Plaza Midwood Home & Garden Tour 2023
Friday, May 5th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. & Saturday, May 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Click the GET TICKETS button to purchase tickets now or scroll down to check out the other options for purchasing tickets.
The 2023 Home & Garden Tour includes 10 tour locations (plus a bonus virtual stop!) that highlight the neighborhood's eclectic mix of homes - both old and new. We are celebrating 50 years of the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association, so you’ll see a focus on the neighborhood’s history with several homes built in the 1920s and 1930s. History lovers and Plaza Midwood fans alike will definitely want to check out a special tour location - the library’s Vintage Sign Exhibit where tour-goers can get a glimpse back in time and snap a selfie in front of the original Penguin sign. The neighborhood has grown A LOT over 50 years, so of course the tour also includes some amazing modern homes that do not disappoint!
Many of the tour locations will include a food or drink sample from our most loved local businesses. As usual, Charlotte Joy Rides will be lending out electric bicycles on a first-come basis from The Vine Church. Big thanks to our Title Sponsors, the Marrakech Connection and Jeff King of Savvy & Co for helping make this event possible. Don’t miss the Marrakech Connection pop-up shop which will be stocked with authentic Moroccan home decor and zellige tiles!
Note: Sponsors may not be at the home on both Friday and Saturday. As we finalize details, we will add more info on the sponsor schedule. Thanks!
Scroll down to see more info on each of the tour locations...
2023 Home & Garden Tour Map - Recommended Bike Route
A wonderful way to explore Plaza Midwood is by walking and biking. Taking this slower approach to touring allows guests to soak in all the unique architecture and lovely curb appeal throughout the neighborhood. Plus, it's better for the environment and it's just plain FUN! If you don't have your own bike, Joy Rides will be providing free electric bikes to ticket holders on a first-come basis from the ticket table at The Vine Church (2101 Belvedere Ave). Or take advantage of the "Park & Walk" lot at the Holy Trinity Church (1900 The Plaza) which is located near many of the tour locations.
Purchasing & Picking Up Your Tickets
Home Tour tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the days of the event. PMNA members get 10% off online during pre-sale period.
There are 3 ways to purchase your tickets:
(1) Online - Purchase in advance using the GET TICKETS button above. PMNA members can sign in to receive a 10% discount. Tickets purchased online can be picked up at the ticket table on the days of the event. Be sure to save your confirmation email just in case. Online sales will close at 10pm EST on Thursday night before the tour.
(2) In Person - Purchase in person starting in late April and through May 4th at Moxie Mercantile.
(3) Days Of Event - Purchase on the days of the event at the ticket table for $35.
The TICKET TABLE is located in front of The Vine Church at 2101 Belvedere Ave.
Tickets can be picked up or purchased here beginning at 5:30 pm on Friday or 10 am on Saturday.
Home Tour/Midwood Maynia 2023 T-Shirt Art
2023 Home & Garden Roster
1511 The Plaza ~ Home and Garden of Larry Nabatoff and Kelly Katterhagen
Sponsored by Cold Hearted Gelato
One of Plaza Midwood’s original houses turns 103 this year. Built in 1920 as the neighborhood began to grow, this stately home was right on the “new” streetcar line. Though many residents have come and gone, the Nabatoffs have lived there for twenty years, as stewards of this important piece of PM history. A few days after they moved in, a large old tree fell on the house, prompting the kind of repairs and renovations you can’t see but are needed to make things safe. Eight years ago, the Nabatoffs made some big changes—upgrading and enlarging the kitchen, adding an outdoor living area and a pool —blending the new with the old. The yard features many flowering plants and places for birds, squirrels and rabbits. Fun fact: This home was the first in the Plaza Midwood historic district to have solar panels installed on the roof.
1722 Chestnut Avenue ~ Home and Garden of Robbie Lowry
Sponsored by Miri Nadler Cake Design
Robbie purchased this 1930s cottage in 2020. After some significant renovations, the house still offers the charm of its original design while introducing some modern touches. Robbie worked with Habitude Interiors to transform the kitchen, bathrooms, hallway and primary bedroom. Throughout the house, you’ll see unique tile work, bold wallpaper and bright color. The kitchen was remodeled with a vivid green color palette that adds a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. The guest bathroom, dining room and hallway all boast new wallpaper that brings new life into each area. The additions were built with the same materials as the original to keep a consistent aesthetic from the outside. The project also added a covered patio. Fun fact: Robbie installed an electric charging station as part of the upgrades.
1901 The Plaza ~ Home and Garden of Laura and Evan Blum
Sponsored by The Culture Shop
The Blums fell in love with the charm of PM’s bungalows when they began their home search in 2020. After missing out on several homes, they knew they must act quickly, so they immediately made a bid after only a FaceTime walkthrough with their realtor. Initially planning to make a few renovations, after living there for the first year, they decided to expand the very ambitious project to include the kitchen, laundry, office, kids’ bath, and add a master bath and closet, as well as a hidden playroom and screened-in back porch. Whew! After moving out for eleven months, they returned to a functional space designed to mitigate the chaos that comes with living with three kids, a dog and four chickens, yet providing warmth and charm. Maintaining the original details was a must; they kept the telephone alcove in the downstairs hallway, oak and pine hardwoods and had the windows and shutters restored. They’ve crafted a personal touch in their home by filling it with family heirlooms and meaningful objects they’ve accumulated from people they’ve loved, places they’ve lived, and trips they’ve taken together.
1912 Ashland ~ Home of Steve Sano and Dean Padbury
Steve has called Plaza Midwood and this current location home since 1995. After much consideration, he and Dean decided to rebuild in the same spot in 2010, with a design that retains many of the features of the original bungalow. Finished in 2012, the custom-built home has a timeless arts and crafts style. Both the house and yard are reflective of Steve’s and Dean’s love of travel, gardening and art. The interior is styled with a mix of contemporary art and antiques, showcasing blown glass—a longstanding interest of Dean’s, as well as a collection of NC art and pieces collected from their travels. The front yard exhibits a clean, formal appearance, while the back feels like their private jungle oasis. Since childhood, Steve has had an affinity for palm trees and now indulges that passion with 20+ palms, along with banana trees, perennials and a cutting garden. After the past few years, their house and gardens provide refuge and a sense of grounding, peace and shared joy.
3115 Cramer Pond ~ Home and Garden of Andrea and Zach Wise
The Wise family has happily lived in Plaza Midwood since 2014, but during Covid, like so many others, they wanted more outside living space. They wanted to stay in the neighborhood and checked with their builder; luckily the same day, they walked into the house and fell in love. The new-made-tolook- old Georgian architecture and English-garden-inspired courtyard surrounded by lime-washed brick gave Andrea such Bridgerton vibes, she was sold on the spot. Buying while still under construction allowed the Wises to partner with Modern Cottage for the perfect personal touches they wanted in their dream home. Entering into the spacious foyer, look up—a black and white theme begins here with deconstructed Georgian wallpaper on the ceiling. Dark paneled walls and ceilings in the library provide a moody speakeasy vibe and sport one of the many equestrian themes in the home. Wallpaper is a design feature throughout. The outdoor living space and pool make for the illusion of remoteness in the middle of Charlotte.
2435 Mecklenburg Avenue ~ Home and Guest House of Linda and Hatcher Kincheloe
Sponsored by Chinoiserie Squirrel
Original owners Willis and Alice Henderson built this house in 1940 and lived there until 2004. The lot was much deeper and the Henderson’s deeded the back half to their son who built the home which now faces Country Club Lane in the cul de sac. The next owners renovated in 2005-06 when the garage was turned into the family room and a new garage was constructed with an apartment above. Then came the Kincheloes who purchased the house in 2007 and live there with Fred the dog and Charles Barkley the cat. Linda owns Chinoiserie Squirrel, a pop-up interiors market located off Central Avenue. Her motto “Always on the hunt” is reflected in the eclectic mix of antique, vintage, modern and one-of-a-kind objects found throughout their home. Open on the tour are the first floor, three porches and guest apartment. Fun fact: Chinoiserie Squirrel’s pop-up sale on May 4 – 6 coincides with the home tour.
1730 Thomas Avenue ~ Home and Garden of Christian Behrens and Christian Baker
Built in 1940, this former duplex has had many incarnations over the years. Luckily, it’s reached its highest use as home to Christian, Christian, their dog Django, and two cats—Frankie and Milo. The couple and their menagerie set their sights on moving into Plaza Midwood in 2022; everything fell right into place when they walked inside 1730 Thomas. The natural light, tall ceilings and “dueling” porches perfect for people watching were just right. Though they eventually plan for future renovations, they have put their delightfully quirky stamp on things in the meantime. Lovers of good lighting and crisp paint, they’ve added sconces throughout and painted the original cabinets. Next up was updating the plumbing fixtures and hardware, as well as adding new landscaping. They are excited to show off their new digs.
2719 Belvedere Avenue ~ Home and Garden of Steve and Mary Boehm
The home built by Dr. James Palmer in 1933 on lots 1, 2 and 3 of the original Midwood community had unfortunately deteriorated to the point that it was unsalvageable. Enter Steven and Mary who built a Nantucket-style craftsman revival in its place. Completed in March 2020, the home features an open, modern floorplan throughout with hardwoods, two fireplaces, wine room and a large covered terrace which overlooks the pool and spa in the back. Keeping the Plaza Midwood “repurpose and rescue” mantra alive was important even though the original house couldn’t be saved. As homage to Dr. Palmer, the Boehms incorporated three elements from the old house. Be sure to look for the 90-year-old paneled door that’s the entrance to the wine room, the 82-year-old cast iron drain sink in the garage and the wood and metal trunk that now holds firewood on the terrace. The Boehms think Dr. Palmer would approve.
2022 Chambwood Drive ~ Home and Garden of Patrick and Meghan Bowden
Patrick and Meghan moved from Denver to Charlotte in the fall of 2012. Knowing they wanted to be in Plaza Midwood, they purchased their house on Chambwood Drive sight unseen. The following year, they renovated the kitchen, opening walls to create a more fluid and inviting space. Having grown quite attached to their home and neighbors, they made the decision to add on in the spring of 2020, right as the pandemic began. The addition created 1,100 more square feet, including adding two bonus rooms that can double as bedrooms, a Jack-and-Jill bath for their girls and a laundry room; renovations also relocated the master suite to the first floor. Now, after adding a pool and hardscaping in the back, they are ready to enjoy all their finished spaces for years to come.
1600 The Plaza ~ Home of Bill & Fran Gay (VIRTUAL TOUR*)
*Ticket holders should go to the home during the event to view virtual / video tour.
Sponsored by Jeff King & Savvy Co.
In loving memory of Fran Gay ~ 1937 to 2021
Plaza Midwood’s well-known and well-loved 1600 The Plaza is a quintessential example of a Queen Anne house, popular in the Victorian era. It was originally built in 1891 and located on the corner of Tryon and Seventh Streets where it sat next to several other Victorian homes. In 1915, the home was moved by mules to its current location on The Plaza. Now, appropriately nicknamed “Victoria” it stands as a sentinel on PM’s main street.
Luckily, the home’s distinctive architectural features were maintained during the move – including the complex slate roof with vertical proportions, round turret with curved windows, tall ornamental chimneys, decorative sawn millwork used for the brackets, balusters, and other trim work, and the highly-decorated entrance under the full-width porch.
Amazingly, the five fireplaces with original decorative tiles also held intact along with three original Victorian over-mantles still in place. The unique art tiles were made by the American Encaustic Tiling Company founded in New York in 1875; their tiles were intended to compete with the English tiles selling in the States at the time. Each fireplace in the home displays tiles of different theme and color with a raised, embossed glazed design that appears almost three-dimensional. They are especially valuable and prized.
Despite concerns from Fran’s parents who lived in the Elizabeth neighborhood, Bill and Fran Gay moved into this home 53 years ago. At the time, it was a total fixer-upper in a rough neighborhood. But after a long search for a Victorian home, Bill and Fran fell in love with its original architectural details, knowing they could bring it back to its former beauty. And they did just that, spending years meticulously restoring this Plaza Midwood treasure.
The exterior was painted all white when they moved in. This was popular at the time, but Fran and Bill knew that a true Victorian would never be all white. After some investigating, they were able to find out the original bold colors that you see today. Bill painted the main yellow color himself and got some help with all the detailed trim work.
On the interior, Bill painstakingly scraped layers of paint away -- on the paneling, trim, and doors revealing the beautiful wood underneath – including the paneled portico walls and ceiling, the intricate grand staircase, door trim and ceiling moldings, and the two sets of large pocket doors that separate the parlor and library. Woods used in the home include Walnut, Golden Oak and both Outer Light and Heart Dark Cherry.
Since the home had been used as a boarding house for many years with almost every room converted to a bedroom, the pocket doors had actually been nailed shut. Bill also refurbished the original hardware – silver plated in the formal areas and decorative brass in the back of the house -- on all of the doors… and still to this day keeps them polished to perfection.
Fran put her creative talents to work with a focus on the interior design and decor. She hand-painted the ceilings and trim in the parlor, library, and dining room with intricate floral motifs appropriate for Victorian-era design. In the entry way and on the second-floor landing, she hand-cut and installed pieces of wallpaper on the ceiling to add even more artistic flair and emphasize the high ceilings.
The couple decorated the home in a maximalist style with antique Victorian furniture, luxurious velvet draperies (many of which Fran sewed herself), beautiful historic wallpaper, and eclectic artwork. The original light fixtures had all been removed from the house, so Bill and Fran scoured antique stores to find period-appropriate gas fixtures for each room and had them re-wired for modern electricity.
Fran’s love of animals comes through in much of the artwork and décor. And Bill’s love of music is showcased throughout the home through his vintage Weber player piano over a hundred years old, an Allen theatre organ, and an antique pump organ from the 1890s. Bill has a collection of hundreds of paper reels for his player piano.
In 1973, the couple had the home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They have also been featured in a TV series called “Restore America” - plus more than a few magazines and books about historic homes, many of which are displayed throughout the home.
Fran was one of PM’s pioneer neighborhood leaders, helping form the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association and serving as the second president on the board. She advocated for the street to be changed from multi-family to single-family zoning, ultimately saving all the historic homes and preventing The Plaza from becoming a commercial strip with fast-food restaurants. Fran’s passion for historic homes and community truly helped shape this neighborhood, and Bill is certain that she would have been honored to share their home on the tour. Plaza Midwood would not be the same without Fran & Bill.
1623 Central Avenue ~ Signs & Times Exhibit at the Plaza Midwood Library
*** Only Open on Saturday ***
Sponsored by Soul Gastrolounge Food Truck
In 2022, the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association was thrilled to be gifted the old Penguin sign, but wondered how they could best display it. Together with the Plaza Midwood Merchants Association and Murray Chapple of WhirlyPig Design, they found the perfect solution at the neighborhood branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Just in time for the PMNA’s 50th anniversary in 2023, this permanent exhibition featuring The Penguin and other iconic signs and historical neighborhood memorabilia came to fruition. “As a community hub, our goal is to create a welcoming space that reflects the diversity and unique character of the neighborhood. The Library is proud to preserve the rich history of Plaza Midwood through this new exhibit,” said Catherine Haydon, Plaza Midwood Library manager. The library has been an integral member of the community for many years. The current Plaza Midwood Library opened in 1995, replacing the East Branch Library that operated from 1956 to 1995 at 2001 Commonwealth Avenue, currently the location of Cilantro Noodle.
Thank you to our Gold, Silver, and Bronze Tour Sponsors!
GOLD Sponsors will be at the homes during the tour:
The Bohemian Wine Bar - Chinoiserie Squirrel - Cold Hearted Gelato - The Culture Shop - Ken Riel, Realtor of Compass - milkbread - Midwood Coffee Roasters - Miri Nadler Cake Design - Moxie Mercantile - Modern Cottage Interior Design - Noda Brewing Company - Southern Strain Brewing - Soul Gastrolounge Food Truck - Table and Twine
BRONZE Sponsors provided donations towards homeowner gift baskets and/or discounts for ticket holders:
AA Studio - The Cactus Club - Charlotte Joy Rides, Gussy - Moost - Smooth Monkey - Summit Coffee - The Underground Truffle