MOUNT VERNON – Several generations of Mount Vernon history will come to light June 25 as buildings on several prominent streets are opened to the public.
The Winter Sanctuary’s third annual historic home tour, from 1-5 p.m., will highlight five homes with a rich history and a variety of architectural styles.
Shown on the east side will be an 1840s Greek Revival home whose most prominent feature is an Ionic portico that highlights the doorway; a Gothic Revival style home built by a local Civil War hero; and a stately 19th-century home with lovely roofline ornaments.
Turning north, the tour will take visitors to an Italianate building that was for many years a home for elderly women and now houses the Christian Star Academy, and to the former Ohio National Guard Armory, built in 1931 and recently renovated as the home of The Escape Zone, a community center for youth.
“They are all very different and all are of them are historical delights,” said Winter Sanctuary board member Kasie Alexander.
In addition, the men’s and women’s shelters will be open for viewing 5-6 p.m.
Never mind that his home is over 160 years old: Peter Boutin still hears the echoes of the voices of the original owner, a local attorney and Civil War hero.
Boutin and his late wife Cathy moved into the 1850s Gothic Revival home in 1992, and soon became immersed in its history and the life of Col. Joseph W. Vance, who died in a Civil War battle fought in Louisiana. The Boutin’s son Brian even wrote an essay on Vance for high school history course.
“When we bought the home it was remarkably original,” said Peter Boutin. It was just as it was when it was built.”
In the exquisite living room, white woodwork brings out the rich, flowered wallpaper, and a chandelier with crystal ornaments hangs below a medallion embossed in the ceiling. Two of its entries are through double French doors, of which there are a total of five sets in the home.
The Boutins have made several improvements that maintain the flavor of the home, including installation of crown molding in the sitting room and construction of a back deck that features a railing with woodwork mimicking the original exterior trim.
Comfortable and artistic defines the interior of the home of Kenyon faculty members Vernon Schubel and his wife, Nurten Kilic-Schubel. The couple moved into the spacious home on Chestnut Street in 2009. They found in the straight lines of the rooms and original wood floors a congenial setting for their artwork and other decorations, which are either contemporary or from the Mideast.
“It’s very much like an Ottoman house,” said Vernon. “It has plain floors and white walls.”
Their energy has been focused on redecorating the kitchen, relocating a rear entry to align with a new garage, and landscaping the side and front yards. The prominent, maroon and white front door and exterior wall and roofline ornaments complement the shaded rear patio and serene beds of coleuses in the front of the home.
Tickets, $10 per person or $15 per couple, are available the day of the tour only beginning at 12:30 p.m., at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 200 N. Main St., where the tour will begin.
Proceeds will help offset operation costs for the men’s and women’s homeless shelters, located at 401 W. Vine St. The Winter Sanctuary is a nonprofit partner with United Way of Knox County. It receives grant support from the Ariel Foundation and depends heavily on community involvement and donations.
A description and map of homes on the tour will be made available at the time of ticket purchase. Parking is available in the lot of The Living Center, across the street from the church.
For more information, call 740-392-9277.