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Bootlegger's Ball Kicks off Home Tour Weekend

Riverside Avondale Preservation is kicking off Home Tour Weekend this year with the First Annual Bootleggers Ball, a 1920's-themed speakeasy benefit ball from 7:00PM to Midnight on April 20th.

Published April 16, 2012 in Neighborhoods      19 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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The roaring twenties in Florida are synonymous with the land boom, gangsters, and prohibition. Stately residences and charming bungalows were being built in neighborhoods all around the state, Riverside and Avondale were no exception. The Bootleggers Ball celebrates this heyday, when characters like "The Real McCoy" made Jacksonville a bootlegging capital.

For one night only, the Garden Club will turn into a speakeasy, complete with a live music band, featuring beloved tunes from the jazz age, as well as other favorites, prohibition-era booze courtesy of MOJO No. 4 Urban BBQ & Whiskey Bar, and fabulous fare. Biscotti's is preparing a special "Italian Mob Job" menu for this event and there will be other freebies from Casbah and Pele's. Sweets provided by Breezy Coffee Shop, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, and Let Them Eat Cake.

Guests will learn the Charleston and other period dances and enjoy a fashion trunk show inspired by 1920s style courtesy of Erin Healy (hair and make-up by ACF Salon). 1920s cocktail attire is not obligatory, but certainly encouraged. There will be a photographer on-hand to photograph guests by classic cars from the era. Tickets are $75 per person, $125 per couple and price includes dinner, drinks, dancing, and other surprises. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.



Then, spend the weekend enjoying the beautiful homes of Riverside Avondale. Each spring for the past thirty-eight years, residents of the Riverside Avondale Historic District have opened their homes to guests in an effort to raise money for the city’s premier grassroots historic preservation organization. This April 21st and 22nd, doors will open once again for a two-day self-guided tour. Ticket price is good for both days. All tour sites will be open on Saturday, April 21st, from 10 am until 5 pm, and on Sunday, April 22nd, from 12 pm until 5 pm.



The Riverside Avondale Historic District has one of the most diverse collections of architectural styles of any neighborhood in the country. Ten homes and one multi-family (John Gorrie) will be featured on this year's tour, sponsored by Sherwin Williams, which promises to be a special one. Participants will have a rare opportunity to step inside several of the district's most significant homes and attend a special exhibition of local artists at CoRK art space. The locations for this year's tour:


    1815 Bayard Place – A Southern Belle Restored to Her Former Glory
    1619 Challen Avenue – A Chic Old Farmhouse
    2558 Haldumar Terrace – Cute and Cozy Renovation
    2525 College Street (John Gorrie) – Schools In! The district’s most impressive adaptive use project.
    1818 Montgomery Place – A Mid-Century Marvel
    2970 Oak Street – A Stately Georgian Revival
    2131 Post Street – A Spacious Two-Story in Riverside
    3685 Riverside Avenue – A Green Revival
    2689 Roselle Street (CoRK Arts District) – Art House, featuring the work of local artists. Enjoy complimentary coffee courtesy of Bold Bean Coffee Roasters.
    3022 St. Johns Avenue – A Swanky Moderne on Bourbon Alley
    1380 Talbot Avenue – A Charming Bungalow
    3624 Walsh Street – A Trendy Bungalow

Participants will also have the opportunity to tour the Native Park and Sponsor Sherwin Williams' new store located at 3606 St. John's Avenue.

Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 during Home Tour weekend. (RAP members receive a $2 discount: email info@riversideavondale.org with “Member Home Tour discount” in the subject line to request your discount code.). Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

This year, there are special discounts for ticket holders at area restaurants and discounts for everyone at our local Sherwin Williams Store in Avondale throughout the weekend. Click here to learn more.

Article by Steve Congro







19 Comments

fieldafm

April 16, 2012, 07:32:31 AM
The Bootleggers Ball is HIGHLY recommended. 

Kaiser Soze

April 16, 2012, 09:44:04 AM
Unfortunately it benefits RAP.

NoCarMan

April 16, 2012, 10:55:59 AM
Thanks for covering this MetroJax!  Channel 4 was fun this morning. I got to dress up and we had a model show off one of Erin Healy's designs that is going to be featured as part of her trunk show at the party Friday.  I for one am looking forward to trying as many of the classic cocktails as I can handle. 

Bill Hoff

April 16, 2012, 08:36:30 PM
I'll definitely be attending the Home Tour, probably via e2ride's bike tour. Should be fun.

mtraininjax

April 17, 2012, 07:21:29 AM
And of course, I will be a host in one of the houses. So come one and come all, should be nice cool weather and the pedicabs will be out in force.

ben says

April 17, 2012, 07:26:33 AM
And of course, I will be a host in one of the houses. So come one and come all, should be nice cool weather and the pedicabs will be out in force.

Which house?

Riverrat

April 23, 2012, 02:10:37 PM
Just curious - did anyone go on the home tour? Any thoughts or opinions to share with the rest of us? Thanks!

ben says

April 23, 2012, 02:22:36 PM
My fiancé was the 'house captain' for the Walsh Street home. I didn't do the tour, but I did stick around to both: a) see the crowd and b) check out that one particular home.

Some thoughts...

1-Damn, didn't expect the tour to be that busy. It's my first, so maybe that's why I was a little surprised. Considering how bad the weather was...there were a lot of people rolling in. I think they clocked in over 2,500 people on day 1.

2-Damn, that house was nice. Driving by, you'd think "oh, just another tiny Riverside bungalow." Passed a million like it everyday. Once you're inside, you feel like you're in a flat in central Amsterdam, or any chic Paris apartment. It was jaw-droppingly amazing, looking at the foreclosure pictures, then seeing what the owners have done to it.

3-I heard, consistently, that CoRK wasn't "worth going by" at all. That came from mostly the older crowd.

4-Heard the Oak street house, while gorgeous, wasn't really "home tour" worthy. Just an expensive home with a bunch of tiny rooms.

5-Heard the Bourbon Alley home was a complete surprise. Really fun inside, looks "like a million bucks," and surprisingly, furnished quite "cheaply" (and I don't mean that in a bad way).

Overall, from what I hear, quite the successful weekend.

**Disclaimer: all this is second-hand. Meaning, I heard it myself, but it's just from me asking random people at the Walsh Street home what they thought of the tour. **

Riverrat

April 23, 2012, 02:46:15 PM
Ben, thanks for the feedback! I actually know the owners of Walsh and was able to see the before/after...and without a doubt, night & day. You're right, it's an awesome house and you'd never suspect it from the outside!

obie1

April 23, 2012, 02:55:52 PM
good info for those of us not present Ben.
When you say not tour worthy, do you mean not remarkable in any way. How do they choose which houses each year? I am surprised that many people are willing to have strangers walking through judging all the time so maybe there is not a lot to choose from when they are planning the tour. Why was cork not worth going to? Not architecturally significant or was the art boring or what?

ben says

April 23, 2012, 03:05:35 PM
good info for those of us not present Ben.
When you say not tour worthy, do you mean not remarkable in any way. How do they choose which houses each year? I am surprised that many people are willing to have strangers walking through judging all the time so maybe there is not a lot to choose from when they are planning the tour. Why was cork not worth going to? Not architecturally significant or was the art boring or what?

When I say "not tour worthy," I mean, yes, you're house is clearly worth a lot of money, but no, there's nothing truly remarkable about this house vs. a house that was a dump foreclosure and now is a jewel of the neighborhood. (This is my opinion, and obviously, what I heard was from some people, but not all).

I'm not sure how they pick the houses. I know they don't pick on expensive houses alone. My educated guess says they pick (most) of the homes based on rehabs and/or history. JG, Haldumar, Walsh, Riverside Ave, Bourbon Alley, Roselle, Challen (to name most) have one or both things in common: 1) was once a dump, now is a shining example of a well-done rehab, and/or 2) tons of history involved (I'm thinking of Challen in particular, which has been there since 1902 (or 1907?), before the streets were even platted (it was a general store)).

I also don't know why people would want strangers walking through their homes?? I understand if you wanted to sell (it's like a huge open house!). But I don't understand if you live their permanently. Maybe I'm just too neurotic.

Lastly, I'm not sure why people didn't like CoRK. Was too busy to have serious conversations with people for too long.

ben says

April 23, 2012, 03:07:41 PM
On second thought, re: CoRK. Just speculation, but realizing that mostly older people didn't like CoRK, I'm thinking it was a little "too far" on the "other side of Park" for most people. Didn't hear anyone mention boring art. Just heard at least a 1/2 dozen people say "ehh, if you're going to skip one...."

grimss

April 23, 2012, 09:42:56 PM
I, too, was surprised by how cool the homes were. After last year's tour, I was expecting a let-down (in 2011, Cheney-Cummer House, Beerbower house, awesome 1904 columned home on St. Johns--real show pieces). But this year, there was a real emphasis on livable, obtainable homes. The Challen home was absolutely, unbeliveably awesome. I was a volunteer at the John Gorrie on Sunday, and talked to a lot of folks about what their favorites were. The most frequently mentioned were Challen and Walsh, but also lots of votes for the mid-century modern on Montgomery, the Art Moderne house on Bourbon Alley, the bungalow on Riverside, the John Gorrie and the house on Post. A very wide distribution, which is the hallmark of a good tour. (BTW, I thought CoRK was awesome--made me so proud to be a local!)

As for how the houses get chosen, the committe that heads the event puts together a wish list, and then hits up the RAP board and anyone else for connections to the owners of the desired properties. Not everyone says yes--it IS a big deal to let thousands of strangers through your home--but those who agree to do it do so out of community spirit and a desire to support RAP and the community. Even Delores Weaver, who is surprisingly determined to not anyone but bona fide buyers into the Gorrie, thought it was an event worth supporting. (Even though she kevetched about all the people parking in front of the Gorrie.)

Debbie Thompson

April 24, 2012, 07:18:35 AM
We liked the tour,and loved that it included a cool mid-century modern home as well as older historic homes.  It's not my cuppa tea to turn historic homes into urban lofts, that's for warehouses and the like in my opinion, so while it was nicely done, I wasn't crazy about the Walsh Street house.  That fuddy-duddy comment aside, I thought the tour was great.

As an "older" person, I enjoyed CoRK.  My favorite was the Synapse installation in the corner done by the art students.  That was really cool. 

Dog Walker

April 24, 2012, 09:54:44 AM
The Tour also highlights the incredible diversity of house types and architecture in Riverside/Avondale.

Having your home on the Tour is exciting, exhausting, rewarding, and for us, in the "never again" category.

ben says

April 24, 2012, 12:04:57 PM
Having your home on the Tour is exciting, exhausting, rewarding, and for us, in the "never again" category.

Sounds about right  ;D

mtraininjax

April 24, 2012, 12:09:10 PM
Quote
Having your home on the Tour is exciting, exhausting, rewarding, and for us, in the "never again" category.

The Talbot house had over 1300 people "walk" through it. The one on Bayard, where I was for Saturday, had 600 in 3 hours. I would take a long vacation over that weekend, and hope that people wiped their feet before I allowed them to trounce through my Edgewood Avenue House.

ben says

April 24, 2012, 12:46:58 PM
Quote
Having your home on the Tour is exciting, exhausting, rewarding, and for us, in the "never again" category.

The Talbot house had over 1300 people "walk" through it. The one on Bayard, where I was for Saturday, had 600 in 3 hours. I would take a long vacation over that weekend, and hope that people wiped their feet before I allowed them to trounce through my Edgewood Avenue House.

I heard that the owners of the Challen house made the guests put on foot booties?

Brian Siebenschuh

April 25, 2012, 12:33:56 AM
Not surprising.  I did a one-hour talk on local / sustainable food at the Jacksonville Symphony Show House (something I think they do every year) a year or two ago and that was a requirement.  I opted to go shoeless :-)
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