Friday, March 25, 2005
Selectmen OK This Old House tour details
Do not put away that Easter bonnet after Sunday's observances, because Carlisle is due for another social extravaganza in the form of the "This Old House Designer Open House." It is payback time for Carlisle residents who have suffered through months of traffic congestion and construction noise from the renovation of This Old House (TOH) at 730 Concord Street. Townspeople will be allowed to tour the house free of charge on Monday April 11 and Thursday April 14 prior to the formal show house opening.
TOH representative Scott McMillan attended the March 22 Board of Selectmen's meeting to explain the details. There will be a guided tour of 15 guests every 15 minutes and each tour will last one hour. The tour hours for the two Carlisle days will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then a late shift of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate working residents.
You must have a ticket to attend, and each ticket will specify a time slot.
With such a large number of visitors, do not even think of driving over to the house and parking on the front lawn. McMillan arrived at the meeting with a full-sized free-standing "No Parking" sign containing a giant P with a red line through it to emphasize the point. TOH organizers have worked with the Carlisle Police Department to come up with the following rules.
Strict parking rules
Complimentary parking will be available at the Carlisle Congregational Church at 147 School Street. A shuttle service will make round trips approximately every 15 minutes to the show house. There is no parking at the house or in the neighborhood — you must use the shuttle. There will be "No Parking" signs such as McMillan displayed all over the area and Carlisle Police will enforce the parking ban.
Tickets available April 1
Larry Bearfield of Ferns Country Store has graciously offered to distribute the tickets. He is doing this gratis as a service to the town and will follow the guidelines established by the Selectmen. Tickets will be available beginning on Friday, April 1 — none before. To obtain tickets, you must appear in person at the store — they will not reserve tickets over the phone. There is a limit of four tickets per family — no exceptions. It will be first come, first served, and when the 1,000 tickets are gone, they are gone, and Bearfield can go back to selling gourmet food.
If you miss out, there is an alternative. Tickets will be available for the formal show house, which lasts from April 15 to May 29, through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 1-617-239-2787.
Ticket envelopes will include inserts that give directions, parking instructions, and "Dos" and "Don'ts." McMillan suggests that you plan to arrive at the designated parking lot (Congregational Church on weekdays, Carlisle School on weekends) at least one hour prior to your scheduled timeslot to allow time to get to the site. Late arrivals will tour at the first available opening.
For both the Carlisle days and the formal show house, there are some reasonable rules. No strollers, carriages or backpacks. No food or drink or picnicking on the property. Of course no smoking and leave those sharp heels at home or Norm Abram will make you install a new floor. There will be Port-a-john restrooms only and children under 12 must be under parental supervision at all times. This is New England, so be prepared for all weather conditions, rain, snow or shine.
The Easter Bunny may have returned to his hutch, but Carlisle residents are more than ready to emerge from theirs after a long winter, so join your friends and neighbors and get a rare close-up look at the craftsmanship of the entire This Old House team as you tour the completely renovated 1849 Greek Revival farmstead.
© 2005 The