Bob Jeffrey to preview varied architecture of Bird, Tree and Garden Club House and Garden Tour

Architectural preservationist Bob Jeffrey

Every two years, the Bird, Tree & Garden Club opens the doors of some of Chautauqua’s most beautiful, interesting and historic homes to Chautauquans and home and garden enthusiasts from around the region.

But before the five-hour House and Garden Tour can commence on Thursday, BTG will welcome architectural preservationist Bob Jeffrey to provide a preview of each of the homes on the tour;  his lecture at 12:15 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall will be the third installment in the BTG’s Brown Bag Lecture series this season.

Jeffrey holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in architecture from Kent State University, and he serves as president of Maviro Corporation and Town Improvement Association. He will be drawing upon his decades of experience to provide a deep dive into the architecture of each of the 12 houses being shown on the tour.

“(Jeffrey’s) interest is the architecture, the design, the houses, and that kind of thing,” said BTG House and Garden Tour Chair Rosemary Rappole. “He will have photos of each house and he’ll be talking about those. He creates more interest than the descriptions in the ticket booklet.”

This houses being shown in this year’s House and Garden Tour are all located in Miller Park and along South Lake Drive, the heart of late-1800s Chautauqua homes. Some were built shortly after the founding of the Institution itself and have been maintained and preserved — and modernized — through the years; still others are new builds. There’s a wide variety of home interiors for participants to see.

Rappole said the House and Garden Tour is BTG’s most popular event each time it’s put on, drawing in over 1,000 participants — only around 100 of whom reside on the grounds of the Institution.

“Our main audience are these small garden clubs from all over Western New York and Pennsylvania,” Rappole said. “They flock in, and they’re so excited to be at Chautauqua.”

Chautauquans should not fret if they haven’t yet gotten their tickets, though. BTG will be selling tickets to the House and Garden Tour at Jeffrey’s lecture today, available for $55 each.

Even though the House and Garden Tour is the main event of the season for the BTG, Rappole said that Jeffrey’s lecture would also be an invaluable experience for anyone interested in learning more about the history, design, and style of the historic homes at Chautauqua. 

Tags : Bird Tree & Garden ClubBob JeffreyBrown Bag Lecture seriesBTGenvironmentMiami University of Ohio

The author Jeremy Kohler

Jeremy Kohler is excited to spend his first summer covering environmental issues for The Chautauquan Daily! Originally from San Antonio, he is entering his last semester at The George Washington University where he studies journalism and mass communication. At GW, he has written for the Hatchet, GW’s independent student newspaper, and Planet Forward, a climate-focused outlet headquartered at the university. You can usually find Jeremy napping, listening to sad music, or complaining about something!