Preservation Racine will present its 43rd Tour of Historic Places on Sunday, Sept. 29 from noon to 5:30 p.m. Jim Mercier will graciously once again provide a display from his collection of Racine artifacts, this year featuring old Racine grocery store premiums that were offered to customers as a thank you gift for their patronage. This assortment of giveaways is the catalyst for the theme of this year’s tour, A Premium Collection, offering a variety of architectural styles, ages and neighborhoods.
• The Victorian House at 1723 College Ave. was built just before the turn of the 20th Century. It faces Racine’s famous brick street and features many of the period’s amenities including old world carpentry, pocket doors, fireplaces, and a second story corner tower.
• The cream brick Italianate style house at 1346 Park Ave.was built circa 1878 and has been home to a reverend, an inventor and a doctor – some of whom operated their offices out of this house – and is once again a private residence.
• An older cream brick Italianate style house nearby at 1118 Park Ave. was built circa 1858. This house was constructed in three parts, first the original middle section, followed by the 1887 Italianate front addition and the 1929 pre-Depression rear section.
• Although not obvious from the street view, the circa 1948 Mid-Century Modern house at 433 Romayne Ave. is actually round with a square garage attached. Curious tour goers will have an opportunity to see how a variety of furnishings can be arranged in a round house.
• The frame farmhouse at 9132 Old Spring St. in Mount Pleasant was built in Civil War times for a family from New York, the Tradewells, who farmed the property. Ownership within the Tradewell family continued until 1997 when the house was sold and extensively redone; the current owners are only the third family in this house.
• Construction began in 1925 on the two-story brick farmhouse at 7442 Seven Mile Road, Caledonia. The house is traditional in style and has been recently restored to showcase its original windows, red oak floors and wood wall trims, which make a charming context for the period furniture and the owner’s delightful collection of Victorian clothes, accessories and trinkets. Be sure to visit the restored barn as well.
• The cream brick First Evangelical Lutheran Church at 728 Villa St. was dedicated in 1897 and shows an anthology of picturesque architectural styles. The interior is exquisite, featuring a beautiful fresco above the altar, completely rebuilt pipe organ and carefully restored stained glass windows. The church will be the site of afternoon hospitality and Jim Mercier’s exhibit of grocery store premiums. In addition, artist Don Ricchio, who created the drawings for this year’s tour, will display some of his original artwork highlighting various Racine historic buildings.
The buildings on this year’s tour may be visited in any order. The tour includes buildings that are not handicapped accessible; anyone with mobility concerns should make personal choices accordingly. Tour day ticket price is $18. Advance tickets may be purchased for $15 by Sept. 27 at the following outlets: Borzynski’s Farm and Floral Market, Milaeger’s, Millers Flowers,O&H Danish Bakery, Personal Touch by Julie, Racine Heritage Museum. Uncorkt and Wilson’s Coffee & Tea.
Photos courtesy Carol Hansen and Brad Jaeck of Photographic Design Gallery and Framing.