter Athos Menaboni still graces some of the walls and the ceiling of the front library.

An original crystal chandelier from Murano, Italy, hangs above a 14-foot North Carolina Douglas fir in the home currently owned by Ken Gozur and Ginger Collins-Gozur.

The couple happened upon Macon on a trip up from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and settled here 18 months ago. “We could have chosen anywhere in the world, but we chose Macon,” Collins-Gozur said.

Although she staunchly believes in waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate, this year she began after Halloween. She put up 21 trees and a four-decades old collection of nutcrackers she shares with her sister.

In the secret garden on the grounds of the seminary’s old winery, Collins-Gozur glued 200 feathers on a peacock-themed Christmas tree.

“Now I get to sit back and meander in the wonder of the holidays that follows,” she said.

A saxophonist will be playing seasonal favorites in the Gozurs’ home.

Christmas in Historic Stanislaus also features a holiday market and Santa shop in one of the houses closest to Vineville Avenue. Traditional wassail and cookies will be served and goods sold by artists and merchants.

Ginger Hess, the former owner of the Ginger Michelle boutique, said she will be offering “very modestly priced girlfriend and teacher gifts.”

Free carriage rides will be offered through the neighborhood Friday night and carolers will be roaming the streets, said Dr. Seth Bush, one of the organizers.

“All we need is a fake snow machine,” he said.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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