Tour to showcase Island homes

 “A New Phoenix

“A New Phoenix” is the dramatic reconstruction of a home damaged by hurricanes years ago.

SUE BULL | Special to the Times
Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 04:51 PM.

The third annual St. George Island Tour of Homes will be held Saturday, Feb. 8 and will once again offer visitors a view of island lifestyles by opening seven unique island residences to the public.

Hours of the tour are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the Lighthouse Gift Shop at the center of St. George Island to purchase tickets, or call 927-7745 to order tickets. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the Tour.

The Tour homes provide a dynamic representation of the architecture, décor, landscape, and vistas on the island, from the gated St. George Plantation community on the West, to the sandy expanses of the East End.

The first of three Plantation homes is “Atlas Shrugged,” a gulf front home designed by architect L. Ben Dooley and built by William Solburg. The home’s Spanish style includes a red-tiled roof, tabby exterior, massive mahogany doors, and travertine stairs.

Situated beside reedy canals, the second Plantation home, “Pelican Point,” offers spectacular views of the bay and bridge from its wraparound screened porch. The third home, which sits across from the Plantation Clubhouse, is the recently completed Meagh-Jones House with environmentally conscious rebar-reinforced insulated concrete form walls, and living and sleeping wings connected by two breezeways. The Plantation Clubhouse is also on the Tour, and will be showcasing the paintings of Apalachicola artist Susan Richardson in an exhibit opening on Tour weekend.

In Gulf Beaches, the first-platted area of the island, “Beach Baby and Grand Baby” is a concrete home built in 1956 and expanded and updated with stained glass, antiques, and vibrant regional art. The hidden backyard is a creative delight of topiary, roses, and herbs. “Grand Baby” is a former garage converted into a charming apartment.

Two waterfront homes in Gulf Beaches are imaginative and transformative renovations of traditional St. George beach houses. “A New Phoenix” at one time suffered extensive hurricane damage and has been resurrected as a colorful family gathering place. It is recognizable by the distinctive semicircular glass entrance intercut with square window sashes.

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