BSO Finally Finds a Decorators’ Show House, Opens June 5 – 26

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'Oakhurst,' the 2015 BSO Decorator's Show House.
‘Oak Acre,’ the 2015 BSO Decorators’ Show House.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Decorators’ Show House has become one of the traditional signs of spring in central Maryland, along with Opening Day at Oriole Park, and the Flower Mart.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Decorators’ Show House has become one of the traditional signs of spring in central Maryland, along with Opening Day at Oriole Park, and the Flower Mart.

But on the 100th anniversary of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, it looked for a while as if there might not be a show house this spring. It would have been the first time since the annual event started 40 years ago.

“Unfortunately, to date, we have not found a property that meets our guidelines and standards and is available,” said Baltimore Symphony Associates President Sandy Feldman, in a March 17 message on Facebook.

“The search committee is still active and continues to follow every lead. Therefore, we will not have a SDSH that opens in late April and goes until mid-May as has been the tradition. If we do find the right property, we will try to make it happen this year in a different time frame.”

At the last minute, it finally happened.

According to Greg Harris, a spokesman for the Baltimore Symphony Associates, the search committee found a property to use this year shortly after the March 17 message was posted and is working out the contractual details with the owner.

The target dates for this year’s event are June 5 to 26.

The organizers typically don’t disclose the exact location until closer to the event, in order to protect the owners’ privacy.

Harris explained that the event is off schedule this year because the search committee had difficulty finding an appropriate property.

“It has to be just the right house,” he said. “It has to have the right flow. There has to be an area for a café. They have to be able to have access in and out, and rooms for 10 to 15 designers. All of that makes it difficult to find a house.”

The Decorators’ Show House is the largest annual fundraising event sponsored by the Baltimore Symphony Associates, a volunteer organization that started in 1942 as the “Women’s Committee” of the symphony and raises funds to benefit its educational programs.

Each spring, according to the BSO website, “a suitable property is decorated by a select group of interior and exterior designers. The house is open to the public for three weeks. The Show House includes an on-site boutique, café, and other special attractions. A large and dedicated group of men and women is needed to create this event.”

The three-week event draws upward of 10,000 people a year and raises more than $100,000 for the Baltimore Symphony Associates, Harris said.

Over 39 years, the Show House program has featured everything from a farmhouse to a waterfront condominium to the former home of Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas. It has also become a way to highlight talented designers. Last year it was held at Oak Acre, a house on North Charles Street in Guilford.

The planners considered moving this year’s event to the fall, but they wanted to keep it in the spring if at all possible, Harris said.

“School is still in session” and most people haven’t left town for vacation in June, he said. Plus, “people look for it at the same time every year.”

 

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts


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