NISKAYUNA — The Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga counties has wrapped up gifts for the Capital Region — traditional fun, artistic displays, history and seasonal color.
People can open them up in early December, as the league sponsors its 2019 Homes for the Holiday House Tour.
The adventure into architectural and decorative excellence will be held Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. both days.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
Homes on this year's tour include:
- 1198 Stratford Road, Schenectady: Specialty arrangements by Experience & Creative Design, LTD.
- 2336 Cayuga Road, Niskayuna: Specialty arrangements by Karen Splendido of Splendid Stems.
- 1039 Lamplighter Road, Niskayuna: A designer showcase by Denise Maurer.
- Mohawk Harbor, 221 Harborside Drive, Unit 516, Schenectady: Specialty arrangements by Felthousen’s Florist.
- Mill Lane Lofts above Frog Alley, 108 State St.
"We've been doing it since 1981," said Denise Murphy McGraw, the league's president, of the tour. "It's our opportunity to do a few things. One is to really showcase the programs and the work in the community of the league and our 200 members. It also raises vital funds for our programs — every dollar raised by the tour goes right back into our community programs."
Those programs include Operation Back to School, which furnishes high school students with school supplies.
"We also work on a program called Kids in the Kitchen, which addresses childhood obesity," McGraw added, "and finally we work on something called Discreet Dignity, which provides feminine hygiene products [to those] who otherwise wouldn't be able to purchase them."
McGraw said history fans may especially like the Cayuga Road house, which was designed by master builder Paul Schaefer, also well known as an Adirondack conservationist. Schaefer homes all had distinct characteristics that reflected his view of conservation — they were built with reclaimed materials such as wide plank floors and beams.
The Stratford Road residence, located in Schenectady's historic GE Plot, is a 4,008 square-foot house built in 1908 in the Queen Anne style.
On Lamplighter Road, people can tour a contemporary-style home in Edison Woods, a small upscale suburban development located near Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
The stop at Mohawk Harbor will let people explore the harborfront property, which also has townhouses, office and retail space, two hotels and the Rivers Casino & Resort.
"The future is represented by a special sneak preview of the beautiful Mill Lane Lofts located above Frog Alley at 108 State St.," McGraw said.
"They'll all be decorated in different styles, but all very much in the spirit of the holiday and that's really the idea of this," McGraw said, "for folks to see different styles of homes and also to get ideas for holiday decorating."
The tour, McGraw added, is also an event to bring people together.
"Folks have done this for years together, decades, groups of people love to do it and work in lunch as well," McGraw said. "It's really just got a very festive and very community oriented feeling to it."
Tickets may be purchased at the following locations in Schenectady County: Experience & Creative Design, Anthology Studio, Felthousen’s, and local branches of First National Bank of Scotia. For information regarding tickets sale locations, please call 518-852-8867, log onto www.jlschenectadysaratoga.org or purchase directly through Eventbrite.
The Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties is an educational and charitable organization founded in 1932.