The Fort Myers Beach Woman's Club annual Home Tour will be held Sunday, Feb. 19. The tour is a self-directed tour from 1 to 4 p.m. Most people will drive their cars between the homes, but you may be able to avoid the traffic. Those who can walk approximately 2 1/2 miles might consider walking the tour this year as that is the total distance between the homes.
This year, there are four distinctly different types of homes on the beach:
1) 297 Albatross St. is a unique historic home that was built of coral rock in the 1950s. It may be the only coral rock home on Fort Myers Beach. The famous sculptor, Tomas Penning, built it. Penning's sculptures include "Our Lady of the Hudson" in Esopus, NY and "St Mary of the Snow" in Saugerties, NY. He was also commissioned to do the "Tomas and Mina Edison Memorial" in Chatauqua, NY.
The home at 297 Albatross St. was built of coral rock in the 1950s.
This was Penning's winter home. It is located at the intersection of Albatross Street and Bayview Boulevard in Fairview Isles. It has a panoramic view of Estero Bay. The long-time owner, Julie Tucker, recently added a sunroom, which is the entire length of the home and allows a complete view of the bay. The cypress wood interior of the home is built in the shape of a 1940's yacht.
Four or more Christmas trees are the norm for this owner who loves Christmas. Note the Christmas decorations on the ceiling of the sunroom. As you will see, Christmas is a year-round event for this owner.
Don't miss this historic home. The large banyan tree, native palms and sea grape provide privacy from the street.
2) 201 Egret St. is an open floor plan home located on a canal. The home includes all custom-made furniture. The furniture and kitchen cabinets were designed and built in Canada and brought to Fort Myers Beach for this canal-front home. The owner, Italo Bertoni, built swimming pools in Canada for 40 years and, when it came to their Florida getaway, concrete was a must. The entire home is built of concrete. There is even a concrete deck on the roof. However, a small spiral staircase provides the only access to this deck; for safety reasons, the deck will not be part of the tour. The deck can be seen from the back yard. The decorative columns in the entry are solid concrete too.
This home includes a sun pipe. See what a difference it makes if you are not familiar with sun pipes. The lower level of the home is a six-car garage, and the floor is finished with Italian tile. An elevator is available for our handicapped guests only. The Bertonis and their Egret Street neighbors consider that they have a beautiful hurricane shelter.
3) 7871 Buccaneer Dr. is a typical island ranch-style home that was built in 1975. The Chrisiens purchased the Laguna Shores house in 2007. Since that time, it has become one big "do-it-yourself" project. Dale has built an all-new kitchen. It includes cherry cabinets, granite countertop and all new appliances. Outdoors, they built a second two-car garage and added attractive pavers and additional landscaping. The pool and large deck are great for entertaining.
The red and black dcor reflects the fun-loving personalities of the owners. Dale calls it "Bohemian Chic" and Kelly calls it "very contemporary." You choose. Kelly is a full-time pastry chef, but she has put her designer skills to work on the home, room by room.
This home shows you what talented "do-it-yourselfers" can do with an older beach home.
4) 22 Sunview Blvd. is located at intersecting canals in Fairview Isles. This 4500-square-foot home is a new, spectacular home on the tour. Enjoy the panoramic view of the 200-foot waterfront complete with pool, waterfalls and dolphin fountains. This house certainly has a "Wow" factor. It was built with fun lifestyles in mind. Take your time; you won't want to miss any of the amenities. The home is professionally decorated so the finishing touches are perfect. Twelve-foot ceilings throughout are lined with crown molding. You'll see the state of the art kitchen, spectacular baths, game room, bar and more. The home even includes onsite living quarters for a property manager. Nothing was forgotten; the property is lined with a perimeter citronella mister to eliminate mosquitoes. Your guests won't believe it. Add a five-car garage with a showroom floor as the final finishing touch. This showplace may be the most spectacular home on Fort Myers Beach.
The 22 Sunview Blvd. house is the only home on the tour that is available for sale. Owner, Michael Thornton, listed it with Joe Orlandini of Sandcastle Realty.
All other homes on the tour are offered for the Woman's Club Tour by gracious homeowners.
Tickets for this year's home tour are available for a $20 donation in advance of the tour. You may secure tickets daily at either Tri Power Realty Office locations: 2001 Estero Blvd. or 5689 Estero Blvd. On Tuesday and Friday, tickets will be available at the Woman's Club at 175 Sterling St from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available for a $22 donation at the door of any home on the tour.
The Fort Myers Beach Woman's Club is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from the tour are contributed to local charities.