Beginning July 6 the Geneva Historical Society will open Balmanno Cottage for the 2003 summer season. The house will be open to the public from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays during July and August. Balmanno Cottage is located at 583 South Main St. A donation of $2 is requested to benefit the maintenance and preservation of the property.
Robert Balmanno, a literary editor and antiquarian from Brooklyn, built Balmanno cottage in the 1830s as a summer residence. One of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture in Geneva, the house has the ornamental verge boards, arched windows and vertical elements that are typical of the Gothic style. Balmanno sold the house in 1851 and it passed through the hands of several families between 1851 and 1957. In that year, William and Blanchard Bartlett Walker purchased the house and furnished it with Dr. Walker's collection of antiques. The collection includes pieces 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.