A stately English Manor home on Orchard Road in West Hartford has been selected as the Junior League of Hartford’s 2015 Decorator Show House.
By Ronni Newton
A home that is undoubtedly one of West Hartford’s most beautiful estates has been chosen by the Junior League of West Hartford to be this year’s Decorator Show House.
The exterior and park-like 5.3 acre setting of the stately Tudor-style estate at 64 Orchard Rd., at the corner of Canal Road in the Rosemere Orchards Development, has likely caught the eye of anyone who has driven by. The home is built of Bolton quarry stone and brick with stucco, and half-timber in the attached garage wing.
The bare bones interior of the 21-room, 7,200 square foot home is already impressive, but soon will be completely transformed by the area’s most talented interior designers, decorators, and landscape architects eager to show off their best work for the Junior League of Hartford’s major triennial fundraiser.
The main entryway opens into a stunning two-story foyer, with unique chandelier set in an oak-beamed ceiling and cathedral-like stained glass windows. The first floor’s expansive living room features leaded glass casement windows on three sides, a majestic fireplace, and ornate plasterwork on the ceiling.
The library features a stone fireplace, and ornate wide knotty-oak paneling. Junior League Public Relations Consultant Kristen Fritz said that the designers will not be permitted to modify the woodwork.
From the living room a spiral staircase leads down to the basement, where there is a dark-paneled replica of an English tavern.
The main level’s kitchen currently has a 1950s-era stove, which the caretaker said is the same as one in the Kennedy Museum. However, the designer chosen for the kitchen space may change the appliances. Another unique feature of the kitchen is a dumbwaiter, accessible from all floors of the home.
The home has two staircases to the upper levels, including a stone and slate circular staircase, lit by leaded glass windows, that winds from the foyer through a rounded turret to the second floor.
According to the Junior League of Hartford, the home was built in 1930 by A.F. Peaslee, Inc. from the design of Lester Beach Scheide, Inc. Architect. The original owner was real estate executive Edwin S. Dewing, of Dewing & Dewing, Inc., but never lived there and sold it for $175,000 to Porter Bourne Chase, a banker and insurance executive, who lived in the seven-bedroom home with his wife, three children, and three servants.
In 1991 the estate was purchased by the Steinberg family, who filled it with art and antiques. It has been vacant for the past five years and is currently owned by the estate of the late Israel and Helen Steinberg. It is currently listed for sale for $1,850,000.
Designers have already applied to be part of this year’s show house, and will be chosen by the Junior League’s Interiors Committee in the next week. Before they get to work, the Show House will hold a “Bare Bones” party to allow the public to view the house as is. That event is scheduled for March 7, 2015, from 6:30-11 p.m. Admission is $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door. Advanced tickets may be purchased until March 2, 2015 through the Junior League of Hartford website: www.JLHartford.org or by sending a check with “Bare Bones” written in the Memo to the JLH office at 993 Farmington Avenue, Suite 208, West Hartford, CT 06107.
Designers will begin work on March 9, and have until April 20 to transform their assigned spaces. Beginning April 25, through May 17, the Show House will be open for public tours. Tickets will be sold in advance until April 24, 2015 through the Junior League of Hartford website: www.JLHartford.org
“The Junior League of Hartford is honored to be able to highlight some of our regions most gifted designers and landscape architects, who come together to showcase their wide range of talents and expertise, to help raise invaluable funds for our League and the community we serve,” said Junior League of Hartford President, Laura Hughes in a news release. “Historically, Show Houses are how we have raised the majority of our funding for our programs and projects. Our current impact area is Empowering Women and Girls to Overcome Obstacles. I love to watch the creative process and the 2015 Decorator Show House is sure to be one that will be talked about for years.”
For more information about the Junior League of Hartford Show House visit www.JLHartford.org.
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