Mike McAuliffe’s co-chairmanship of the Symphony Designers Show House — he’s the first man to hold the post in the 37-year history of the fundraiser — is, perhaps, most benign of the historic firsts associated with the grand old home in Heritage Hills. It all goes downhill from there, historically speaking. First burned American flag ever on display in a Designers Show House? Check. First prominent mention of the Ku Klux Klan in a Designers Show House? Check. First Oklahoma governor to be impeached? Check. John "Jack” Walton’s supporters — including the KKK — bought the house for him in 1922, before the state had an official Governor’s Mansion.
Turbulent timesThe corrupt and inept governor went downhill fast, declaring martial law, censoring newspapers, and turning against the Klan, which burned a cross in the yard. Which scorched the flag. Which is in a frame on a wall in the Symphony Designers Show House. Which opens for tours Sunday. "Downhill,” when it comes to history’s mysteries and intrigues, is in the eye of the beholder. Organizers of this year’s Symphony Designers Show House are betting that heavy doses of early-Sooner State plots, schemes and shenanigans, and later colorful but less turbulent times will help draw people to the 4,700-square-foot, 17-room Italianate estate at 431 NW 17. This year’s theme is "Opening the Doors to History.”
‘Caldwell house deal’Oil man and banker Walter D. Caldwell built the home in 1918 and sold it to fellow oil man E.W. Marland, a future Oklahoma governor, but Marland never lived in it. Marland sold it to some of Walton’s supporters in what, at Walton’s impeachment, was known as the "Caldwell house deal.” John and Denise Bode own the home, which is listed for sale with George Massey of RE/MAX First Real Estate for $885,000. McAuliffe said he had no idea how much work, almost year-round, goes into the Symphony Designers Show House. About 200 volunteers make it happen, he said, comparing the organization to the Arts Festival. The event, organized by the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, raises money for music education and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Co-chairman Glenna Tanenbaum said she loves the orchestra and is proud to contribute to music education through her involvement with the show house.
Designer detailsAlmost 60 designers are showcasing their talents in 24 interior spaces and 13 exterior spaces. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through May 17. Tickets are $15 at the door or $10 for groups for 10 or more. No children younger than 8 years old will be admitted. A Good Egg Catering Group will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday for $12. Sunday Champagne brunch is $15. The cafe offers a lunch and tour package for $25. Lunch includes an entree, dessert and beverage. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more and can be made by calling 848-6787. The Belle Starr Boutique, open during tour hours, will feature three dozen vendors selling jewelry, purses, artwork, ironworks and unusual gift items.
AT A GLANCETickets
• Individual at the door…$15.
• Individual online at www.Symphony ShowHouse.com…$16.50.
• No children younger than 8 years old.
• No cameras.
• Note: The Symphony Designers Show House is a private residence and is not handicapped accessible.
DESIGNERSInterior designers participating in the Symphony Designers Show House:
• Antique Gardens Ltd.
• Bob Mills Furniture.
• California Closets.
• Caroline Romano Designs.
• Designer Hardware by Faye.
• Heenan’s Home Furnishings.
• Jerilyn Linsenmeyer — Palmer Interior Design.
• Karl Bertoch Interiors.
• Kern’s Antiques & Interiors.
• Keven Carl.
• Mathis Brothers Furniture.
• Miranda Nance Designs.
• Mister Robert.
• Norwalk Furniture.
• Room to Dream.
• S.C. Designs.
• Spark Designs.
• Steven Giles.
• The Enchanted Cottage.
• University of Central Oklahoma Interior Design.
• Urban Kitchens (formerly Vintage Kitchens).
• W. Home Designs.
• Landscape/ Exterior Designers.
• Akin’s Plant Services.
• Amini’s Galleria.
• Calvert’s Plant Interiors Inc.
• Everything Barbecue.
• Marcum’s Nursery.
• Outback Lawn Care.
• Seasonal Living at Flower City.
• Summit Landscaping.
• Turfteam Outdoor Scapes & Management.
• Wilshire Garden Market.
• Wilson’s Landscaping.
MORE INFORMATION→Where? 431 NW 17 (at Walker Avenue). →When? Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m., through May 17 (last tour 30 minutes before closing). Complementary valet parking. →What to eat? Show House Cafe lunch daily 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $12 including drink. "Lunch & Tour Special” for 10 or more, $25, by reservation. Sunday Champagne Brunch noon to 2 p.m., $15. Reservations suggested for 10 or more. →Who to contact? Show house phone is 842-7282. www.SymphonyShow House.com, or call Oklahoma City Orchestra League office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 848-6787.
• Ballenger’s Furniture, 1389 E 15th St.
• Done by Design, 14901 Metro Plaza Blvd.
• Gourmet Gallery, 1532 S Boulevard.
• Paper Lion, 3218 S Boulevard. Newcastle
• The Enchanted Cottage 745 NW 32nd Place. Norman
• Antique Gardens Ltd., 323 West Body.
• Kern’s Antiques & Interiors, 2001 W Main, Suite 123.
• Mister Robert, 109 E Main St. Oklahoma City
• Oklahoma City Philharmonic McAlpine Center, 428 W California.
• Bebe’s, 6480 Avondale Drive.
• Bob Mills Furniture, 3600 W Reno.
• Casey’s, 9305 N Pennsylvania.
• Heenan’s, 3841 NW 63.
• Java Dave’s Coffee, 10 NE 10.
• Learning Tree, 7638 N Western.
• Mathis Brothers, 3434 W Reno.
• Nona’s Painted Door, 1 Mickey Mantle Drive.
• One Silver Place, 7222 N Western.
• Prairie Thunder Baking Co., 1114 Classen Drive.
• Quail Creek Bank, 12201 N May.
• Red Chateau, 9205 N Pennsylvania.
• Silks Etc., 12100 N May. Shawnee
• BancFirst, 1939 N Harrison.
• Brown Furniture, 1601 N Kickapoo Ave. Yukon
• The Arrangement, 419 Main St.