While many will attend the Old West End Festival for the art fair, antiques sales, and parade, it’s the house tours that give visitors an inside look at what makes the 25-block historic district special to Toledo.
The tours show off the area’s stately homes. Of the five featured this year, the Libbey House at 2008 Scottwood Ave. stands out.
“The Libbeys created a great legacy for Toledo,” said Steve Shrake, a Libbey House Foundation board member.
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Built in 1895 in shingle and colonial-revival styles, it was home to Edward Drummond Libbey, the man who moved what is now the Libbey Glass Co. from Massachusetts to Toledo in 1888.
The house features three floors, a cherrywood grand staircase, a mahogany parlor, and a paneled dining room accented by 10 hand-carved lion heads.
“My family and I have walked by this house [hundreds of] times,” said Barb Roose of Scottwood Avenue. “I finally got a chance to see it after admiring it all these years. It’s absolutely magnificent.”
For John Kurtz and his wife, Julie, of Blissfield, Mich., the house provided ideas for restoring their home built in the 1860s.
“About a dozen times, we’ve said, ‘Oh, we should do that,’ ” Mrs. Kurtz said.
For the Kurtzes, the Libbey House’s dining room stood out. Mrs. Roose say she likes the dining room too, but for another reason.
“To think about the conversations that shaped Toledo history that would have happened around the table here is extraordinary,” she said.
The Libbey House Foundation bought the home in 2008 from Jeanene and Lloyd “Skip” Perkins and is conducting a capital drive to restore and update it.
“It’s a national historic landmark, and it needs to be seen and appreciated by the public,” Mr. Shrake said.
The first floor will be restored to the 1910-era style to show how the Libbeys might have lived. It will be used for receptions for the foundation’s corporate partners and other groups such as the Toledo Art Museum.
The second floor will show “how Toledo has grown through innovation and technology, not only with glass, but with other products too,” Mr. Shrake said.
The top floor, the old servants’ quarters, will become a think tank in partnership with local universities, museums, and others, providing office space for researchers and others in the technology field.