The extremely popular biennial "Gems of South Orange" House Tour, presented by the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society, returns Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Six beautiful and distinctive homes representing a range of styles will be on view. What are they? It's a secret - for now.
"Following mystique-preserving precedent, addresses will not be identified until Tour day, except to say that they range from four fab floors of Victoriana to an open-plan '60s masterpiece of minimalist angles, built-ins, and fine finishes," according to SOHPA press release.
The popular event, expected to attract 400-600 people, gives visitors the chance to glimpse not only exteriors but also the interior architecture and decor of the houses.
Here's a preview: one of the homes is a stone colonial perched on a ridge 530 feet above the valley that features views that span from Connecticut to the Jersey Shore -- including the New York City skyline.
There will also be complimentary music and food, with musicians and chefs stationed at most of the homes. This year, Maplewood's Soul Terrific restaurant and Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange, among others, will serve entrees, sides and desserts.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the SOHPS website. One new ticketing option this year is a special ticket combining Tour admission and discounted SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center) membership.
All guests will pick up admission tickets, $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour, at the Arts Center at 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079. Advance purchases can be made online or through P.O. Box 61, South Orange, NJ 07079.
Parking is plentiful and free in the NJ Transit parking lot adjacent to SOPAC and the downtown South Orange train station. The lot can be accessed via South Orange Avenue or Church Street. From there, visitors can drive to home locations or board free continuous circulating jitney shuttles provided through the courtesy of South Orange Parking Authority.
The Gems of South Orange House Tour helps fund the activities of SOHPS, which presents a Historic Preservation Award to an edifice or to a person and works to promote and preserve the Village's architectural and design heritage. The group also grants scholarships for essays on South Orange history.
For questions, email SOHPS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (973) 763-2310.