On behalf of The Champaign County Preservation Alliance, welcome to the 27th annual Historic Home and Garden Tour, to be held June 29-30 in Urbana. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The committee has worked for months in preparation and the final result is a tour of eight homes reflecting assorted architectural styles and sizes, two museums, a garden, a church and a building that once served as a courthouse. As a bonus, the visitor can climb aboard an NX 23 Railcar/Caboose owned by the CCPA and one of four in existence. We invite our guests to join us in discovering some of the hidden “gems” in Urbana.
The current home of Urbana Dental Smiles on South Main Street did, indeed, serve as the Champaign County Courthouse from 1948-1956. It was pressed into service after a catastrophic fire destroyed the historic old courthouse in 1948. The oldest home on the tour (Idle) was built in 1830 and is thought to be “haunted.” The largest home on the tour (Elliott) is the circa 1839 Victorian/Italianate style home looking very much the same as it was when illustrated in the 1874 Atlas of Champaign County. The smallest home (Rittenhouse), built around 1892, was designed for the working men and women of the time and has been completely gutted and renovated. The Steed home had the first residential sidewalks, metal fencing and curbing in Urbana. Joanna Gaines fans will love the Boggs/Phifher home, and some of the finest woodwork and art glass in Urbana is found in the Woods home. One home now has a “front” door that previously served as a “side” door and a different address from the original structure. Find out why!
In addition to the beautiful homes, the Seward garden is a peaceful haven of color and will have the Champaign County Master Gardeners present to answer gardening questions 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day. The museums are full of Champaign County artifacts and Johnny Appleseed memorabilia, and the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is home to rare Belgian stained glass windows that have been conserved, cleaned, re-leaded and placed back into their restored wooden frames. Each tour site is a “must see”!
As an added treat, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is serving an authentic English Tea on Saturday noon-3 p.m., and the Champaign County Arts Council is offering a “Lunch In The Garden” on Sunday noon-2 p.m. A wonderful opportunity to relax a bit!
Champaign County Preservation Alliance
The Champaign County Preservation Alliance was created to encourage historic preservation and creative re-use of existing structures in Champaign County. The tour demonstrates the feasibility of restoring the older structures to the needs of today’s families and businesses without destroying the integrity of the building. The monies raised are returned directly to the Champaign County community through the matching grant program for residences and businesses.We believe that historic preservation and creative re-use of existing residential business structures strengthen our neighborhoods, businesses and community.
The Tour is truly a community event. It will require 24 shuttle drivers and 228 volunteers to man the homes and garden for the weekend. The public sites, i.e., the museums,dental office and church will also rely on volunteers to help with their special events.
In addition, the tour committee of 22 has worked since January to ensure a successful weekend. We are blessed to have such a great committee and supportive community. We applaud their efforts and offer a sincere thank you.
Pre- sale tickets are available at local banks and retailers and a complete list is available on the web site: www.ccpapreserveohio.org
Pre- sale tickets are $12.00 and are to be exchanged for the ticket booklet tour week-end at the Welcome Tent. The tent is located behind the Municipal Building, 205 S. Main St. All tickets sold tour week-end will be $15.00 and will be available only at the Welcome Tent. There will be no tickets available at the Tour sites. “This is a new policy and we are trying to spread the word so there will be less confusion tour week-end” said Gonzalez. Free parking and a complimentary shuttle service is available. Craft demonstrations and sales, entertainment and buildings of various styles, sizes and periods make for an interesting tour – don’t miss it!
Visit www.ccpapreserveohio.org for photos and additional information or leave a message at 800-791-6010 with any questions.
Submitted by the Champaign County Preservation Alliance.