Friday, June 20, 2014

A Tudor Home with an Identity Crisis is One of Six Buildings On View During Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation's 37th Annual Historic Home Tour

By Gretchen Sawatzki

For 37 years the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation has hosted a historic home tour that seeks to increase public understanding of architecture, and the unique heritage of Ypsilanti, Michigan.  This Sunday, the YHF is hosting the annual event that will feature four intriguing houses, a commercial loft, and one office building. This year's lineup includes a Tudor with an identity crisis, a mid-century ranch in the College Heights neighborhood, an ornately detailed Italianate, a 1920s vernacular home, Romanesque dental office, and a mid-nineteenth-century three-story downtown loft.

Is it a Tudor or an Italianate? What is it?  That is your challenge to take on when set your sights on this home. At first glance it appears to be a Tudor, but this home is having an identity crisis. Come discover the skeletons in this home's closets!

Beaver Cleaver would have no problems living in this brick ranch in the College Heights neighborhood. A virtual time capsule with minimal changes to the interior, Beaver could make himself at home in this excellent example of post-war living.  It's Colonial details and conservative layout speak to a time that typified a simpler life - like meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

The ornately detailed Italianate home is a brilliant example of how architecture is enhanced by decorative elements. This home is not only a prime example of a classic Italianate, but also of the Queen Anne style of decoration of the late 1800s with heavy spindlework lining the front porch. But how does an Italianate come to have Queen Anne decoration? It's simply a matter of time...

A vernacular home is the common man's architecture - beautifully simplistic, clean and hyper-modern for the 1920s. So, what did the homeowners uncover when their renovation lead to plaster removal? An original element not to be missed!

Don't let the stone arch, elaborate entry, and detailed cornice fool you. If you'd wander into this Richardsonian Romanesque building in 1892 it wouldn't be to wait for a train or to borrow a book, but instead getting a tooth pulled or having a root canal. This beautiful building wasn't meant for public use like most Richardsonian Romanesque structures, but for a private dental practice. But why build a dental office out of stone?

Ever wonder what it's like to live in a former three-story hotel? What would your kitchen look like and how would your bathroom function? See how these brave owners took this building from a commercial quandary to a residential wonder.

Come join the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation for their 37th annual historic home tour this Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 from Noon to 5:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00 each when you purchase in advance at Materials Unlimited located at 2 W. Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti. Tickets are $15.00 on the day of the tour. For more information visit .

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