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Downsizing Tips – 2011 Fort Myers Holiday House, Part 2

 

Today’s START To Downsize article is the completion of the two-part series begun yesterday.  In that post I wrote about the historic Langford-Kingston Home in Fort Myers, Florida, and today’s post discusses the notable Burroughs Home & Gardens, located just across the street. Tickets for the two-home tour are $5 and are available at the door.  Children ages 12 and under are admitted free of charge.  The tour runs from December 9 through December 23.

This Georgian Revival home, built in 1901, sits on 2.45 acres and includes 450 feet of riverfront along the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers.  The 2-1/2-story home has 6,000 square feet and has not been significantly altered since its completion.  It is absolutely gorgeous!

The home was donated to the city of Fort Myers in 1978, with the stipulation that it be used as a park, library or museum.  It was listed with the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and as a local historic landmark in 1994.

Main floor features include 14-foot ceilings and Florida pine floors.

There are also four main-floor rooms with mahogany fireplaces. When you first step into the home, you catch the faintest whiff of woodsmoke, a fleeting memory of past blazes.  In addition to a fireplace in the dining room, they can also be found…

…in the music room,

the parlor,

and the library.

Nights can be cool along the Caloosahatchee from November through Febrary and I doubt the home’s walls have much in the way of insulation, so the fireplaces filled a practical need with great beauty.

Unusual for its time, the home was originally wired for electricity and the push button switches were the acme of technology.  Actual door chimes are found in the front hallway…

…next to a cubbyhole beneath the staircase.

What a delightful hideaway for a couple of little girls to share secrets over “tea”!

The grand winding staircase leads upstairs to a large landing,

where Father Christmas is found with his tapestry bag overflowing with gifts.

 

There are four bedrooms, including the master bedroom,

 

 

with its quarter-sawn oak fireplace,

and a children’s bedroom, with their own Christmas tree…

…laden with Advent gifts, numbered 1 through 25,

and another quarter-sawn oak fireplace, with Santa making his way up the chimney!

There is also a study to the front of the house, featuring a Palladian window.

 Another unusual feature, original to the home, is indoor plumbing.  There are three full baths, two on the second floor, to be used by family and guests, and another on the third floor, for the servants.

One of the second floor full baths is seen, above, with another view, below.

As beautiful and lavish as the home’s interior rooms are, the outdoor spaces and gardens, which surround it, puncuate its’ scale and provide it with a visual anchor  -

The loggia, on the home’s right side, is the perfect place for singers and musicians to perform,

while rocking chairs along the perimeter of the wrap-around porch provide an irresistible opportunity to sit, relax and enjoy the moment,

as seen, above.

 

Everywhere you turn are reminders of the Christmas season.

Deer prance below a live oak tree festooned with stars,

while a choir of angels sing under a “sky” filled with golden stars.

Twinkling lights trace the lines of gently wafting Spanish moss, which drapes the limbs of the live oak tree above them.

As you make your way further into the gardens, you see palm trees outlined in lights, the Caloosahatchee River beyond, and the pink-lavender leavings of the day’s sunset.  Breathtaking.

It’s the perfect way to end a perfect tour of the perfectly lovely historic Burroughs Home & Gardens, the topic of today’s “Downsizing Tips – 2011 Fort Myers Holiday House, Part 2″ post.

There are still a few days to enjoy these homes – take advantage of the opportunity if you’re able.

Wishing you the Season’s Very Best…

Kate

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