Kitchen and Garden Tour May 1

If you can’t catch one of the Richmond tours during Historic Garden Week, there’s always the Fan Woman’s Club Annual Kitchen and Garden Tour.

Kitchen and Garden Tour in Richmond's historic Fan District May 1 2011 1-6 PM

This year’s theme, Urban Delights, offers a diverse selection of homes and gardens in Richmond’s historic Fan District. Discover how urban homeowners maximize every inch of space both inside and outside their homes. See how each home has been personalized by its owners who focus on blending historic architectural details with the functionality required by modern families.  The tour features homes across the length of the Fan District, from the 1400-block of Grove to the Boulevard.

The Fan Woman’s Club organizes this tour each spring as its primary fundraiser to support its grants to neighborhood non-profit organizations and its neighborhood improvement activities.  The woman’s club has upgraded park facilities with new benches and plantings and funded new period-appropriate street litter receptacles.  Houses are staffed by volunteers and neighborhood businesses sponsor the event.

The Historic Fan District is an 85-block turn of the century (19th to 20th, that is) residential neighborhood, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as the largest intact Victorian neighborhood in the United States. It takes its name from its tree-lined avenues and streets that “fan out” from Monroe Park, adjacent to the academic campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Best described as architecturally diverse, the over 2,300 classic town homes feature bay windows, turrets, high ceilings, parquet oak and pine floors, mahogany woodwork, stained and leaded glass, and varied porch and balcony designs. Most homes are brick or brick and brownstone.

At the east end of the Fan, close to Monroe Park, sits a unique clapboard residence on a large corner lot.  Completed before the area gained popularity in 1869, on a parcel purchased in 1862, it is now Richmond’s premier bed and breakfast known for its hearty gourmet breakfasts. A stay in our urban inn is a better way to stay: to experience the Fan neighborhood like a local, to dine in neighborhood eateries, and to enjoy live theater, neighborhood entertainment and nearby museums and attractions.

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