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Published: Monday, 12/10/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Visitors admire festive decor while helping to feed needy

Home tour highlights historic Westmoreland

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Visitors admire the dining room of the Bresnahan Home on Richmond Road during the holiday home tour hosted by the Westmoreland Homeowners Association. Scores of people showed up for the tour. Visitors admire the dining room of the Bresnahan Home on Richmond Road during the holiday home tour hosted by the Westmoreland Homeowners Association. Scores of people showed up for the tour.
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Scores of people braved the drizzling rain Sunday afternoon to walk around the Westmoreland Historic District on a holiday home tour and food drive rather than wait for a shuttle bus that would have shielded them from the elements.

“This is our second home, and we’ve been quite impressed with the architecture and the decorating,” said Jon Bossenbroek, 39, of Toledo, an associate professor of ecology at the University of Toledo, as he continued touring the featured homes.

“A lot of people showed up, and the weather doesn’t seem to be slowing people down,” he said.

Mr. Bossenbroek had just walked through a house at 1951 Richmond Rd. hosted by homeowners Robert Beckwith, 39, an English instructor at UT, and his partner, Steven Gola, 46, director of operations for a pharmaceutical business in San Francisco. Megan Roberts, 28, a Toledo musician and a friend of the homeowners, played holiday music on the piano while guests walked around the house that was decked out for Christmas.

The 1926 Georgian Colonial Revival house was one of eight on the tour. Sponsored by the Homeowners Association of the Historic Westmoreland Neighborhood, it featured Georgian Colonial Revival, English Cottage, Italian Renaissance, English Tudor, and Jacobethan-French Revival homes built between 1916 and 1930.

“You want to share the unique architecture of the community and promote Westmoreland as a great place to be,” Mr. Gola said.

“And I think using this community as an asset will help provide food for others, especially during the holiday season. And I think it’s great,” he said.

Mr. Beckwith said about 45 people visited the house within the first 30 minutes of the 3½-hour event that started at 3 p.m. He went on to say that the tourists seemed to be happy and appeared to be enjoying themselves.

Food that was donated and a portion of the event’s proceeds went to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, which has distributed more than 76 million pounds of food in northwest Ohio during the last 26 years. Tickets were $15 each.

Said Tina Bossenbroek, 38, Mr. Bossenbroek’s wife who is a homemaker and a mother of three, aged 5, 9, and 12:

“It’s great they are donating part of the proceeds to the food bank especially at the time of the holiday season when people need more funds to feed the needy.”

The Westmoreland neighborhood was planned and developed from 1916 to about 1930 and was the first major new residential development after the Old West End. The historic district about a mile east of the University of Toledo was the home of prominent residents who contributed to the city’s development, including such notables as the Spiekers, Doehlers, and Pinkertons.

There are 216 homes in Westmoreland, which originally had 323 lots. The U.S. Department of Interior named it a historic district in the 1980s.

Contact Mike Sigov at: msigov@theblade.com or 419-724-6089.



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