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Gatewood Home and Garden Tour: Sunday, October 30

Staff Report

Gatewood Historic District, Oklahoma City’s largest historic district, will host its 15th annual Home and Garden Tour on Sunday, October 30, from noon-5 p.m.
Open for viewing will be five private homes and one additional private garden.

The half-square, mile area between NW 16, NW 23, Classen and Penn was originally developed as many separate residential areas starting in the early 1900s. In the 1970s, these areas were combined into Gatewood Neighborhood.

With placement on the National Register in March 2004, the area’s name was changed to Gatewood Historic District. Gatewood has over 900 single homes and another 500-plus residences in duplexes, four-plexes, and apartment buildings.

Carey Place is located in the middle of Gatewood and offers its own history and unique identity.

J’Anna Knight, 2011 Home Tour Chair says, “This may be our best home tour ever. We have some very diverse homes and each one has a completely renovated kitchen!”

The Homes
At 1940 NW 21st, the interior and exterior of the 1926 one-story Tudor Revival (with converted attic) home has been a personal canvas for Nancy O’Donnell. Large moss-covered boulders form the border for flower beds on the west and north sides of the home.

A unique feature in her newest garden area is the seating “wall” created from old broken concrete removed from the original front porch when the new porch was poured in the summer of 2010. Original bricks from the porch were installed in the patio fireplace and one of the columns was used to create a water feature. “I really didn’t like the idea of those materials going into the landfill and I gave a lot of consideration to utilizing them in my garden. I hope others will be inspired to do the same. Most of the landscaping you will see is my personal design and implementation,” says Nancy.

The kitchen was gutted in the winter of 2009 and redesigned as a 1920s/1930s “sanitary kitchen” utilizing white subway tile. The bead board surrounding the banquette area, white cabinet doors with glass panes and touches of black create a vintage feel the modern functional space.
Many of the items in this home (old books, glassware, a 1930’s upright piano) are family treasures handed down through the years and give the interior an intimate and personal feel.

The 1922 Tudor Revival structure at 1222 N.W. 20 St. has been home to Blair and Maggie Humphreys since the fall of 2010. The home has three leaded-glass windows, including the stained-glass roses on the front entryway and a leaded-glass peacock connecting off the living room. Also of interest is the antique elevator believed to be original to the house, a beautiful marble floor in what originally served as a library, and a suspended antique canopy over the back patio entrance (the presence of similar fasteners above the front door indicate that a similar canopy may have originally existed there as well). Of particular interest in this home is the showcasing of multiple layers of original wallpaper which were selectively peeled and treated in the east bedroom upstairs.

Shortly after marrying, Rachel and Clay Hubbard searched all over Oklahoma City for a house to call home. The two-story Colonial Revival they found (1223 N.W. 20 St.) was built by G.A. Nichols in 1922. According to organizers of the tour, the Hubbards have made it their mission over the past year to return these wonderful stately homes to its original luster with a “modern living” touch.

The first floor of this four bed/two and one half-bath home has been completely remodeled. Three walls were removed, two entrances greatly expanded, the coat nook and half bath have been added and the kitchen has been gutted and expanded. Wanting to stay true to the era of the house, the Hubbard’s looked to their decorator, Angie Kircher with Decorating Divas, to keep their home in a traditional style.

Tra Pippin purchased the two-story 1924 Prairie School home (1811 N.W. 19 St.), a brick and stucco style common to the era) in June 2010. The home had been vacant and had experienced damage plus no significant maintenance for years. Much of the interior had been removed leaving a virtual shell. The remodel was designed by A Karen Black Company.
Extensive renovation of this beautiful home was completed in September 2011. Except for the exterior walls, the home is essentially new — a perfect example of a completely modern interior staged inside a historical home.

Garin and Amanda Wente took long Sunday drives all through the historic neighborhoods of the city before purchasing their 1926 two-story brick and stucco eclectic Dutch Colonial Revival. The large trees, picturesque streets and the charming character of each home were some of the things they loved. They were ready for a challenge and definitely got one in the home at 1932 N.W. 18 St.

Says Amanda, “It was a diamond in the rough with huge potential. We saw past the things we didn’t like to what we knew it could be for us.” The kitchen remodel included granite countertops, an extended bar, new flooring and appliances. The latest project was the master bath. Wanting to keep the home architectural history intact while adding some modern flair, the Wentes added subway tile and hexagonal flooring along with a pedestal bathtub. “We were extremely excited with the final result! Our next projects are the guest bath and creating an amazing outdoor living space!”

The Garden
This garden at 2005 N. Gatewood Ave. (garden only) is a constantly evolving work in progress for novice gardeners John and Charlene Greb. Initial inspiration for the garden came in 1999 when the couple’s then fourteen-year-old son, Christopher, decided it was time for his parents to quit talking about wanting a pond and start doing something about it. He “dug in” on a Friday school holiday, and by that evening the pond had taken shape and there was no turning back. In addition to the pond, the hardscape includes a recently tiled covered patio and a brick sidewalk. The side of the garage has become the backdrop for a collection of crosses and antique weather vanes.

The Grebs planted trees, including a river birch, a weeping willow, a lace bark elm, a peach tree and a fig tree, which has turned out to be a “fig bush.” Shrubs followed, including many crepe myrtles, a lilac, mock orange, spirea, roses, nandina, a butterfly bush, hardy hibiscus, and a duranta.
As the trees matured, shade tolerant plants became the obvious choice, with hostas, astilbe, heuchera, gold dust, hydrangeas and columbine. An arbor covered with grape vines leads to a short stone path through a butterfly garden behind the garage, where perennials are slowly filling in. The Grebs continue to add perennials in sunny and shady areas, and replace what expires (especially this summer) as the learning process continues.

The details
Advance sale tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at (using PayPal) until 9 p.m. on Oct. 29 or in person at the following locations —
23 Street Antique Mall, 3023 NW 23rd; Antique Avenue, 5219 N Western; Garden Gate Antiques, 1307 N May Avenue; Broadway Antique Mall, 114 S. Broadway (Edmond); Bad Grannies, 1759 NW 16; Velvet Monkey, 1701 NW 16.

Tickets will also be available for $12 at each home during tour day.

Complimentary refreshments will be served and a prize drawing will be held immediately following the tour. Prizes will be on display and winners need not be present to win. For more information, contact J’Anna Knight, 2011 Home Tour Chair, at 528-0032.

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