Last year’s Champaign County Preservation Alliance Urban Loft Tour left Champaign County residents and visitors asking for more. Saturday, Nov. 7, will give participants another opportunity to view a selection of amazing loft and apartment homes in downtown Urbana. Real Living Darby Creek is once again the corporate sponsor for this event, held in conjunction with the Monument Square District’s Holiday Open House.
The Urban Loft Tour is designed to highlight the amazing spaces and architectural heritage of downtown Urbana. When you think of your hometown, you probably don’t think fondly of the generic uniformity of one of the national chain stores. Most people will bring to mind a vision of the historic structures in their home community, schools, churches and the unique structures of the downtown core.
While most of us who call Urbana home don’t actually live in the downtown district, the historic core of Urbana is now home to a growing number of families and individuals. Each one of these spaces is unique. No matter where you live, the 2015 Urban Loft Tour will give participants a wonderful opportunity to see what it’s like to call downtown Urbana home.
Three homes have been carefully curated by their occupants to offer the very best in loft living. Each space reflects the occupant’s unique interests. Visitors will want to take their time so as not to miss any of the creative ideas of these one-of-a -kind living spaces. At another home, the owners began by completing one side of an upper floor and using it as an oversized “studio” apartment while they continue to work on the “bedroom wing.” Once the three bedrooms are complete, the original studio will become a light-filled, open-concept living area and what had been two small apartments will become a spacious family home complete with a huge rear balcony for outdoor living.
The Endowment Building, which is the largest occupied structure in downtown Urbana, is among the locations on this year’s tour. Four of its five floors offer a wide variety of living spaces. The tour will feature the owner’s apartment and visitors will enjoy seeing the beautiful woodwork and impressive decorative embossed ceilings throughout the structure. Another tour location will feature a one-bedroom apartment currently being renovated on the second floor of one of the oldest buildings on Monument Square.
One of the purposes of the tour is to encourage the development of downtown Urbana. With that in mind, organizers have included a “diamond-in-the rough” site. Visitors will have the opportunity to dream of ways to make the spacious duplex living space on both the second and third floors at the southeast corner of the square a home worthy of a feature article in a lifestyle magazine.
Pre-tour and day-of-tour tickets
In addition to a selection of downtown lofts and apartments, the 2015 Urban Loft Tour will give visitors the opportunity to see behind the scenes areas of the Gloria Theater and learn of the progress the GrandWorks Foundation has made since the building was featured on the 2014 tour. The Gloria Theater will also be the only place to purchase tickets on the day of the tour.
Tour sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. Participants need to remember that the sites on the tour are primarily located on the upper floors of historic downtown buildings. Stair climbing is essential for those who wish to visit these locations.
Tickets may be purchased for $15 prior to the tour at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce as well as the Urbana offices of Civista Bank, Peoples Savings Bank, Perpetual Savings Bank and Security National Bank and also at Bill’s Flowers. On the day of the tour, all tickets must be purchased at the Gloria Theater, 216 S. Main St. The tour day tickets are $17.
The Champaign County Preservation Alliance is committed to ensuring the preservation and viability of the buildings in Urbana’s historic downtown core. While our annual Home and Garden Tour highlights historic structures throughout the county, this tour will focus on the creative use of downtown structures and will give participants the opportunity to view spaces seldom open to the public. The CCPA wishes to thank the building owners and tenants who have made this day possible.
For more information, call 800- 791-6010 or visit the 2015 Urban Loft Tour pages at: http://www.urbanahomeandgardentour.com/urban-loft-tour.html.
Submitted by Champaign County Preservation Alliance.