Preparations for the 2016 Champaign County Preservation Alliance Historic Home and Garden Tour that will take place on June 25 and 26 are underway. It is strange how words take on new meanings as the years come and go. “Historic” may mean one thing to those over 50 years old and something entirely different to those younger. The CCPA’s criteria for houses on our annual tour is limited to homes with at least 50 years of existence. Fifty years old doesn’t seem very old to some, when you consider that Champaign County, founded in 1805, has structures over 211 years old still in existence. This year’s tour features homes ranging from 61 years old to at least 177 years old.
There are four houses on Scioto Street, Urbana, along with one on Miami Street, the west end of U.S. Route 36. There is a country farm house and business just outside the city limits, a re-look at a home on West Church, a solar-operated home, a Lustron home, gardens, and a new approach to an old church, among the tour stops.
The tour of Scioto street begins with 883 Scioto, recently renovated home of Jim Lokai. Traveling west you will come to 590 Scioto, still shrouded in some mystery. Barbara Perry showed this home under restoration a few years back and is now ready to show the newest transition the house has undergone since surviving many updates and even a change of location. It once sat on the south side of Scioto Street near 591 Scioto in the 1860s. Next is the large home at 419 Scioto, home to Tammy and Patrick Elliott. It has a long history along with Rich Colvin’s business at 208 Scioto that will feature revitalized historic apartments that were shown in the rough last year.
Past the monument in the square, Scioto transitions to Miami Street, beginning west of Main Street. Featured at 323 Miami is the stately home of Charles and Judith Bunnell. Just a few blocks north at 208 W. Church is a craftsman style bungalow opened to tour by Ryan and Cortney Brugh, and a garden-only at 134 W. Church. Just around the corner you will want to see the Urbana First Baptist Church’s new approach to their 1882 building at 401 N. Main St. at the corner of North Main and East Ward.
Ward Lutz is sharing his solar-operated home at 527 E. Water St. Driving east to the traffic light on East Water you will come to Patrick Avenue, which is actually State Route 54. Taking a short drive south to 1645 state Route 54 will bring you to one of the Oakview Farms and business location, home to Merryl (Bud) and Ruth Mapp Runyan in business with their son Mark Runyan.
Rounding out the event again this year will be the Johnny Appleseed Museum at 579 College Way, on the campus of Urbana University, and the Community Garden at 220 E. Market.
What an array of history will be displayed on the 24th Historic Home and Garden Tour, held annually on the last weekend of June. This year’s event is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. It is sure to provide the community with lots to see, hear and experience right here in beautiful Champaign County. Tickets will go on sale at supporting local businesses after June 1. A ticket is good for both days and is never canceled because of rain. If you would like to volunteer to help with the tour or for ticket information, leave a message at 800-791-6010 or visit www.urbanahomeandgardentour.com. Let us know how you would like to help with our 24th CCPA Historic Home and Garden Tour this year.
Sherry Virts submits articles on behalf of the Champaign County Preservation Alliance.