Venise Stuart is juggling presidential duties. While her heading up Les Femmes du Monde term runs from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, her presidency of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society is from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. Don’t even try to figure out where the overlapping takes place. But if anyone can handle double-dutying, it’s Venise.
In addition to arranging to have Dr. Sandi Chapman as Les Femmes’ 2018 Woman of the Year on Wednesday, October 24, at the Dallas Country Club, she’s already lined up plans for the PCHPS fundraising in April with longtime Highland Park resident Shelby Fuqua chairing the annual PCHPS luncheon on Wednesday, April 10, at Brook Hollow.
As for the Historic Home Tour, Highland Park graduate Suzie Curnes will chair the Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 13. This is the second year that Suzie has been involved with the tour. This past year she and fellow Scotty/husband Bunker Curnes had their home on the tour. It was a perfect fit for the PCHPS with its own historic roots that dated back to 1916and the Curnes meticulously updating it without losing its integrity.
After sitting empty for five years, Suzie and Bunker bought it in 2016. As Suzie described it, “A home with a history and a heart… An old home that needs a young family to bring it back to life. At a time and place where we are so quick to tear down and begin again, we have chosen to take the time, the effort and the love necessary to restore this old house.” But the restoration didn’t occur overnight. Numerous additions like cork tiles and tract lighting that had been added over the years had to be replaced. But there were also wonderful discoveries made. A pantry turned out to be a back staircase. Behind a built-in bookcase was a chimney that had fallen in. Carpeting was pulled back to reveal hardwood floors that had not lost their luster over the decades.
For the next 18 months, Suzie kept a blog chronicling the transformation of the home, where Salle and John Stemmons Jr. had lived for 35 years. Their efforts paid off with it being designated as a Park Cities Historic and Preservation Landmark.
But back to the April plans for PCHPS. The Annual Classic and Antique Car Show Founders Polly and Dan McKeithen will once again co-chair the event. Stay tuned for more deets about this one and other plans that Venise has up her presidential sleeves.
* Photo credit Rob Wythe/Gittings