Beginning July 2 the Geneva Historical Society will open Balmanno Cottage, the former home of Blanchard Bartlett Walker, for the 2006 summer season. The house will be open to the public on Sundays, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. during July and August.
Robert Balmanno, a literary editor and antiquarian from Brooklyn, built Balmanno cottage — one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture in the city — in the 1830s as a summer residence. Balmanno sold the house in 1851 and it passed through the hands of several families between 1851 and 1957, when it was bought by Dr. William Walker and his wife, the former Blanchard Bartlett, daughter of the Rev. Murray Bartlett, HWS president from 1919 to 1936.
The Walkers furnished the home with pieces from Walker’s collection of antiques, including original examples in the Chippendale, William and Mary, Sheraton, and Hepplewhite styles. Upon her death in 1997, Mrs. Walker bequeathed the house and its contents to the Geneva Historical Society.
The grounds feature a terraced garden with a spectacular view of Seneca Lake. The house itself remains much as it was upon Mrs. Walker’s death.
Balmanno Cottage is at 583 S. Main St.; a donation of $2 is requested to benefit the maintenance and preservation of the property.
For details, call the Society at (315) 789-5151 or visit http://www.genevahistoricalsociety.com/Balmanno.htm.