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updated: 9/29/2013 6:28 PM

Batavia House Walk offers mix of styles, structures

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  • The original Batavia city hall and firehouse, now an office building, was the seventh stop Sunday during the Batavia Main Street House Walk. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program.

       The original Batavia city hall and firehouse, now an office building, was the seventh stop Sunday during the Batavia Main Street House Walk. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A tour group walks through a home on Elm Street Sunday during the Batavia Main Street House Walk. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program. This home is only 7 years old, and was built to mimic an older craftsman style home but with modern conveniences.

       A tour group walks through a home on Elm Street Sunday during the Batavia Main Street House Walk. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program. This home is only 7 years old, and was built to mimic an older craftsman style home but with modern conveniences.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A window looks over downtown from the second story of the original firehouse and city hall Sunday at the Batavia Main Street House Walk. The building has been converted for office space. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program.

       A window looks over downtown from the second story of the original firehouse and city hall Sunday at the Batavia Main Street House Walk. The building has been converted for office space. Tours were conducted through several historical homes and buildings to benefit the Batavia MainStreet program.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Houses built at the dawn of the 20th century, and a few from the start of the 21st, were featured in Sunday's House Walk event in Batavia.

The 7th annual House Walk is a fundraiser for Batavia MainStreet, a community group that works to promote, preserve and enhance the city's downtown area. Five private homes were included on this year's slate, along with the city's old city hall.

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Organizers said the event, which sold about 400 tickets in advance, was shaping up to be the most successful House Walk yet even before Sunday's sun-drenched weather came into play.

"We sold more tickets in advance than we have before," said Jan Gibson, a member of Batavia MainStreet's board of directors. "And we expect to get a lot of day-of sales too. A lot of people tend to wait until they see what the weather looks like, and we have a beautiful day today."

Gibson said the committee that selects homes each year tries to offer a variety of ages and styles. This year's group included a home built around the dawn of the 20th century and a custom-built house that dates back just seven years. Participants got a chance to explore both the exterior and interior of the houses.

Also on this year's list was the old city hall building on Shumway Avenue in the downtown area. The limestone building, which dates back to the late 19th century, is now home to commercial and office space. In addition to being the city hall, the building used to house the city jail and served as the headquarters for the fire department.

Ron Fessler, a House Walk volunteer and member of the Batavia Historic Preservation Commission, said the city hall building is an excellent example of how history can be preserved even when a building is re-purposed.

"The owner obviously believes in preservation," he said. "This is a great re-use that maintains the city's history while also making the building viable."

For information on future Batavia MainStreet events, go to downtownbatavia.com.

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