Saturday’s open house at the Dr. Smith Residence attracted a long line of people curious to see the interior of the Victorian-era home after an extensive renovation and clean up.
Until renovation work began last year, the 1886 home had been a forgotten relic hidden by a jungle of overgrown plants and trees in the corner of a Rite-Aid parking lot at Avenue 63 and Garvanza Avenue. But on Saturday, visitors donned white booties (got to protect those newly refinished floors) and toured the interior, featuring original windows and frilly Victorian-era wood work. The renovation was the work of new owner Brad Chambers, who has restored several old homes in the area.
The home was built for Dr. John Lawrence Smith, a physician, horticulturist and one of the founders of the Garvanza Improvement Assn., which played a role in connecting the previous owners with Chambers to save and restore the home.
The main house underwent a second story addition in 1925 and a second two-story home was built in the 1910 on the large property, reports Charles Fisher, local historian.