The Great Barrington Historic House Tour Invites You Inside
By Amy Krzanik
Many of us enjoy paging through House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Dwell and other design and decorating magazines looking for inspiration and basically ogling how other people live. Luckily for us, the folks at the Great Barrington Historical Society (GBHS) share our interests. On Saturday, May 2 from 1-5 p.m., GBHS will hold its first annual Historic House Tour, where inquisitive looky-loos will be invited inside three homes in Great Barrington and two in Housatonic.
Highlights include a 1915 English Revival-style home; two Queen Annes (1890s), one of which was recently featured in Berkshire Magazine; an 1884 parsonage designed by Peabody & Stearns of Boston; and an 1879 Greek Revival constructed by the Turner family and featured in Berkshire Living Magazine.
Debbie Oppermann, director of GBHS understands that people love old houses because they are “a tangible part of our past that people can experience now.” Unlike a museum where furnishings or entire rooms oftentimes are roped off, house tours allow visitors to fully experience a past time and place. “You can touch the bannisters and look through the windows,” Oppermann says. “People have a visceral connection to things they treasure and houses are on the top of that list.”
The five well-designed, well-built and, most importantly, well-loved homes all have distinct personalities, and many have original features such as vibrant ceramic fireplace surrounds, intricate stained glass and the gas and electric chandelier pictured left that have survived the ages thanks to careful caregivers. “As the saying goes, ‘you don’t own an old house, you take care of it for the next generation,’” quotes Oppermann.
Proceeds from the tour support the work of the Historical Society and Museum, which collects and preserves artifacts that tell the stories of the people, places and events that make up Great Barrington’s history. In addition to maintaining extensive archives, the Historical Society is restoring a 1771 farmstead that houses its headquarters as well the town museum.
Great Barrington Historical Society House Tour
Saturday, May 2, 1-5 p.m.
Tickets: $25. Call GBHS at (413) 591-8702 or buy online.
A limited number of tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the GB train station or the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic.