Eclectic Collection Of Homes Open Up For St. Christopher's House Tour

By: Debra Lawless

Topics: Benefits , Churches and Faith

This English cottage home contains many English and country antiques. COURTESY PHOTO

Chatham’s wonderfully-varied architecture, water views, gardens, home décor and collections of art and sculpture will be on view during St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church’s “Chatham Homes by the Sea” tour on Oct. 6.

Five distinct houses — four of them with water views – will be open to the public for a self-guided tour. This is only the third time in 15 years St. Christopher’s has sponsored a house tour.

“Each of the homes have very unique architectural styles,” says Pam Hufnagel, the church’s volunteer marketing and public relations coordinator. She noted that about 175 volunteers at the church including docents, parking attendants, and ticket sellers are involved with the project.

Here’s a look at the houses:

This kitchen is a prominent feature of one of the houses on the tour. COURTESY PHOTO

This kitchen is a prominent feature of one of the houses on the tour. COURTESY PHOTO

The first, a contemporary house designed by architect Peter Thomas and built by Thoughtforms in 1994, is set at the top of a long winding driveway. The curve of the house was designed to take in the expansive views over the Oyster River and Nantucket Sound.

This is a not-to-be-missed stop for the art lover. Here you will see two sculptures by the famed artist Seward Johnson. Also here are a Steve Zaluski mobile and sculptures by the international pop artist Romero Britto. A bench made from sail cloth was created by Scott Feen of the Atlantic Workshop in Orleans.

The house itself has a bright yellow front door. Inside, the kitchen is in yellow lacquer with hand-painted tiles on the center island. In the adjacent family room is a fanciful sculpture by Nick Brillo.

Pass through a screened porch and you’re outdoors at the infinity pool with its whimsical Adirondack chairs. In the garden are more sculptures.

The second home is a bungalow built on the waterview side of Shore Road in 1910. Back then Shore Road was known as “the Boulevard,” and the owners of this house enjoyed panoramic views out over the water. The house is characterized by a broad front porch with antique wicker furniture and a double yellow front door. The house has been owned since 2012 by the Nature Conservancy and was renovated earlier this year by Cape Associates.

Inside is an open living room/dining room with a grand fireplace. The state-of-the-art kitchen features a free-standing island surrounded by tall rattan stools. An expansive deck stretches across the back of the house with steps leading to the lawn.

The third house is a Victorian-style dwelling built in 1881 for a sea captain and his family. The building was later an inn; in 2007 it was renovated and returned to its original life as a private residence.

Inside, two living rooms—one painted yellow and the other blue—are at the front of the house. In the basement a wrought iron gate guards the wine cellar which is surrounded by foundation walls of exposed brick and stone.

A 1961 Corvette sits in the driveway of this house overlooking Stage Harbor. COURTESY PHOTO

A 1961 Corvette sits in the driveway of this house overlooking Stage Harbor. COURTESY PHOTO

As well as views of downtown Chatham and Oyster Pond, the house is a treat because of the art it contains. On a glass-top dining table is the bronze sculpture “the Reef” by William H. Turner of Onley, Va. Throughout the house is work by artist Elizabeth Mumford of Hyannis, known for her whimsical depictions of seaside life.

Across the street from Eastward Ho! Country Club is the fourth house, a charming English cottage surrounded by distinctive trees on two acres atop a hill. The house itself was renovated in 2010. Indoors, the predominant color is multiple shades of yellow which creates “a place to decompress,” say the owners. The decorative accents reflect the owners’ passion for English and country primitive antiques. In the great room English and pool-table chandeliers hang from the vaulted ceiling. Over the fireplace is an English pond boat. A bluestone patio overlooks Crows’ Pond while from the front of the house are views of Pleasant Bay.

And finally, overlooking Stage Harbor is the fifth house with its 1961 Corvette in the driveway. The house was designed by architect Carl Oldenburg with water views from nearly every room.

As you approach the house you will see a replica of the Stage Harbor Lighthouse. Inside is a fanciful dining room with a Missoni rug and Art Deco floor lamps. A stone fireplace is the focal point of the great room. In a corner is a collection of mementos from the Plaza Hotel’s Oyster Bar, including the brass Oyster Bar sign and the final chalkboard wine menu. A “man cave” by the great room has a coffered ceiling, mahogany paneling and William Morris wallpaper. The kitchen features a scene of Dingle Bay on hand-painted tiles from Scotland. The Aga stove was imported from London. From the dining area there are expansive views of Stage Harbor.

The five houses can be visited in any order on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are available at $40 in advance or $45 on the day of the tour. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Chatham branch of Puritan Cape Cod, at St. Christopher’s Gift and Consignment Shop or online at Proceeds benefit St. Christopher’s ministries on Cape Cod. The tour will be held rain or shine.