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Beyond the Gates

Join us on Saturday, May 20 for the second annual Beyond the Gates, an exclusive tour of some of our area’s most impressive backyards, gardens, pools, and views.

The day begins at 10 am with a reception with light refreshments in the Hardin Center’s courtyard. From there, take the tour in any order you choose. Christina Richardson, horticulturalist for the City of Gadsden, will do a presentation and demonstration in our courtyard at 11 am.

Tickets are $20 per person and available at the Hardin Center. All funds raised go towards the programs and projects of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation.

View this event on Facebook and invite your friends to attend the tour.

This event will take place rain or shine. In the event of rain, certain tour stops might not be included.

The tour includes the outdoor spaces of Judy Bacon, Susan and Keith Coley, Craig Denney, Walter Duke, Gina and Steve Gilbert, and Karen and Jack Wheeler. The historic Gunn-Bellenger House will also be included on the tour. Judy Bacon will do a special presentation on roses in her garden at 2 pm.

Beyond the Gates is sponsored by Gadsden Mortgage Services / Exchange Bank, Standard Tile, and Brian Holland / Corporate South Realty.

More information about the featured spaces:

Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts Courtyard, 501 Broad Street, Gadsden, AL 35901:
The Hardin Center’s courtyard features brick pavers, gas lanterns, the Basil Gilchrist memorial fountain, Venetian lights strung overhead, and beautiful trompe l’oeil murals painted by artists Steve Temple, Rob Johnston, and Mario Gallardo. Many of the improvements to the courtyard over the years have been funded by the Serendipity Dance Club. The courtyard is the venue for the annual Courtyard Concert Series each Friday and Saturday night, April through August. Local musicians perform free concerts and Courtyard Café provides food and beverage service.

Judy and Don Bacon, 555 Reynolds Street, Gadsden, AL 35901
Judy and Don Bacon purchased their home in the downtown historic district in 2002. Judy is a master gardener and designed the cottage garden herself. She says that she has a deep love of flowers and feels that planting is a major form of stress relief for her. The garden includes seventy hydrangeas in a shade garden stocked full of various species of ferns, toad lilies, and Lenten roses. Climbing roses and clematises cascade from four arbors spaced throughout the garden. A pond and four fountains add visual interest and seating is placed to enjoy the garden from different angles. Known for her roses, Judy’s garden includes 220 rose bushes and she will discuss her roses and growing techniques at 2 pm during the tour.

Susan and Keith Coley, 565 River Ridge Road, Gadsden, AL 35901:
The Coleys used their professional knowledge and skills to create a Caribbean resort in their yard. Keith is the owner of Paramount Pools and designed the space to include a waterfall, 50-foot waterslide, sunken bar, stone bridge, fire bowls, outdoor kitchen, diving rock, and a pavilion-style pool house. Their outdoor space is the result of a multi-phase development plan that encompasses the resort theme in everything from the tropical plants to the swim-up bar and the beach entry pool. The pool also features cascading water from the hot tub and is surrounded by brick pavers, flagstone, and a spray deck.

Craig Denney, 171 Azalea Drive, Gadsden, AL 35901
The Denneys purchased their home several years ago and started extensive renovations on both the exterior and interior. They have spent the past few years integrating the picturesque mountain view into their landscape. The elegant pool house and pool area compliment the stately English manor home.

Walter Duke, 514 Turrentine Avenue, Gadsden, AL 35901
Walter Duke and his late wife Terry purchased their 1929 Tudor Revival home in the Turrentine Historic District in 1987. After enjoying their backyard pool for 23 years they decided to fill it in and completely redesign the space. With the assistance of designer Karla Miller, they drew up plans and began building the large patio, pergola, and outdoor fireplace that now define the area. The patio area covers 1,300 square feet, a third of which is covered. The area is surrounded by a wooden fence with brick accents and lighting and is enjoyed year-round for dining and entertaining.

Gina and Steve Gilbert, 104 Bridle Ridge Road, Gadsden, AL 35901
The Gilbert home is a French county design from architect Jack Arnold with 3,000 square feet of outdoor living space designed by Bob Elam. Steve and Gina and their guests enjoy the formal French space all year. One of the highlights of the space is a large fountain with soothing running water. The garden pots are replanted twice a year to freshly compliment the seasons. The Gilberts enjoy hosting shrimp boils near the pool for friends and quiet moments for morning coffee in the smaller courtyard.

Karen and Jack Wheeler, 171 Minnesota Bend Road, Gadsden, AL 35901
The Wheelers purchased their property in 1996 and built their home in 2000. Their landscape design is very natural to compliment the casual riverfront property and to make the home feel welcoming. The original design was done by Chris Henderson with landscape work by Trey Downey. Additional landscaping was added later to include beds of gardenias, drift roses, and Little Gem Magnolias. Tyler James built a fire pit and currently directs the planting and maintenance of the space. The Wheelers enjoy sharing their yard with family and friends as they relax in the space that ties their home to the river.

The Gunn-Bellenger House, 872 Chestnut Street, Gadsden, AL 35901:
Built in 1886 for Edward Tracy Hollingsworth, a prominent merchant and banker, this two-story Victorian-style house with mansard roof is one of the few surviving examples of late-nineteenth century architecture in Gadsden. In 1901 Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Gunn purchased the property. It remained in that family until the death of their daughter, Carolyn Gunn Bellenger in 1990, who had bequeathed the house to the City of Gadsden. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 19, 1993. The house is now managed by the Hardin Center and is available to rent for weddings, parties, showers, receptions, reunions, and corporate events. Beyond the Gates tour-goers will be able to tour the interior of the house.