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College Neighborhood Association tour includes Servel House

Posted June 9, 2009

A tour of nine gardens and kitchens, including the home of the president of Idaho State University, in Pocatello’s historic College Neighborhood will be held on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit the Pocatello Free Clinic.

Live music and light refreshments will be featured at various tour locations. Event sponsors include Fred Meyer, Costco, and Jones Sew & Vac.

“This event is a great opportunity to peek behind the curtains and fences of many historic homes in the College Neighborhood. Tourists should come away with inspiration and ideas for their own restoration and gardening projects,” explains tour committee chairwoman, Shannon Ansley.

A variety of garden styles will be featured on the tour including a permaculture landscape that utilizes eco-appropriate native plantings and sustainable gardening techniques; a garden inspired by the designs and plant choices of British gardener, Gertrude Jekyll; a small garden that combines play space for both children and adults with elements of Japanese-style gardening; and much more.

Master gardeners will be on hand at various homes on the tour to answer plant identification and gardening technique questions.

The tour will also showcase the College Neighborhood’s historic and diverse architecture.

The Servel House, 341 S. Seventh Ave., is a Federal Revival-style home built in 1917 by wealthy sheepman Xavier Servel. The glazed white bricks on the house exterior were shipped from France, individually wrapped. In 1951, the mansion was purchased by the Idaho State Board of Education to serve as the ISU president’s official residence.

The Bean House, 424 S. Seventh Ave., is a classic Four Square with Colonial Revival decorative elements. Built circa 1912-1914 by Arthur Ben Bean, a founder of Vogt’s Plumbing, vice-president of Citizens Bank & Trust, and one of Pocatello’s first mayors, the house has a full front porch, original leaded glass windows, and a kitchen remodeled to match original cabinetry and period materials.

Other tour kitchens include Colonial Revival, Prairie Style, and Arts and Crafts architectural examples. Many of the kitchens featured on the tour are excellent examples of period-sensitive and economical renovations that maintained original cabinetry, used period materials and fixtures, yet created a modern and energy efficient kitchen.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 2-12, and babes in backpacks free. Ticket outlets include Pinehurst Floral & Greenhouse, Pocatello Co-Op, Gate City Real Estate, Pocatello Chamber of Commerce, Pocatello Historic Preservation Commission at City Hall, and at the June 13 Southeast Idaho Farmers’ Market. All ticket purchases are tax deductible.

“If you have a love of gardening and old homes, the CNA tour will give you new landscaping and renovation ideas and provide additional insights into local architectural history.

Come satisfy your curiosity at this festive yet relaxing event.” said Ansley.