Friday, Aug 26, 2016
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CHRISTMAS ON A GRAND SCALE

Old West End homes open up for Tours de Noel

  • Christmas-tree-Benett-home

    A decorated tree in a bedroom of the home of Bruce and Mary Bennett.

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  • Bennett-dining-room

    Decorated dining room of Bruce and Mary Bennett, one of six sites on the Tours de Noel.

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  • Mary-Bennett-staircase

    Mary Bennett on the staircase of her home on display for the Tours de Noel.

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Christmas-tree-Benett-home

A decorated tree in a bedroom of the home of Bruce and Mary Bennett.

The Blade/Lori King
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Decorating our homes for the holidays year after year may sometimes seem mundane and uninspiring. But the notion that it's a routine exercise will surely fade after visiting stately homes on the annual Old West End Tours de Noel, sponsored by the Women of the Old West End, Inc.

This year's tour is from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. The attractions include three homes on Robinwood Avenue and First Congregational Church and Mansion View Inn, both on Collingwood Avenue, and a suite in the Park Lane Luxury Apartments, at 142 23rd St.

Mary-Bennett-staircase

Mary Bennett on the staircase of her home on display for the Tours de Noel.

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Imagine how much excitement -- or work -- goes into decorating these homes with numerous rooms that often include such spaces as parlors, libraries, dens, butler pantries, music rooms, several bedrooms, made-for-TV staircases, high ceilings, and grand entrances and windows that also demand attention for adornment.

The hard work is always worth it, though. Visitors will be awed by the Christmas trees, lights, and decorations that are sure to bring childlike glee to anyone of any age.

The homes on this year's Tours de Noel are the Lockwood/Glowacki house at 2461 Robinwood, where Ed and Mary Glowacki reside; the Banting/Hartford home at 2455 Robinwood, home of Laurie and Doug Hartford, and the Pratt/Bennett home at 2273 Robinwood, Bruce and Mary Bennett's house.

First Congregational Church at 2315 Collingwood has leaded-glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. In addition to the Mansion View Inn at 2035 Collingwood, another highlight of the tour is the holiday decorated suite once occupied by Al Capone in the Park Lane.

Bennett-dining-room

Decorated dining room of Bruce and Mary Bennett, one of six sites on the Tours de Noel.

The Blade/Lori King
Enlarge | Buy This Image

There also will be the annual Arboretum Cookie Walk and the Gift Boutique at the Park Lane. The Cafe at the Park will serve lunch from noon to 6:30 p.m. The boutique will be open during the same hours as the tour.

Tickets for Tours de Noel are $5 to visit one home; $15 for the whole tour, or $12 in advance, and $10 for people 55 and older. The tour is free for children age 13 and younger when they are accompanied by an adult. For ticket information, call 419-244-4921, or visit womenoftheoldwestendinc.com.

Tickets also can be purchased at each house during the tour as well as Downtown Latte, 44 S. St. Clair St.; David Swesey Florist, 433 Dussel Dr., Maumee; Georgette's Grounds & Gifts, 311 Conant St., Maumee; Lily's at Levis in Levis Commons; Schramm's Flowers, 3157 W. Central Ave., in Cricket West in Toledo, and Color Concepts, 6725 W. Central Ave., Sylvania.

Contact Rose Russell at: rrussell@theblade.com or 419-724-6178.

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