Design New England

Junior League Show House returns


Collectively, the local design community recently got a long-awaited shot in the arm. After six barren years, the erstwhile annual Designers’ Show House sponsored by the Junior League of Boston — undisputed royalty in the show-and-tell house genre — is back in the game.

Details are still sketchy, but this much we know: Anita MacKinnon has once again been hired as on-site coordinator, a move that, thanks to her experience and talent, instantly guarantees a well-run, cohesive venture.

Difficulty in finding the right property with parking and public transport accessibility has been the league’s salient obstacle in recent years. At last, they seem to have struck gold in the Potter Estate (above), a grand, circa 1860s Second Empire/Victorian-style house on the grounds of the Jackson Walnut Park School in Newton, Massachusetts.

Historically and architecturally significant, the three-story house with wrap-around veranda and unusual, large multiwindowed bay, currently functioning as school administrative offices, is a prime makeover candidate. According to MacKinnon, once the designers are chosen, work will begin in July, and the house will be open to the public during the month of October.
For show house aficionados, that means their dance cards will be completely and consecutively booked this year, starting with a brand-new show house in Kennebunkport, Maine, sponsored by the Kennebunkport Historical Society, from June 23 through July 4, followed by the consistently interesting annual Museums of Old York, Maine, Show House, July 14 through August 11, then winding up the season with the exciting win-win return of the incomparable dowager of them all, which benefits the Junior League’s many charities.

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