Cape May Walking Tour

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Cape May is a beautiful place, especially for its old houses! There have been many renovations, to bring houses up to date with modern comfort and home security standards, and they are truly gorgeous places to stay. High ceilings and intricate detailing, not to mention the historic value, adds to their charm. Just looking at the house in the image above, you get an idea of how picturesque they are.

Staying in one of the Bed & Breakfasts is a real treat. Unlike in Europe, where many countries still have very old houses, it isn’t every where in the U.S that we can experienced staying in a house like this. It makes for a lovely weekend getaway or a little holiday with your family. Book in advance to make sure there are still rooms free– these houses sometimes only have four or five rooms on offer.

My wife and I spent last weekend in Cape May, NJ;  ground zero for Victorian historic homes.  We stayed at the Queen Victoria on Ocean St. and it was a very enjoyable stay.  The owners and staff are very cordial and work very hard to make sure you understand the basics of the Inn and are quickly able to get to the ralaxing part.

We spent a good bit of time just walking the streets to admire the homes.  The size and scale of these old buildings makes you realize why today so many of them get rented out or turned into Bed & Breakfasts – they’re huge and could house a family of 15 if you were so inclined.

The Cape May oceanfront homes are seeing a flurry of rebuilding and restoration as you will see some of that in some of the photos.  Click on the image above for a meager sampling of the hundreds of Victorians in Cape Mayor for the full-screen experience, see the slideshow, here.

St. Michaels, Maryland Walking Tour

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St. Michaels, Maryland is one of my favorite places to be in the U.S. and is a great place for the appreciation of old homes. Imagine a quaint historic town with cute little shops and big-city caliber restaurants and you’ve got a good feel for the “downtown”. Drive away from the town area, down winding roads and past lush greenery, and you’ll find hundreds of miles of waterfront property and some of the most picturesque scenery anywhere. … and your historic home of your dreams can be right there at the water’s edge. … and you can catch Maryland’s treasured blue crab right in your back yard. I can’t take it. It’s just too good to be true.  That’s why I see more smiles on peoples faces than anywhere else I visit on the East Coast.

St. Michaels is located in what I believe to be the most beautiful county in all of Maryland (but I’m biased), Talbot County. You can get a good overview of the region by seeing this map.

The photo above is of the Tarr House, purportedly one of the oldest houses remaining in St. Michaels from that era.

Each year St. Michaels holds a Christmas home tour and if you’re in the area in December, you should check to see if it coincides with the timing of Christmas in St. Michaels when the home tours run.  Of course, any time of year is worth a trip to St. Michaels and during the warmer months it is at it’s peak.

The photo below will take you to our first photo tour from St. Michaels and only represents a small sampling of what is there.

St. Michaels Tour

Stonebridge – ca. 1914 Georgian Revival – Chadds Ford, Pa

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Stonebridge is a ca. 1914 7,400 square foot mansion on 7.2 acres in Chadds Ford, PA built by John Scheidt, a wealthy Philadelphia brewer at the time.  The name Stonebridge comes from the stone bridge built over the creek that runs through the property.

The chief carpenter on the home at the time of construction was said to have described Scheidt as a stickler for details who inspected every piece of wood that went into the house.

What follows is an architectural review provided to me by Donald J. Weiss, Esq., who is offering the home for sale for $1.3 million, which for the area and property is very reasonable.  I thank Donald for the opportunity to tour and photograph Stonebridge.  The video tour of the home will be available in the coming weeks, so please check back.  Click on the photo above for the tour when you are ready. (more…)

Four Day, Multi-State House Tour – Guest Submission

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Ralph Krainik, a friend of mine from his participation on my other blog just recently went on a four-day house tour through Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia with his photo model (and wife) Pam.  I had never thought to take a multi-day house tour trip, but I like the way he thinks.  He was gracious enough to share his photos with us.  Their particular passion is Gothic Revival as you will see from the number of homes of this style captured on their trip.  They are also owners of  a Gothic Revival home named Seven Gables which we hope to profile on this site sometime in the future. Click on the photo above for the full set.