Friday, May 25, 2018
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Festival's historic homes offer glimpse of city's grand past

Old West End Festival action migrates north this year toward Monroe Street, where the museum has planned an extensive lineup of entertainment and art workshops, fireworks, and the opening of its $5 million, 22-piece sculpture garden.

Museum events will be held on Saturday only. The Blade will preview TMA's 100th birthday party on Friday's Peach page.

Monroe Street will be closed at 9 a.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Sunday. Scottwood Avenue also will be closed. Bancroft Street will be open.

The historic tour includes five homes and a church clustered near the museum.

New this year is a pavilion in the garden of the Mansion View Conference and Event Center, 2035 Collingwood Blvd., where beer, wine, and snacks will be served.

The festival features its usual antique and yard sales, live music, children's activities, and food. About 100 artists and crafts people will sell their wares in the park across Monroe Street from the TMA.

Sure to be a favorite on the tour is the Libbey-Perkins home at 2008 Scottwood Ave., completed in 1895.

Behind a wrought-iron fence and set on a double lot overlooking the museum, this 18-room mansion has a first-story exterior of granite, topped with shingles painted yellow as they originally were.

Homey on the outside, the house's interior is stunning and rich with detailed mahogany, cherry, and oak woodwork.

The paneled and beamed dining room features carved lion's heads, and the large Libbey safe is hidden behind a secret door. The fireplace, one of five, is framed by dozens of Delft tiles hand-painted with Dutch scenes.

On the second floor, an interior viewing window in a sitting room looks down onto the stairway and a beautiful stained-glass window.

Jeanene and Skip Perkins, who bought the place in 1993, were reluctant to open it to the public. They only agreed because of the home's special connection with the museum and TMA's centennial. “Just for this year,” said Ms. Perkins. “It's just a lot of work.”

Consider: She began early last fall, painting vast amounts of white trim, pillars, stairways, and a casement bay window. Then, she tackled several huge rooms, covering dark green walls with a rich yellow that complemented the stained glass. The raspberry-colored living room was given a new satin finish.

With its 21-inch thick walls, the house was built for glass pioneer Edward Drummond Libbey and his wife, Florence Scott Libbey, who were the original benefactors and among the founders of the museum.

The Libbeys hired architect David Stine to design their home. Stine also planned Scott and Waite high schools, the Lucas County Courthouse, and Ashland Avenue Baptist Church.

Bathrooms have original pedestal sinks, oversized claw tubs, and a marble shower with full-body spray. It has a gracious wrap-around veranda and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ms. Perkins had fallen in love with the house years earlier, and when it came on the market, she and her husband halted plans for a Queen Victorian they were preparing to construct on three acres in Bedford.

Best times to tour the mansions are early or late in the day, said Dennis Lange, president of the Old West End Association.

Museum parking lots will be closed to the public on Saturday. However, on Saturday only, free continuous shuttles will run between the TMA and parking lots at Owens Corning downtown off Summit Street or at the University of Toledo near Bancroft Street. Saturday night between 8:30 and about 10:15, shuttles will not run but will resume following the fireworks.

Also on the tour are:

  • Potter-Secor-Schreder Home, 2025 Scottwood Ave.: This 6,700-square-foot home was built in 1904 for an attorney. In the 1940s, it was divided into five apartments and a doctor's office. It has three fireplaces, a restored library with gorgeous wallpaper and stained-glass windows. The kitchen had been converted into an apartment and only one cabinet remained. When the current homeowner reconverted it to a kitchen, he patterned cabinets after the remaining one. And he used black stone salvaged from the fa ade of a nearby bank for countertops.

    The homeowners have also used material salvaged from a 1903 schoolhouse in Bryan for flooring, wainscot, and a tin ceiling. The aluminum siding is being painstakingly removed to expose the original shingle construction.

  • Barbour-Hoffman Home, 2030 Scottwood Ave.: This Georgian Revival home was built in 1905, and later converted into a four-family apartment. Ed Hoffman, the third and current owner, restored it back to a single-family abode in 1986. The intimate floor plan has the kitchen, dining room, and sun porch overlooking a lovely backyard.

  • Manley-Watson Home, 2260 Scottwood Ave.: Construction of this Georgian Colonial began in 1895. It has a trio of gables and a bowed front porch. A music room features a solid marble fireplace and mantel. The majestic stairway is supported by square columns. The kitchen was modernized when David (former museum director) and Kathy Steadman lived here. The backyard is landscaped with formal gardens, a winding path, and fish pond.

  • Reynolds-Secor House/Man- sion View, 2035 Collingwood Blvd.: Designed in 1887 for banker and grain merchant Charles Reynolds, this 8,500-square-foot home on the National Historic Register was donated to the Old West End Association in December and is supported, in part, by funds raised at the festival. It's used for parties and meetings and was a bed-and-breakfast. It has 7 bathrooms, and at one time had 17 efficiency apartments. Large leaded glass doors open into the Italian marble foyer and an ornately carved grand hallway. An amazing feature is the ceiling of the dining room with its mahogany carvings, intricate stained glass, and 15-foot buffet. First and second floors are furnished. The association has not decided what to do with the third floor.

  • Glenwood Lutheran Church, 2545 Monroe St.: The church started in a storefront in 1901. In 1902, a stone church was built on Glenwood Avenue. It expanded several times. In 1964, a new sanctuary was built on the site of the original church, a tower was added, and the parish building was given a stone fa ade.

    Home tours run continuously Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at each tour site and the information booth in the art park across from the museum. Discount with a Food Town Plus card. Individual home tours costs $3 each. Children 12 and younger may accompany a paying adult.

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