Visitors can explore unique architecture, features at South Fountain Tour of Homes

One of the city’s unique neighborhood’s will open to the public to appreciate its standout architecture and features when the South Fountain Tour of Homes returns Sunday for the first time in four years during the second day of South Fountain Preservation Inc.’s Arts and Architecture Weekend.

Eight homes including the historic Gammon House will be part of the tour, 1-6 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for students and free for kids under 10 with an accompanying adult. The tours are self-guided and docents will be available at each sight.

A longtime celebration of the neighborhood normally done every two years, the 2020 tour was wiped out because of the pandemic, but that only gave more time for residents to add fresh features or begin their renovations according to Claudia Fett, secretary of South Fountain Preservation Inc.

“There will be new residents to the street and others excited to share what they’ve done the past few years. We’ve got a range of homes and others who have gotten further along with changes,” she said.

Among the highlights will be Ben and Angie Babian’s home, where they spent part of his pandemic down time to convert a third-floor attic into a home theater space. Heather and Ross Cunningham moved to South Fountain five years ago and were just starting to change their home and the differences will be on display.

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One house designed as two residences, they took down a wall down the structure’s middle and opened up the back into a kitchen and family area. They also added a second-floor dance practice area for daughter Mary.

Firefighter Eli Worley and wife Nancy have purchased a house owned by the association for a makeover and will show off the renovation work they’ve done to it.

Also featured will be the Gammon House, Springfield’s historic home that was part of the Underground Railroad and one of the few remaining such structures still intact in Ohio.

Local historian Kevin Rose, who is also a South Fountain resident, is always eager to help tell the story of the area.

“Who lived here and the architecture says about the neighborhood what it says about Springfield history. We’re focusing on telling the correct story, the full story and there’s a great selection of stories,” Rose said.

South Fountain was historically an affluent neighborhood established by those who were successful business and used their funds to build homes there. Rose said what makes South Fountain significant is the concerted effort of the residents who find it worth saving these houses and being close to downtown.

“There’s a great diversity of those who live in the neighborhood,” he said.

Fett is pleased not just local people attend, but said a woman from California whose daughter is attending Wittenberg University wants to take the tour during the school’s homecoming weekend.

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“There has been more and more interest in the South Fountain district over the years,” Fett said.

First Baptist Church, 638 S. Fountain Ave. is the starting point for each tour and ticketholders will receive a tour booklet.

Advance tickets are available online at southfountain.org/events or in person at Frame Haven, Katie’s Hallmark or New Carlisle Federal Savings, 1408 N. Limestone St. next to Winans. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the tour for $20 each.


HOW TO GO

What: South Fountain Tour of Homes

Where: Several homes along South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: Sunday, Oct. 2, 1-6 p.m.

Admission: $15 advance and $5 students; $20 day of tour; kids 10-under free

More info: www.southfountain.org/events-1/tour-of-homes-1

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