Ridgewood tour to highlight century-old Springfield homes

“The Iconic Homes of Ridgewood Tour,” to be held 1-5 p.m. Sept. 7, will showcase seven houses and include a rare chance to look inside and learn their history.

The event is sponsored by the Westcott Center for Architecture + Design.

The homes on the tour include 100 Ardmore Rd., 260 Brighton Rd., 223 Brighton Rd., 271 Brighton Rd., 1617 Woodedge Ave., 1609 Woodedge Ave. and 104 W. Harding Rd.

The houses feature various architectural styles, including English Tudor, Spanish Revival, Colonial Revival and Dutch Colonial.

While the Westcott Center offered walking tours of the neighborhood this summer, this tour will show beauty also comes from the inside.

“This is a one-time event to show both inside and outside of the homes,” said Tamara Dallenbach, Springfield resident and chair of the Ridgewood Centennial Committee. “We can admire these from the outside, but you’re only getting half the story.”

Homeowners will greet guests, welcome them into their residences to see their indoor designs and answer questions.

Dallenbach said Ridgewood’s significance isn’t just on the surface. It was one of the first planned suburban communities in the country. The project was led by Springfielder Harry S. Kissell, who pioneered the possibilities of real estate and worked on creating a financial system making home ownership affordable for the middle class.

Although the tour is the final planned Ridgewood event, it’s not quite the end of the celebration. Dallenbach said the state recently approved a historic marker for Ridgewood, and a restoration of street car waiting stations will be completed soon.

“Our mission is to highlight the importance of such architecture and design in our community that tells the story of Springfield,” said Marta Wojcik, Executive Director and Curator of the Westcott Center for Architecture + Design.

The tour is self-guided and guests can stay as long they choose during the event hours.

Presale tickets are available for $15 each locally at the Westcott House Museum Store, Katie’s Hallmark and Harding Road Pharmacy, as well as Bill’s Enchanted Flowers and Gifts in Urbana.

Tickets will also be available for $20 each the day of the event in the hospitality tent, which will be located at the corner of Harding Rd. and Woodedge Ave. Parking will be available in the former Mercy Hospital parking lot.

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