Beginning July 11 the Geneva Historical Society will open Balmanno Cottage for the 2004 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 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. Like many properties on Geneva's elegant South Main Street, the grounds at Balmanno 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 located at 583 South Main Street.
The Historical Society requests a donation of $2 per adult to benefit the maintenance and preservation of the property. For further information, please call the Society at 789-5151. The Geneva Historical Society receives major funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Council for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Town and City of Geneva.