AAUW announces 2019 Island Gems Home Tour
Five distinctive family homes, all located on the island of Venice, Fla., will be open on Friday, February 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for participants in the annual tour sponsored by the Venice branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Proceeds will help fund scholarships for area women to help them continue their education.
This year’s collection of homes includes an historic residence, originally built in 1927 by a vice president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, when this labor union invested in its vision of the city as a planned community. The current owners are pleased to be stewards of this property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, while maintaining it as a family home for their two young daughters. It is located at 613 West Venice Avenue.
A newly built home, which sits on the shore of Roberts Bay, is a one story that’s been elevated to meet current building codes for coastal structures. It has an easy, open layout made distinctive with architectural molding and planked ceilings that give it a traditional stamp. It is at 937 Inlet Circle.
Another recently constructed home in an established neighborhood honors several generations of family with a collection of ceramic roosters collected by the wife’s father and a theme of butterflies in furniture, tilework, and accessories inspired by her daughter. It’s at 236 Park Boulevard North.
The exterior of another home is classic Italianate Mediterranean in keeping with the prevailing style of Venice. Inside, the snowbird owners have adopted many “smart home” features that allow them to control hurricane shutters, lighting and other elements from their phones. Downstairs, they demonstrate a taste for contemporary furnishings while upstairs they retained items from the wife’s mother whose earlier home here was replaced by this one. It’s at 637 Valencia Road.
A fabric artist and her husband live in a house that is sheltered with walls that wrap around the pool and give privacy from the street. The main house includes her studio and her quilting is hung gallery style and changed seasonally. A cabana has been transformed into a standalone home office with a window wall overlooking the pool. It’s at 600 Menendez Street.
Ticket price is $25 at any of the homes on the day of the tour. Purchases made ahead of tour day are $20, a savings of $5 per ticket. Suzi Barbee, chair of the Tour Committee, says that “Early purchases will expedite traffic flow that day and will also create an incentive for purchasers to visit our community partners who are supporting us in this fundraising endeavor.”
Tickets for the tour, now in its 19th year, are available from AAUW members and from several area merchants: Cole’s Postal Center, 2357-3 S. Tamiami Trail; Collectors Gallery & Framery, 114 S. Nokomis Ave.; Down Island Way Boutique, 225 W. Miami Ave.; and Venice Olive Oil Co., 101 W. Venice Ave., Suite 5. Tickets are also on sale at Venice Art Center, 390 Nokomis Ave. S.