Spring Tour Of Homes: A sneak preview

Staff Written Community, Featured

Special to the Citizen

The first weekend in May arrives soon and just like every year that means that Madison will open its arms and doors to hundreds of visitors. The “Madison in May” Tour of Homes runs from 10am to 5pm on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4. Seven private homes will be open, and the price of admission also includes five historic sites that are normally separately ticketed and five historic churches dating from the 1840s to 1914.

Tickets are available from the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, sponsor of the home tour event. Advance tickets may be ordered at www.mmcc-arts-org. On-site sales will be at the Center’s headquarters under the impressive bell tower of the 1895 School building at 434 South Main Street.

A special highlight of this year’s tour will be the Martin-Baldwin-Weaver-Snyder house. Built about 1850, this grand house was described in an influential book as “one of the most fully realized examples of Greek Revival architecture in the state.” This is the first time that the restored and updated home has been open for tour in many years.

Another seldom seen masterpiece is the Foster-Thomason-Miller house. Upon its completion in

1883, a newspaper story called the structure “perhaps the most elegant country home in middle

Georgia.” The house was elegantly restored in the late 1970s, and it was featured in Hollywood productions. Unfortunately, early this century a kitchen fire severely damaged much of the house. The structure slowly deteriorated to the point that the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation listed th house on its “Places in Peril” list. Fortunately, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy recently obtained the property, and is now proud to show it off. The building is stabilized and available for purchase through

the Conservancy’s revolving fund. Visitors will have a unique, one-time opportunity to view the

somewhat faded but still mostly intact elegance of the Foster-Thomason-Miller house and envision how

restoration could return the lady to its former status. (This house will be open on Friday only.)

Five other homes round out the tour. A unique and beautiful property long known as the “Boat

House” was once home to a future first lady. A delightful folk Victorian home is tucked away on an in-

town acreage with well-tended gardens and interesting outbuildings. A cute in-town cottage features a

vaulted screened porch. An antique-filled loft in a revitalized part of downtown overlooks Town Park.

And a newer home pays homage to its on-site predecessor that was lost to fire.

For information about accommodations in Madison and about the city’s several outstanding

restaurants go to www.visitmadisonga.com . For more information about the Madison-Morgan Cultural

Center, full descriptions of the houses, and questions about the tour go to www.mmcc-arts.org or call

706-342-4743.

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