Wednesday, December 06, 2006

House Tour

Just a quick report from the field as your scribe is two-thirds of the way through the annual Greenwich Historical Society (its original name, now changed for reasons unknown to the more cumbersome "Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich") House Tour. I thought y'all might be interested in a brief glimpse of what's on offer this year.

House #1, on John Street, replaced the erstwhile homestead of Jim and Sally Linen. Jim, as some of you may know, was head of Time Inc. back in the day. Usually your scribe views with disfavor the razing of an older house and its replacement with a McMansion, but in this case an exception needs to be made. While large, the new house is not overbearing, and the rooms are cozy and inviting despite the large scale. It was a house to relish and enjoy, and your scribe did both. If he were forced to live in a House Tour abode, this is the one he would pick from this year's offerings.

House #2 is the new home of Tommy Hilfiger. The decor was heavily Warhol-oriented. The house lacked intimacy, and seemed more of a showplace than a home. Your scribe was not impressed.

House #3, on Upper Cross Road, featured its own ice hockey rink, which doubles as a bastketball court in the summer. There was also an indoor natatorium - swimming pool to those of you from the sticks. Said nata-thingy was large, and indeed indoors in an extensive wing of the house that seemed to be heated to excess. I would not want to pay their energy bill for heating the water and the rest of the house. Without meaning to cause offense, this is not a house in which your scribe felt comfortable. I mean, pick a pool or pick a hockey rink, but both...?!

House #4, off Stanwich Road, was impressive for its decor, masterminded by Carol Swift. Hanging in the foyer is a large airplane whimsically festooned with cutlery and other unrelated objects. The owner of the house, you see, loves to fly, and when he does he often ferries children ill with cancer to various places for treatment. He has flown over 100 of these mercy missions, and has been honored for his good works. In addition to aviation-related items, he also collects music boxes and antique Victrolas. Some of the original Edison wax cyllinders still in their boxes with the portrait of TAE adorned his shelves.

Upstairs, the bedrooms were minor masterpieces. The girl's room was bright and cheerful and homey - I loved it. The boys' room had a list of chores and forbidden words, the latter including such things as "shut up" and "idiot". The house exuded a level of caring and love not often found in Greenwich. The children, it turns out, are adopted, and they are well aware of this. No secrets here; everything is open and full of light. Your scribe found a copy of one of his books on the family room shelf, and took it down to sign and inscribe it. He then replaced it, and hopes that the family will not be too displeased at his boldness the next time they pull it out to look up some question about local history.

OK, back on the horse. Still two more houses to view, but I think you've already had the highlights from this year's tour.


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