MECHANICSBURG >> If you're in the mood to do something a little different while supporting a good cause, you have until June 14 to tour Lindenwood, an historic country estate located at 210 East Lisburn Road in Mechanicsburg.
Every three years, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra offers area landscapers and interior designers the opportunity to share their talents and support the organization through the "showhouse" project.
This year's showhouse project features Lindenwood, a 5,600 square foot, three-story Limestone house dating back to the 1860s. The house was once rented to Dr. Clyde King, Secretary of the Commonwealth and owned by Hershey Creamery President George A.B. Holder. Governor Gifford Pinchot was known to use the property during the hunting season.
The estate changed ownership several times throughout the years and was even abandoned for a time due to the stock market crash.
Newlyweds Jerry and Hilary Simpson fell in love with the property and purchased the estate in 1962 naming it Lindenwood for the Linden trees that line the picturesque drive leading up to the family home. It remains in the Simpson family to this day.
Witness the Works of More than 30 Designers and Landscapers
Visitors will be given a booklet detailing the history of the property and the designers' visions for each room, starting with the foyer, decorated by Cordier Auctions and featuring a tall case clock made in the county seat of Carlisle.
Guests will stroll through each unique room and if a particular item catches their fancy, they will be permitted to purchase the room accessories from the individual designers, with 20 percent of the monies going towards the symphony.
Most visitors discover at least one room they can call their favorite. Mine, oddly enough, is the "Masculine Retreat," decorated in shades of gray and polished nickel. The look, created by Boiling Springs decorate Margie Stapf, appeals to those who taste trends towards a sleek, contemporary feel.
While touring, it's easy to imagine yourself kicking back at Lindenwood at the culmination of a busy day. Guests who enter the sun room deemed, "Nature's Sanctuary" can easily envision themselves relaxing on a comfy couch and being warmed by the sun that shines through the spacious windows which overlook the serene countryside. Barbara Tabak of Decorating Den Interiors said she designed the room to blend with the idyllic scenery and create a sense of calm and relaxation for the homeowners at the end of the day.
Climbing the stairs to the third floor takes visitors to the attic, now named "The Artist's Studio," where Lindenwood's resident artist Julie Riker has set up a temporary studio and where guests may get a glimpse of her painting one of her pastoral scenes.
Those who are feeling a bit peckish can visit the "Bistro in the Barn" afterwards, where breakfast muffins, cookies, sandwiches and salads, are available for purchase. Guests can choose to dine in the barn, or al fresco at tables set up outside. Also located in the barn is Lady Thornton's Luxury Emporium, where guests can browse or buy artisan treasures like jewelry, music-themed items, hand-painted furniture and glassware. Alison Coppock, co-chair of the emporium said, "We are offering many one-of-a-kind, handmade items for purchase here at the boutique."
No one is rushed during the tour and guests can choose to spend as much time as they like at the property. Those taking an outside stroll will discover that the grounds have been as carefully considered as the interior of the house. Master gardeners, landscapers and garden designers all lent their special touches to enhance the relaxing and bucolic atmosphere.
Co-chair Deb Yates said the showhouse project plays an important part in sustaining the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. "We're the only professional, world-class symphony in the area and it takes money to maintain. We're very grateful to the Simpson family for allowing us to use their home for this fundraiser, which is an important part of our efforts to keep the music playing," she said.
IF YOU GO
Lindenwood is at 210 E. Lisburn Rd., Mechanicsburg
OPEN: Daily through June 14
HOURS: Sunday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m.)