KENNETT SQUARE—When the Kennett Area Library holds it’s annual Tour Saturday, June 1, 2019 one of the highlights will be the Chalfant Mansion its enormous top-heavy brick chimneys, designed by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness and built in 1884 no one remember the reason he designed it this way. When it had a devastating fire in 2014 people were concerned about this show piece. The chimneys and much of the house survived without “fatal” damage.
Luckily it has been restored to its former glory; the carved mantles the doors and chandeliers are all polished and looking in their prime and open to the public on the tour. When you visit this house all 13 raffle baskets will be on display in the front room.
This year’s tour is quite different usually the houses on tour are scattered throughout the county. This year it is entirely in Kennett Square Borough and is a walking tour as there are no great distances to drive. There will be 14 houses on the tour. They range from country homes to updated sophisticated town houses. Some filled with old world charm remind us of our grandparent’s homes.
Now the chance to see the inside of the Kennett homes we pass every day. Now that Kennett has become ‘hot’ this is a rare opportunity to see behind the usually closed doors.
What remains the same about the tour is that local artists will be painting in the garden. This year there will be no box luncheon as Kennett has so many excellent restaurants where one may eat.
The houses have been chosen in groups so if one wishes they can drive from one quarter to another as it would be quite a hike for some of us.
The tour runs from 10 am- 4pm and refreshments will be served in several of the houses.
Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at www.kennettlibrary.org or in person at the library. Proceeds benefit adult literacy and children programs at the Kennett Library. Last year they made $35, 000 which is welcome as government funding of the library is only 66 percent of budget.
Bayard Taylor for whom the library is named was a famous world traveler and author from Kennett Square.