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Decatur prepares for Heritage & Holly Historic Home Tour     Send a link to a friend

[NOV. 20, 2004]  DECATUR -- The Near Westside Restoration and Preservation Society will have its 14th annual Heritage and Holly Historic Home Tour on Nov. 26 and 27. Tour hours will be 4 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 26 and noon to 6 p.m. on Nov. 27. This year the theme is "Neighbors and Neighborhoods," reflecting the deep feelings for neighbors and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

The tour will begin at Central Christian Church, 650 W. William. Its modern Gothic architecture was chosen to complement the homes in the neighborhood, built from the 1880s through the early 1900s. The church is home to one of the area's most attractive sanctuaries, displaying some outstanding stained glass.

The house at 391 W. William is home to Phil and Amanda Shils. This Queen Anne Victorian was on the 2002 tour but without any heat, lights, plumbing or walls. The home has received extensive mechanical updating, along with new walls, flooring, woodwork, replacement of some original stained glass and the addition of some new stained glass of the owners' design. Work is progressing on restoration of the exterior to bring this wonderful home back to its former glory.

The Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William, will be open for all to enjoy the Christmas decorations. This home, built in 1875 for three-time Gov. Richard J. Oglesby, is of the Italianate-Second Empire style of architecture with some American Victorian detail.

The pure Arts and Crafts style home at 539 W. William is a turn-of-the-century gem. The home was cared for during the last 60 years by the same owner and is now undergoing restoration. There have been few changes over the years, with all original woodwork, built-ins and leaded glass having been maintained.

The Greider Family House at 255 N. Pine is in the Prairie style of architecture with a hint of the Orient in the tile roofline. Recent owners Kyle and Leslie Risby are enjoying sunrises in the mosaic-tiled sunroom and the beautifully landscaped yard.

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In 1908 the Decatur Sunday Review named the home at 904 W. William the "Best Home for the Money" built in the city during that era. The gambrel-roofed, three-story brick Colonial home was built for Dr. S.E. McClelland at a cost of $8,000.

The home at 919 W. William, 100 years old this year, was built in the then-modern Prairie style of architecture by the T.T. Roberts family. Joe and Sue Kunzeman have been the caretakers for the last five years, along with their children and numerous pets. The three-story, 13-room house has four fireplaces, three pocket doors, two Palladian windows, and natural and stained woodwork and floors throughout.

Stick-style Victorian would best describe the Griswold House at 411 W. Main. It was built in 1860 and occupied by the C.L. Griswold family from 1867 until 1892. Many prominent families followed, but eventually the home became a rooming house. Two years ago, Architectural Restorations purchased the house and took on the task of restoration. Recently completed, the unique interior will be a joy for all to see.

Tickets may be purchased at Decatur businesses for $10 before the tour days. On the tour days, tickets will be available for $15 at Central Christian Church. This is also where tickets will be exchanged for tour brochures. Homes may be toured in any order. A shuttle bus will make rounds between tour homes.

[News release]

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