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Wimberley Community Civic Club 2006 Home Tour Features the Armstrong, Evans, Maverick, McDonald, Wheat and Wynne Homes

Sponsored by the Wimberley Community Civic Club, the 2006 Hill Country Homes Tour for the Holidays was held Friday & Saturday, November 17 & 18, 10 AM to 5 PM. Six unique homes were featured, delighting and inspiring visitors.

Hill Country Homes for the Holidays is an eagerly awaited annual Wimberley event. It is a delightful way to visit wonderful Wimberley area homes, all beautifully decorated for the holidays. 

The Holiday Gift Shoppe, filled with a large array of craft items and delicious goodies made by the ladies of Wimberley, was also open at the Winters-Wimberley House..

Tickets for the tour were $15.00 available at the Visitor Center or could be purchased at each of the six homes on the days of the tour.

Rosalie Laumbach, Sarah Badal, and Mary Ann Jorgensen co-chaired the event this year. All proceeds from the Home Tour are distributed to the community in the form of college scholarships and donations to various local organizations.

(See photographs of all these in the slideshow above.)

Armstrong Home

Jennifer and Richard Armstrong lived in Monrovia California, close to Pasadena, for 22 years. The Gamble House in Pasadena, Charles and Henry Greene's 1908 masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts movement, stood out in their minds as a good example of the California Craftsman style. After much research, Richard designed this beautiful house in this style with some Texas touches. The wide overhangs and beams are Craftsman. The windows and woodwork resemble the Green and Green style that is prevalent in California. The home faces Cyprus Creek on a site that was once a campground in the 1970s.

There is an open floor plan with columns separating the rooms. Their favorite room is the screened porch which faces the creek, but Jennifer says that they spent most of their time in the kitchen. The kitchen has a large island and a desk area for Jennifer and her computer. The master bed room has a king size bed made from two interesting old doors. There is a nice selection of mission style Stickley furniture throughout the house. There are many portraits of their four sons taken by Richard during his career as a professional photographer. These, along with other paintings and sketches, complete the design of this house and make it a truly lovely home.

Evans Home

Carl and Susan Evans invite you to tour their beautiful and interesting home which they named Casa del Paisano, House of the Roadrunner. They are both life-long collectors of artwork and antiquities, and their home was designed to accommodate and showcase many of their collections. The architectural elements of the home were formulated during their travels to Spain, Italy, Mexico and Guatemala with a solid foundation of "Texas German Hill Country" influence.

As you enter the complex you will see three buildings on 6&1/2 acres of Hill Country property with a stunning view and 450 feet of frontage on the Blanco River. The first building to be built was the Guest House in 1999. This was followed by the barn in 2005. The home was completed in the summer of 2006.

There are natural springs on the property and stone paths and stairs carry you down more than 100 feet to the Blanco River. The extensive stone work on the property including the courtyard wall was constructed primarily from stone found on the property by "stone artists" from Oaxaca, Mexico. Upon entering the house you will see the Peruvian Santos dating from the late 19th century. Also in this area is a mid-nineteenth century wedding cart wheel built into the wall. Throughout the house are examples of Navajo rugs, weather vanes, a "courting door", lightening rods, a collection of American Indian baskets, pottery and arrowheads, and many other treasures from their collections. You will definitely want to notice the cook-top tile which was hand painted and fired by Susan. Docents will point out to you many other items of interest in this charming house.

Wynne Home

The home of Temple Wynne stands about 35 feet above a narrow, rocky bend in the Blanco River. While searching for property in 2002, she and her husband Larry Fuess (1945-2004) heard the "noisy" water, saw the gorgeous terrain and beautiful cliffs, and fell in love with the spot immediately. The house was designed and engineered by Larry, and built by Kevin McGar of Tulum Properties, Wimberley. Temple moved into the house in July of 2004 from a larger home in Dallas, bringing with her "only items that could withstand a rough and tumble lifestyle which welcomes grandchildren, frequent houseguests, and our canine menagerie!"

As you approach the house, you are impressed by the native plants which dot this natural landscape. Ample glass windows along the front of the house and clear-story windows above the porches light a galley leading to the guest area to the right of the entrance, and the Great Room and master suite to the left. The home features cedar ceilings and an abundance of natural light in every room. Wynne emphasizes that she and Larry culled their possessions so that they could enjoy collecting for their new home in a leisurely fashion- "the house and grounds are in their infancy- definitely not "done"! Even so, there are wonderful examples of fine antique furnishings mixed in with folk art, fine art and beautiful textiles. The house also features a generous selection of original art, with paintings by Jennifer Wynne and Pamela Nelson, among others. Be sure to see the beautiful silk Turkish prayer rug in the Master Bedroom.

On the riverside, comfortable porches overlook great landscaping with rock steps that lead down to the river. A large screened porch offers a secure play area for family and friends which can be enjoyed during all seasons of the year. The house was built for comfort and easy living and was designed with love.

Wheat Home

Jim and Cathy Wheat invite you to tour their home, modified from a design by Frank Lloyd Wright which was featured in Life Magazine as the 1997 House of the Year. They have a Hill Country look for the exterior, but a Santa Fe look for the interior. Upon entering the house, you will see a spirit ladder depicting all of the Texas Indian Chiefs. The family room and kitchen are surrounded with ledges that allow an interesting way to display their many Native American artifacts. You will see masks, kachina dolls, Native American paintings and bronzes by numerous well known artists. Throughout the house you will be awed by the Indian ceremonial head dress, the large ox bow from Mexico, the Edward Curtis prints, the Navajo rug, 1891 Ledger Books and many other unique and interesting items. Over the fireplace in the family room is a crucifix that is the same as the one mounted to Pope John Paul's staff.

In the master bedroom there is an unusual custom iron bed, and the master bath has mirrors that are made with an image painted on the back side of the glass. All interior doors are from Santa Fe. Jim's Christmas collections have a room designed for them and he can now display his villages, nutcrackers and numerous Santas all year. You will see a New England Village, Dickens Village, Little Town of Bethlehem, and many others. All are beautifully displayed and a wonder to see. There are so many interesting things in this house; you will feel you have been in a museum. Take time to enjoy it all.

Maverick Home

Two years ago, while in Peru, Joe and Connie Maverick drew up the plans for their lovely Spanish style home on a napkin in the lounge of the Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco. This hotel had an inner courtyard with colorful flowers and fountains surrounded by arched openings. Their house is designed around a similar courtyard with the guest room, study and master bedroom on one side and the living room, dining room and kitchen on the other. The arches to the courtyard are paned with clear glass so that this charming and restful view is available from all areas of the house.

The living room has a barrel ceiling modeled after the living room of the hotel in Cuzco. In this room you will see wood carved figures carved by monks in a monastery in Mexico, an antique Butler's desk, religious Staffordshire pieces, and a collection of toy soldiers. The ceiling in the study is stenciled with symbolic designs and features a rolling "M" for Maverick. The design on the sink cabinet in the guest bathroom represents a village in Tuscany. And in the guest bedroom you will see a mounted crazy quilt made by Connie's maternal great grandmother in 1886.

There are paintings by local artists, family heirlooms, collections begun in childhood, and furnishings bought on various travels that you will want to see. Upstairs are Connie's "getaway" room and Joe's 22' x 42' Lionel Toy Train empire which is under way. Notice the chuck wagon in the yard and look for "Fred", the cowhand. He may be in the guest bedroom, or you may find him with the chuck wagon, but he will be there to welcome you.

McDonald House

Vivian and Jim McDonald designed this exquisite home themselves, built it on their 65 acre property and called it Bella Vista. As you enter the property and drive to the house, you will notice the use of local rocks to line the drive. Be careful as you drive in as there are incredible views in all directions and you could easily be distracted. The front entrance and patio has a nice water feature and is beautifully landscaped.

As you enter the house, you will see the Great Room where massive beams frame a large, unique lighting fixture. A carved limestone fireplace and high windows finish the room. The powder room has a monkey motif, and in the dining room, monkeys are holding up the china part of the cabinets. A sense of humor is showing here. In the kitchen, arched windows allow a wonderful view of the valley. There is a large island for seating or visiting, and it is easy to understand why everyone loves to gather in this room. The master bedroom, office, guest rooms and media room have all been designed for elegant but comfortable living. The patio and pool area is entered through a loggia from the kitchen and Great Room. There are upper and lower patios with slate flooring and stone walls. There is an outdoor kitchen on the upper patio. On the lower patio there is a 20x40 foot rectangular pool with a spa and an unusually large stucco fireplace.

The rock work, both inside and outside the house is Sugar Loaf rock. The Guest House is cozy and inviting with wonderful views from both the upper and lower balconies. The shower was designed by the Stonemasons out of left over tile from the main house. The same tile was used throughout the main house and the Guest House. Different sizes and shapes of tile make unique designs which are a joy to see. This home is eloquent, but practical. The view seems to go on forever.

Tickets will be on sale before the event at the Visitors Center and Interior Elements and will be available at any of the homes on the days of the tour.

The Holiday Gift Shop

Visitors can take a break at any time during the tour and enjoy complimentary refreshments and holiday shopping. The Wimberley Civic Club makes a large variety of craft items and delicious goodies that will tickle your fancy, delight your wallet and simplify your holiday shopping!

The Holiday Gift Shop will be a the Winters-Wimberley House this year. On Friday the gift shop will be open until 7 PM.

» Click here to visit the Wimberley Community Civic Club


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