Historic homes going on display

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 4, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

&uot;Historic Garden Week&uot; enters its 71st season this spring and the Nansemond River Garden Club joins others across the state as they celebrate the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the nation.

Every spring, the tours benefit the restoration of important historic grounds and gardens throughout the state. Each event offers an engaging variety of five to six local houses and gardens, most open to the public for the first time during Garden Week.

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Some of Suffolk’s most historic homes will open their grounds and gardens April 23, to give the public an opportunity to see some of the finest horticulture in the state.

&uot;TGIF in Suffolk&uot; is being sponsored by the historic Nansemond River Garden Club from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the co-chairmen of the event, Linda Consolvo and Carleen Rollins, both of Riverview Drive, welcoming participants to the special event.

The ticket sales chairperson of the Historic Garden Week Tour is Elizabeth Smith, also of Riverview Drive. She said block tickets are $15 each entitling you to see all the homes on the Suffolk tour. Single house admission is $5 per person and children 13 and older, full price; ages 6-12, are $7; and ages five and under are free of charge. Advance tickets are $13.

To purchase tickets, send a self-addressed, stamped envelop to Mrs. A.W. Smith, 515 W. Riverview Dr., Suffolk VA 23434. Tickets will also be available for sale at each home on the tour.

Refreshments will be served at the Suffolk Museum located at 118 Bosley Ave., one block from West Washington Street. A garden-related exhibit will also be available for your enjoyment, and restroom facilities are available at this location. For lunch, the garden club requests that you please visit one of Suffolk’s downtown restaurants

Other points of historic interest in downtown Suffolk include the circa 1880 Main Street Train Station Railroad Museum and Gift Shop, 326 N. Main St. Also, make a stop at the circa 1800 Prentis House Visitor’s Center, the oldest standing home in Suffolk, 321 N. Main St. and Riddick’s Folly, the 1837 Greek Revival House Museum and Gift Shop at 510 N. Main St.

One of the homes featured in the Garden Week Tour is that of Lydia Duke Hevener and her husband, William Hevener IV. It is located at 840 COL. MEADE DRIVE in the West Haven Lakes. This is the first time the home has been included in this tour but it’s certainly not to be the last once the public gets a look at the serene beauty of the setting.

The tree-shaded yard was the site for the first home built in the section known as West Haven Lakes. A lovely Dutch Colonial structure, the home has a unique floor plan designed by the owners to best capture the views of the lake.

A dramatic portrait by Laquita Williams and Victorian floral lithographs, both gifts of friends, grace the foyer while dramatic and inviting colors of copper, red, peach and ecru are a perfect compliment to the many pieces of art, artifacts, oriental rugs and family memorabilia displayed throughout the home.

The large living room boasts a mixture of antiques, oriental and contemporary object ‘d art and furnishings, and of particular interest are a pastoral painting by Ruth Laakso and a circa 1850 secretary. Glass pieces collected by the owners on their foreign travels, as well as, a beautifully inlaid box from Beijing are also worth noting.

Adjacent to the living room is the dramatic copper-colored dining room where an exquisite Chinese wall hanging is displayed. An oil painting purchase in St. Petersburg graces another of the room’s walls, and the well-appointed kitchen with its whimsical &uot;faces&uot; draperies connects to an airy brick-floored screened porch.

A collection of antique wicker furniture is an inviting reason to linger and enjoy the view of the lake and the lush professionally landscaped yard. The paneled den has built-in bookcases and a gallery of artwork by the owners’ children. An impressive collection of &uot;Britains&uot; begun years ago is displayed in an antique pie safe. A colorful William Bensen painting adds to the impact of the varied art collections in the family’s comfortable living area. A multi-generational collection of family photos throughout attests to the love and care given to this lovely home on the lake.

Other West Haven Lakes homes and their features will be announced in the News-Herald each week.

To take the tour, follow Route. 58 Bypass West from Routes 264, 664, 10 and 460. Take the Pitchkettle Road Exit. Turn right to proceed to the homes at Pitchkettle Point. Turn left to proceed to the homes in West Haven Lakes. From points west of Suffolk, proceed on Route 58 and take the Pitchkettle Point exit.