04/10/06 — Coates family offers tours of home to benefit Red Cross

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Coates family offers tours of home to benefit Red Cross

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 10, 2006 1:47 PM

Robert and Dorothy Coates wanted to do something to help the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross. So they are opening the doors to their historic home for a public tour with proceeds going to the chapter.

The home is located at 704 Park Ave.

Chuck Waller, Red Cross director, said Mrs. Coates called him one day and said she would like to give a tour of her home and have the proceeds benefit the Red Cross.

"I thought it was a great idea," he said. "It's a very grand, very stately house on Park Avenue with high ceilings and hardwood floors that's very elegantly furnished."

Waller said the Red Cross is "always grateful to folks stepping up and doing something for us."

The tour will be April 29 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased from the Red Cross, 600 N. George St., or at the door the day of the tour.

Waller said proceeds will be used to fund local Red Cross programs.

Mrs. Coates said the home was built by a family who came to Goldsboro from New Jersey. The house passed through several hands, with the Coates family moving in 12 years ago.

The house is unique in that the outside is covered with pebbledash -- pebbles mixed into cement, which was then sprayed onto the outside walls.

There are stones in the porch and around the yard that were brought to Goldsboro from New England by ship.

On the right side of the door and above it are leaded glass windows.

The huge porch has enough seating for a small party or just for lounging in the heat of the summer nights.

Inside the outer front door is an anti-foyer, which helps keep out the cold during the winter.

In one corner of the living room is a set of tall, narrow stairs from Japan. They are used in Japan in bedrooms. A lot of the house has an oriental touch since one of the Coates' daughters and son-in-law lived in Japan, and the couple have made several trips overseas themselves and brought back many items with them.

A sliding doorway connects the living room with the dining room, which includes a long table with enough seating for 10 people.

Off one side of the dining room is a butler's pantry, which Mrs. Coates has turned into a laundry room. Around the top of the room hangs a multitude of baskets of all shapes and sizes, which she has collected over the years.

On the other side of the house downstairs is the study, which leads to a master bedroom with a bathroom.

Going around to the back side of the home is the kitchen, which contains the original cabinets. Around the ceiling hang various pans used for molding foods.

In a small room off the kitchen is a table that Coates made for his wife. The wood came from the Hampton, Va., command post of Billy Mitchell, who is regarded as the father of the Air Force.

Upstairs are more bedrooms, each with its own personality, and two bathrooms.

Mrs. Coates said she and her husband are opening up their home as a fundraiser for the Red Cross because they believe in the organization.

She started giving blood when she was 17, and the Coates started their children giving blood when they were in high school.

"I think it's a very part of our society, our social services and service to other people," Mrs. Coates said.