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2014 House and Garden Tour Preview #2

We’re thrilled that the historic Mt. Hope and Highland neighborhood is host to this year’s House and Garden Tour June 7th and 8th, and we wanted to post some previews of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale now, $18 for Landmark Society members & $22 for nonmembers. Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now. Don’t delay!

86 Reservoir Avenue

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I expected your typical Arts and Crafts bungalow. It certainly appears that way from its exterior, and a fine one at that.

All the clues are there: the low-pitched roof with broad eaves, the brackets that add scale to the home, the wide, welcoming front porch shaded from the afternoon sun, the detailing in the trellis on the side porch and the diamond pattern in the upper floor windows.

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But what a surprise when you step inside! The rustic craftsman approach gives way to a quite elegant Colonial Revival interior, with fine detailing in the molding and wall finishes.

The architect, Charles W. Eldridge, was ahead of his time when he designed this house, completed in 1911.  The place is set up for efficient one floor living, with three bedrooms on the first floor. Yes, there is a second floor – but that was originally reserved for maids’ quarters. Does that surprise you, in a house that is not of mansion proportions?  Remember, this was in the day of much more physical labor in the care of a home. The original owner, treasurer of Rochester Gas and Electric, could well afford live-in domestic help.  Especially since this was before federal income tax became a permanent fixture in our law.

You’ll also find that many windows have an upper transom that still works, with original hardware.  Opening only the top of the windows provided airflow and security. The owners’ cat, Martin, is very glad for the Colonial Revival penchant for fireplaces.

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Today the house is known as the “Strasenburgh bungalow” among local history fans, since Edwin and Clara Strasenburgh owned the house from 1921 through 1965. They were the benefactors of the Strasenburgh Planetarium at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

-Written by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now!

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2014 House and Garden Tour Preview #2

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