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November 29, 2012

22nd Laboure Christmas House Tours

By Rick Winterson

  This year, the Annual Laboure Christmas House Tours will be on December 1 and 2 (SAT/SUN).  They will focus on Dorchester Heights.  Transportation will be provided to the Heights; you can then stroll between the six houses, as well as touring the Heights and the beautifully developed No Man’s Land.

  Once again it’s time to open the Christmas Season with the 2012 Laboure Center’s Annual Christmas House Tours.  Chairperson Michele Hart invites you to take part in the 22nd Annual House Tour event.  There’ll be six strikingly beautiful houses on this year’s Tour, but there’s a difference this year:  All six houses on the Tour are located near to and around historic Dorchester Heights – on Thomas Park, Linden Street, Covington Street, and Dixfield Street.  You can stroll between each one.

  Of course, there’ll be transportation to and from Dorchester Heights on both Saturday, December 1 (4 to 6 p.m.), and Sunday, December 2 (noon to 4 p.m.).  On Saturday, the 1st, the transportation will be from the Ironworkers Hall at 195 Old Colony Avenue (NOTE:  This is a new location with ample parking).  On Sunday, transportation will be donated by Old Town Trolley from the usual locations:  the 275 West Broadway Laboure Center offering limited parking, and Castle Island with lots of parking.

  Perhaps a list of this year’s Christmas homes, accompanied by their themes (in parentheses), will illustrate the 2012 Tours:

13 Thomas Park (Dickens)

  This home, built in 1870 during Queen Victoria’s reign, is actually an Italianate Second Empire period piece.  Examine its symmetry.  Check out the inside “touches” – gas outlets converted to electricity, pocket doors, the decorator colors, and the rooms “with a view”.

17 Dixfield Street (Seussical)

  At the bottom of the Golden Stairs, this home is whimsical, colorful.  Completely refurbished recently (1992), the kitchen is the gathering point in this home.  Notice the eclectic furnishings.  Three south-facing balconies bring the Old Harbor views indoors.

69 Thomas Park (Bring in the New Year)

  This is also a Second Empire home from 1875, in this case mansarded.  It now is home to three condominiums that retain many of the 19th Century details.  In the first floor condominium, note how every modern convenience is integrated into the historic structure.

10 Linden Street (Urban Christmas)

  This Carpenter Gothic style house, built in 1863, has front and back living rooms with crystal chandeliers.  Note the double doors and the fireplace mantel, as well as the wrought iron fence outside.  Enjoy the owners’ interests and photography and curio collecting.

35 Covington Street (White Christmas)

  The white-on-white in this 1890 Colonial home is carried out to perfection.  Look for the unique rugs that come from nations along the old “Silk Road” of Marco Polo fame, as well as Tibetan chests.  Enjoy the varying views of the back yard and the Old Harbor peninsula.

56 Thomas Park (Holiday Joy)

   Pause a moment to take in the Victorian gingerbread trim of this home as you enter.  The first floor condominium has ceiling frescoes that echo the season, with a remarkable white granite fireplace.  Take a long look at the conversion of each room and the wraparound porch.

  After the Saturday tours from 4 to 6 p.m., you are invited to visit one of several nearby local restaurants for a cup of chowder and a glass of wine (a change from the reception of past years).  On the Sunday tours, be sure to ascend the Heights for a look at the view and the sunset, and then walk through the beautifully created No Man’s Land Park that has resulted from the labors of Medicine Wheel Productions over the last 15 years.  If you look carefully, you may even catch glimpses of Henry Knox or Paul Revere, who courted his wife Sary Orne on the Heights.

  Order your tickets online at ccab.org/events, charge by phone at 617-268-9670, or mail your order to the Laboure Center, 275 West Broadway.

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