Century House and Garden Tour

Preview Program on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

12:15 p.m. at Smith Wilkes Hall


The Bird, Tree and Garden Club will host an introduction to the Century House and Garden Tour to be held Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The preview of this popular self-guided walking tour will begin at 12:15 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall.


Chautauqua homeowner Bob Jeffrey will introduce the audience to the 12 homes featured on next week’s Century House and Garden Tour, discussing how each of them, all over 100 years old, has contributed to and maintained the fabric of Chautauqua. His slide show will illustrate Chautauqua’s unique architectural legacy and what sets it apart from other late 19th century communities. He will emphasize the key attributes that the community should embrace so that Chautauqua maintains its special charm and ambiance for generations to come.


While Chautauqua is often described as a Victorian village, its significant architectural legacy dates from a pre-Victorian era. You will see vernacular versions of small Carpenter Gothic, Federal, and French Second Empire styles. As Chautauqua grew in popularity and the new century approached, the Institution’s homes began to reflect the American Foursquare and other architectural influences and technologies promoted during world fairs.  The homes reflect the craftsmanship of the area’s skilled carpenters and furniture makers.


Bob Jeffrey holds a Masters of Architecture degree, specializing in Historic Preservation, from Kent State University. He earned a Bachelor’s of Environmental Design, Architecture, from Miami University of Ohio. Bob has done graduate work in Urban Design at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri and obtained a Basic and Advanced CPTED (Crime Prevention thru Environmental Design) credential through the Florida Department of Justice.


Bob specializes in restoring old commercial and residential apartment buildings located in National Main Street, Local and National Historic Districts. He has restored over 30 buildings, many of which were slated for the wrecking ball.  The majority of this work has been done in St. Petersburg Florida where Bob has been dubbed the “serial restorer” by the city’s mayor. Bob has twice been named “Preservationist of the Year” in St. Petersburg, Florida and has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects for his community involvement. 


Bob also specializes in writing land development regulations and design guidelines that assist communities in protecting and enhancing their unique context.  Bob has led the charge of rewriting the land development codes for both communities he lives in: St. Petersburg and Chautauqua.  


Bob recently completed his second term on the Community Preservation Board of St. Petersburg and currently chairs the Architectural Review Board for Chautauqua Institution.  He serves on the Board of Trustees for Chautauqua Institution, and he is a member of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association.  Bob is a past vice president of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and past president of the Central Florida Preservation Board.


A limited number of tickets for the house tour will be on sale for $30 each at the Smith Wilkes program today. No tickets will be available on the day of the house tour.