Whoever uttered the old adage, “If these walls could talk…” surely had a historic home … OK, maybe they didn’t. But here in the City of Urbana, many residents and business owners have uttered that same saying as they have worked on restoring these treasured old homes and buildings.
The Champaign County Preservation Alliance (CCPA) is pleased to announce the return of the Annual Historic Home & Garden Tour. In its 28th year, the tour will showcase many of the things people love about older homes — the character of the features, the beautiful woodwork — but it will also showcase some of the things that get left behind when these homes live through historic events, or families move on without them.
A garden on the tour has original family members travel annually from out of state to see and smell a lilac bush that they planted when the house was built in 1936. At another house, a flag from around 1897-1908 was found propping the window on the sill in an attic. When stripping old wallpaper at one house, notes with dates were left behind, written on the plaster walls.
Many of the old-world features are still intact at these historic homes — so much oak trim and pocket doors, old transoms and gingerbread woodwork. But the homeowners and businesses have gone through painstaking care to keep the old with the new — updating fixtures to meet their 21st century tastes and needs —with tile kitchen and bathroom floors and back splashes, modern lights with old push-button switches.
“This year’s tour is truly a great mix of old with new, our homeowners and business owners have created spaces that pay homage to the old buildings and their stories; but, have updated them to make them truly useful and unique,” said Sandy Gonzalez, Chairman of the Historic Home & Garden Tour and Trustee of the CCPA.
The tour hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both, Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. Shuttle services will be available for tour goers, as not all homes are located close to each other. Pre-sale tickets were available online beginning May 15 for $12 each, tickets sold the day(s) of the event will be available for $15 each.
The CCPA is fortunate to have support from many people and businesses in Champaign County and looks forward to showing visitors that it is possible to live, work, and play in preserved historical spaces.
Funds raised throughout the tour are used for the Matching Façade Grant Program. The CCPA offers matching grants for the repair and/or restoration of pre-1940 homes and commercial grants anywhere in Champaign County. For more information about the program, or to apply for a Matching Façade Grant, please visit: https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/facade-grants.html.
If you’d like to become a member of the CCPA, learn more about other CCPA events, or would like to donate in kind, please visit this website to learn more: https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/.
Emily Huffman is a trustee with the CCPA.