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Manor house in College Hill to be Symphony Showhouse in 2015

The next Symphony Showhouse was built in College Hill but looks like a manor house out of England.
The next Symphony Showhouse was built in College Hill but looks like a manor house out of England. Courtesy photo

After a four-year hiatus, the Women’s Association of the Wichita Symphony will be back with a Symphony Showhouse in 2015.

The house at 320 N. Belmont in College Hill that was built in the 1920s to replicate an English manor house will be redecorated by local designers and then open for tours from May 1 to May 16, 2015. The house belongs to Grant and Janet Rine, who recently sold the Forum Theatre at 147 S. Hillside. He’s an oncologist, and she’s the former owner of Caffe Moderne. They also own Old Town Architectural Salvage.

The last showhouse also was in College Hill, at 225 N. Roosevelt in 2011. The association has been looking for another showhouse since then, but other prospects had fallen through until now, said Lilly-Ann Huffman, president of the association.

Proceeds from tickets to the tours go to the association’s support of the symphony.

The 2015 showhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the register’s application, it is known as the R.D.W. Clapp residence or Clapp Manor, built from 1923 to 1926. Robert DeWitt Clapp was the youngest son of one-time Wichita mayor Lewis Clapp.

The sweeping gabled house of brick and stone, with four chimneys and a pointed Gothic arch, is a Tudor Revival Jacobethan style, and the paperwork says that the house’s original owners based it on a manor house that they saw in England. According to the documents, Olive Garvey briefly owned the house in the 1960s.

The Rines moved into the house last November and had originally hoped that it would be the showhouse this past May, but it has required more structural repair than they had expected, said Grant Rine on Wednesday. They will be living elsewhere while the house is being redecorated and staged.

Prospective designers can get a look inside the house Oct. 7. Contact Barbara Crotchett at 316-687-4450 or ecrotchett@cox.net.

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecalovich.

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