553 Paris SE
The owners of this 1891 Queen Anne style home have not lived here long – a little more than a year and a half – but their quick refurbishing and decorating shows all the care of their love for the neighborhood. The newly added gardens in the backyard put the shining touch on this jewel on south Paris.
218 Union SE
Those who went on the Tour in 1998 have probably heard the story about the “Cat House.” It’s back on Tour! This 1908 Craftsman style home was almost left at the bottom of the litter box before the current owners rescued it. The previous owner harbored more than 70 cats over a period of nearly 30 years in the house, and it became the largest kitty box, scratching post and hairball Grand Rapids has ever seen. While that “was” the story of the house, today the story is what it became “after” the cats. Come see for yourself.
47 College NE
You’ll see two apartments in this 1889 shingle-style home. Converted to a three-family in 1952, little of the outside character was changed as you’ll see right off the bat by the stunning turret and the marvelous copper-topped Juliet balcony. The second and third floors await Tour-goers, so prepare for a climb.
301 Crescent NE
The west side of this 1908 duplex has undergone such radical changes at the hands of the current tenants – that those Tour-goers who remember the first showing will be amazed this time around. Just purchased in 1996 and extensively rehabbed then, this home only seems to be getting better with age. This is a house that fans of Trading Spaces will love.
238 Madison SE
The stately look of this 1904 Classic Revival upon first sight takes a back seat once you walk through the front door. Once inside, you’ll be amused, entertained and sometimes awestruck by the local art and offerings the owner has chosen to adorn his home. While the magnificent woods and craftsmanship remain as reminders of its glorious past, the artisans of today bring a fresh look to this home. The journey to the third floor ballroom, now an art studio, is a real treat and worth the trek up.
326 Cherry SE
This 1882 Craftsman style home was converted to three apartments in and around 1959. Today, two apartments remain, with the owners occupying the two main floors of the house. Unique fixtures and architectural features, as well as delightful stained glass windows (both original and new), give this Tour home a genuinely homey feel.
240 Prospect SE
Truly a working man’s house in a neighborhood thought to have been only for the affluent, this 1882 Craftsman style house was built for a finisher for the Bissel Carpet Sweeper Company. Though it has been home to many others over the years, the real story of this house and those on the same street is how close they came to being swallowed up by the hospital, how they languished in disrepair for many years, and finally, how several Hill neighbors invested their time and money into making this a vital part of the neighborhood once more.
61 Sheldon SE – Ladies Literary Club
Both this and the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Tour were designed by renowned architect William G. Robinson (other local design work of his includes the Castle – at College and Cherry Streets – and the Public Museum’s Voigt House). This building, constructed in 1887, was one of only a few structures built around this time in the United States specifically for a women’s club.
100 Sheldon SE – Seventh Day Adventist Church
This William G. Robinson designed building was constructed in 1894 for the All Souls Universalist congregation and is faced with a rusticated sand stone quarried in the iron country of northern Michigan. After being home to other church groups over the years and falling into disrepair during the 1930s, the Seventh Day Adventists purchased the building in 1939. A major renovation program was necessary to completely restore the sanctuary. The pipe organ, installed around 1900, is still in excellent playing condition.
254 E. Fulton – Womens City Club
The building that has been home to the Grand Rapids Women’s City Club since 1924, was originally built for the Martin Sweet family in 1856. Sweet had a highly successful career in the grain business, banking, sawmills, and lumber. Mr. Sweet is best remembered for building Sweet’s Hotel, which became the Pantlind Hotel and now the Amway Grand Plaza.
Also on Tour, for an additional fee, will be the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Voigt House at 115 College SE. This 1895 built retirement home for Carl and Elizabeth Voigt is a near-perfect preservation of a little more affluent life around the turn of the 1900s in Grand Rapids.