Now in its 33rd year, the annual Historic Elgin House Tour is an opportunity to experience firsthand just a few of the reasons why Elgin was named "Best Place to Buy an Old House" in 2009 by This Old House magazine.
The tour is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and features six homes located along Elgin's prestigious Douglas Avenue. Four of the homes are featured for the first time. Two other homes return to the tour by popular demand.
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This year's selection includes three large residences on the corner of Douglas and Cooper Avenues. These homes were constructed for Elgin's business elite in the early 20th century. Located a short stroll down Douglas Avenue are the three other featured residences. These large, comfortable homes date from the 1880s to the 1920s.
This year's tour is an informative combination of architectural styles including, Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Prairie, Italian Renaissance and Classic Revival. Visitors can also tour the homes' gardens.
Houses may be toured in any order, and guides are on hand in each home to help participants more fully experience the history represented by each home.
Want to learn more about the evolution of the architectural styles of homes? Join architectural historian Rebecca Hunter on an informative stroll through the featured neighborhood. She will talking about the various Revival styles.
The walking lecture, which lasts about 45 minutes, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and is repeated at 1 p.m. No interiors are toured during the walking lecture. The location for the walking tour will be listed on the house tour map.
House tour tickets
House tour tickets, with map included, are $15 in advance, or $20 the day of the event. Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and younger and seniors age 65 and older in advance and the day of the tour. Advance ticket vendors, all in Elgin, include: Jewel-Osco, 1600 Larkin Ave.; Jewel-Osco, Foods, 1038 Summit St.; Al's Café and Creamery, 43 DuPage Court; Ziegler's Ace Hardware, 215 Spring St.; and Ziegler's Ace Hardware, 1158 Lillian St. Purchase tickets online at gifford-park-assoc.org/annual-house-tour/2014-tour. Day-of-tour ticket sales will be at Sherman Center Street campus, former site of Sherman Hospital, 901 Center St., Elgin.
For more information, call (847) 421-4022.