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updated: 11/30/2011 11:07 AM

Elgin's 'painted ladies' open their doors for the holidays

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  • The home of Patricia Harkin and James Sosnoski at 1005 N. Spring St., Elgin, will be on this year's Homes for the Holidays House Walk, sponsored by the North East Neighborhood Association.

       The home of Patricia Harkin and James Sosnoski at 1005 N. Spring St., Elgin, will be on this year's Homes for the Holidays House Walk, sponsored by the North East Neighborhood Association.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • An antique felted reindeer decoration sits on a table in Patricia Harkin's Elgin home, which is featured on the Homes for the Holidays House Walk. Harkin says she gets many of her decorations from resale shops.

       An antique felted reindeer decoration sits on a table in Patricia Harkin's Elgin home, which is featured on the Homes for the Holidays House Walk. Harkin says she gets many of her decorations from resale shops.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

If the idea of touring decorated homes is appealing, but having to spend a lot of time on your feet is less so, the North East Neighborhood Association's Homes for the Holidays House Walk might be just the ticket.

As in previous years, organizers have arranged for a trolley to transport visitors between the seven historic homes featured on the tour.

The tour is set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Registration is at the "old" Sherman Hospital, 934 Center St., Elgin. Tickets are $12 if purchased in advance, or $15 the day of the tour.

Ivonne Hopkins, a NENA board member who is coordinating the tour, suggests participants ride the trolley from Sherman to the beginning of the tour.

"The first four homes are within walking distance of each other," said NENA board member Ivonne Hopkins. "We have three houses on Douglas and two on Spring."

Organizers say the homeowners have been busy decorating their homes for the tour. "Gold Coast" Victorians are among the featured homes, two of which have won national Painted Lady contests. One such home is the 1894 shingle-style home of Patricia Harkin and James Sosnoski, which features a turret and wraparound porch.

The entire neighborhood is likely to be sporting holiday finery, as a home decorating contest is being held in the area, with judging on Friday, Dec. 2 and prizes awarded Saturday. Dec. 3.

After touring the homes, participants can warm up with hot chocolate and coffee and browse local artisans' wares at a warming house at the home of the Sirridge family, 808 Douglas Ave. There will be carolers as well.

As the house walk is a fundraiser for NENA neighborhood beautification projects, organizers hope for a good turnout. Hopkins said attendance is dependent on the weather.

"Usually we get between 400 and 600 (participants)," she said. "I'm crossing my fingers for dry weather."

Tickets for the house walk are on sale at Jewel, 1660 Larkin Ave. and 1040 Summit St., as well as at Ace Hardware, 215 N. Spring St. and 1158 Lillian St.

For details or to purchase tickets online, visit nenaofelgin.org.

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