West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor’s home and Attorney General George Jepson’s West Hartford home will be included on the 36th Holiday House Tour.
Several unique Hartford-area homes will be showcased during The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum’s 36th annual Holiday House Tour on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Along with five private homes in West Hartford, Hartford and Bloomfield, the nonprofit tour will feature Mark Twain‘s 19-room home in Hartford.
Two West Hartford residences, the home of West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor and her husband Michael, at 36 Colony Rd., and the home of Atty. General George Jepsen and his wife Diana at 995 Prospect Ave. will be included on the tour.
The Cantor’s spacious gray shingle and white brick home was designed by Walter Crabtree and built by Phillip White in 1929. In the warm and comfortable home, the Cantors have raised their four boys and entertained their guests.
Highlights of the home include a generous foyer, arched French doors leading into a stunning formal living room with its graceful fireplace, grand piano and an eclectic art collection, and adjoining dining room with a massive table easily seating 12 and an artistically hand painted ceiling that matches the designs on the wallpaper. Hanging above the table is a Murano crystal chandelier. An oil painting of West Hartford Center by Frederico completes the room.
The high tech kitchen features three ovens, a Zero King Refrigerator, and dishwashers hidden in cabinets. A small table set in a window seat and a center island seating four as well as a charming butler’s pantry add warmth and coziness. Attached to the kitchen the bar features a fully-stocked mahogany bar and a regulation size pool table reminiscent of an upscale cocktail lounge. The family room has a theater-sized TV and ample sectional seating conducive to watching all the UConn games. An exercise room and a combination library and music room complete the tour.
The Jepsen’s gracious 30-room Georgian Colonial is situated across the street from the Governor’s residence. Built in 1916 for Lewis E. Gordon, the house was designed for entertaining as well as serving as a showcase for the beautiful formal gardens surrounding it. The expansive foyer, referred to as the “lobby” by the family, is filled with interesting quirks reflecting the social mores of an earlier time. With gleaning hardwood floors and woodwork and a dramatic circular staircase, this foyer provides access to all the public rooms through French doors.
Directly across the foyer, is the bright yellow sunroom which features a stone floor and a fountain. The living room contains rich, dark woodwork and dentil molding, and includes a graceful fireplace, built-in bookcases, and an expansive bay window and seat that frame views of a garden. The dining room, which has a charming, open, slightly rustic feel, once was a patio leading to the back gardens.
Across the foyer, the comfortable family room is a riot of color created by unique hand-painted murals of Elizabeth Park that adorn the walls. The large, airy kitchen has been renovated and includes cabinetry, a metal sink and wet-bar from the original butler’s pantry that has been opened up to create a more spacious work area. With wood floors, a large metal island and five windows, this room is a classic in keeping with the period of the house.
Two Bloomfield houses and a home in Hartford’s West End, as well as the Mark Twain House itself, will complete the tour. For descriptions of the other homes, click here.
All of the homes will be decorated festively for the holidays and will feature live music and floral arrangements. The Mark Twain House will be decorated for a late 19th century Christmas.
Advance tickets are $30 each and can be purchased at West Hartford businesses BK&CO, Gledhill Nursery, and Moscarillo’s Garden Shoppe, or by calling 860-280-3130 or at www.marktwainhouse.org. Tickets will be $35 each on the day of the tour and will be available at the Mark Twain House & Museum.
The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum is a volunteer organization that has supported the museum for more than 50 years. 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.