38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden tour set for Sept. 20
The 38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour, sponsored by Heights Community Congress (HCC), gives tourgoers the opportunity to discover six Cleveland Heights homes and five gardens, to explore their history and learn what makes them unique. This year’s self-guided tour, with the theme, Step Inside Our Stories, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20, noon to 6 p.m.
A preview party is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at The Alcazar, a historic landmark. After a preview tour of selected homes, preview party guests will return to The Alcazar for fun, food, drinks and entertainment.
Susan Roberts, one of the tour organizers, describes some of the homes and highlights on this year’s tour:
In the 1920s, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and New York architect Andrew J. Thomas planned an upscale residential and commercial development featuring French Norman-style architecture. The house on Brewster Road is one of those Rockefeller homes, authentically renovated. Visitors will “enjoy the work of craftsmen, then and now, who are passionate about quality workmanship,” as well as lighting, materials and colors that “transport visitors to an earlier time.”
A different kind of 1920s home, on Woodmere Road, is notable for how its inhabitants have bridged the decades with an eclectic mix of mid-century modern, Scandinavian and Italian furniture. Peppered with unique antiques and impressive art, the owners have incorporated a wine cellar, a woodworking room, and sewing and craft rooms.
Old and new live side-by-side in the home on Harcourt Drive, in one of Cleveland Heights’s premier neighborhoods. The owners have taken much care in restoring and enhancing the home’s architectural assets. Outside the home is a vegetable and flower garden, which uses recycled rainwater.
The house on Ormond Road was a foreclosure, and might have been forgotten and left to crumble. Instead, an expert renovation gutted it to the bare walls and turned it into a “little gem”—one that “proves that restoration and decorating can be done affordably, sustainably and tastefully.”
Offering a taste of elegant, old Cleveland Heights, the home on Guilford Road boasts a dramatic staircase, classical fireplace, stained woodwork, grand French doors, paneled library, curved bay window, fluted pilasters, and a large, original servants’ quarters.
A California-style bungalow on Stillman Road caught the eye of a movie producer who used it in the filming of a movie. Artfully renovated, it exudes the feeling of a “cozy cottage that could be a vacation getaway—complete with a home theater.”
The garden on Yorkshire Road, Burnt Toast Farm, is home to a former West Coast ballet dancer and food policy expert who has returned to his native Cleveland to implement his dream of “homesteading” in the heart of Cleveland Heights. Burnt Toast Farm displays a full front-yard garden and innovative ways of growing, and hosts unique community events.
Tickets for the Sept. 20 tour are $20 in advance, or $25 the day of the tour. Tour tickets can be purchased online at HCC’s website, www.heightscongress.org, or by calling the HCC office at 216-321-6775). Tickets are also available at Zagara’s, Heinen’s (Green Road location), the Stone Oven, Bremec’s and Appletree Books. Tickets to the Sept. 19 preview party are $125 and can be purchased from the HCC office, either online or by phone.
The Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour is sponsored and produced by Heights Community Congress. Tour proceeds benefit programs that support HCC’s mission as an advocate of social justice, a monitor of fair housing practices, and a facilitator for building a strong, diverse community. Proceeds from this year’s tour will also support the Oxford Community Garden and Noble Neighbors, a community group working to strengthen the Noble neighborhood.
Pam Wetherill, a resident of University Heights, is a volunteer with HCC and serves on its Fair Housing Committee.