Kennett Square shows off its history during Home and Garden Tour
● By J. Chambless
The Chalfant House, one of Kennett Square’s most historic and architecturally significant buildings, was designed by celebrated Philadelphia architect Frank Furness and built in 1884.
Whether you’ve lived in Chester County all your life
or are just visiting, you are certain to make some discoveries when the Home
and Garden Tour, sponsored by the Bayard Taylor Library, comes to Kennett
Square on June 1.
The annual event spotlights private homes and gardens that the public would otherwise never see, merging architectural history with innovative garden designs that will spark ideas for your own living space.
There are 14 stops on this year’s tour, ranging from spectacular Victorian mansions to new townhomes, and they are all open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 at www.kennettlibrary.com, and proceeds benefit children’s and adult literacy programs at the library. Stop by the library to pick up your program, map and wristband, which will be available beginning the first week of May. This year, your wristband will be your ticket, and should be worn throughout the day of the tour. Call 610-444-2702 for more information.
The sites this year are:
Home & Garden 1
One of Kennett Square’s most historic and architecturally significant buildings was designed by celebrated Philadelphia architect Frank Furness and built in 1884. This Queen Anne-style home is best known for its top-heavy brick chimneys resembling locomotive smoke stacks. The mansion, heavily damaged by fire in November 2014, has been beautifully brought back to life. Features include huge ornate fireplaces, elaborately carved woodwork, and period chandeliers.
Home & Garden 2
Turn-of-the-century charm welcomes you to this beautiful property. It’s a six-bedroom mansion with a pool out back, a carriage house, and professionally designed gardens. It has the original elaborate crystal chandeliers, stained glass around the front door and fireplace mantels, and 11.5-foot ceilings.
Home & Garden 3
Visit the oldest house in the Kennett Historic District, which started as a log cabin, and was replaced by a fieldstone structure in about 1790. Additions and renovations have happened through the years; but the floors, windows and doors are original. Waterbury Kitchens was hired to install a kitchen that didn’t look new and would blend into the old house. The gardens are mostly in shades of purple, and there’s a barn with a large covered porch, built in 1915.
Home & Garden 4
The cozy decor reflects the homeowners’ many interests in travel, fox hunting, horses, dogs, and birds. This quarter-acre garden is a wildlife habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation. Lots of surprises await, including a rear shade garden, an Australian native twig screen, and a small pond.
Home & Garden 5
This 1926 home was designed and built by Paul Hannum in the then-popular Colonial Revival style. A traditional, wide center hall is flanked by two gracious rooms, with the kitchen tucked in the back. The current owners bought the house in 2000 and have renovated much of the interior, enclosed the porch, and updated the kitchen. There’s a redesigned landscape by Richard Lyon.
Featured Garden 6
Enjoy the gardens that surround this 1920s Arts & Crafts-era foursquare. Locally quarried Avondale stone boulders are used as steps and paving throughout the gardens. Both homeowners are landscape and horticultural professionals who have thoughtfully designed the gardens, creating a changing tapestry throughout the seasons.
Home & Garden 7
The front stone walkway with three Sweet Bay Magnolias leads you to this charming, circa 1900 home. The owners have added an 800-square-foot addition that comprises a sun-filled kitchen on the first floor, and a master suite on the second. The back garden has a chicken coop and an espaliered apple tree on the garden shed.
Home & Garden 8
This four-square, six-bedroom stone house with latticed windows was built in 1910. Two original brick and stone fireplaces with gleaming white woodwork grace the living room and kitchen nook. The kitchen was remodeled with a large window that overlooks the gardens. The backyard has been certified as a sustainable wildlife habitat. And don’t miss the screened-in porch with views of the side lawn.
Home & Garden 9
A perfectly designed home for a couple wanting to age in place, it is energy efficient, with lots of light, low maintenance, and an elevator that connects all three levels. The dogs have their own shower in the mudroom. The plantings are almost entirely native species that attract birds, bees and butterflies. The house was built in 2016, tucked into a lovely, established neighborhood of older homes.
Home & Garden 10
The homeowners are enjoying this lower maintenance, more manageable, 2,800-square-foot end unit in Magnolia Place. There’s an open floor plan and first floor master suite, with a third floor living room that opens onto a rooftop patio, complete with a “living wall” and a Japanese maple.
Home & Garden 11
These homeowners were the first to move into Magnolia Place as it was being built. They have opted to have their kitchen in the front of the house, with a spacious living room leading out to their private, fenced-in back patio. The pocket-size back yard is beautifully landscaped with a Japanese maple, a dwarf Alberta spruce, daylilies and container plantings.
The Kennett Library 12
Stop by and learn about our plans for the new Kennett Library! Members of the Board of Trustees will be available to answer your questions about the plans for the future, and you can also learn about our current programming. The Kennett Underground Railroad Center will feature a “Pop-up Museum” in the Library for the day. As you exit, be sure to grab an ice-cream bar from La Michoacana.
Home & Garden 13
This 1898 brick home was in great shape when the current owners bought it in 2003, just not large enough. They added an extensive addition onto the back of the house, keying off the architectural features of the church next door. The first floor has been opened up for family living and entertaining. Notice the arched entry gate to the back garden, handcrafted by John Borden.
Home & Garden 14
Do-it-yourselfers will not want to miss this stop on the tour. The owners bought this 1857 home ten years ago and gutted it, doing most of the work themselves. With inspiration from DIY shows, they have created a charming front living room, a grand open-plan kitchen, and a great family room in the back. Stepping outside, you’ll find a big brick patio and pergola, with a backyard stretching to the alley.