Monday, September 27, 2010
The Muchnic Gallery in Atchison is two destinations in one.
Atchison is home to a vast collection of stately, turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions, and the three-story brick Queen Anne on Fourth Street is one of the most impressive. Built in 1885 by lumber merchant George Howell, the 14-room beauty boasts a slate roof, eyebrow windows and an inviting wraparound porch.
Inside, magnificent woodwork is highlighted by the oak, walnut and mahogany parquet floors, and the stairway newel posts feature the carved faces of the Howell family.
The Muchnic family purchased the home in 1922, and the first floor remains much as it was when they lived here. Triple parlors spanning the length of the house and featuring the family’s furnishings were the site of the Muchnic’s traditional annual New Year’s Eve dances, enjoyed by several generations.
A midnight buffet was customarily served in the Muchnic’s dining room that contains their massive mahogany table with a deep-grained inlaid border pattern, matching chairs and buffet. Old wiring, used to summon maid service, remains beneath the table.
Stunning stained glass windows in unique jewel-toned colors brighten the solarium and dominate the second-floor landing.
Currently owned and maintained by the Muchnic Foundation, the second story provides space for the Atchison Arts Association, and the former bedrooms serve as galleries displaying rotating art exhibits.
“The Muchnic Gallery has a lot to offer. We invite people to come to see the art, and seeing the home is a special bonus,” says Gloria Davis, executive director.
“Home and Away” premieres at 6:30 p.m. Monday on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6 and replays throughout the week.