Friday, March 30, 2012

Preservation Durham's Annual Old Home Tour Heads to Forest Hills

A walk through Downtown Durham quickly demonstrates that there is a drive to preserve buildings and reuse them - sometimes for other purposes, sometimes for their original purpose.  Move away from the busy city center into some of the adjacent neighborhoods and it becomes very clear that the same commitment exists for homes.

“Forest Hills is a perfect representation of the pre-war drive towards the suburbanization of American cities,” said Elizabeth Sappenfield, Preservation Durham’s home tour chairperson. “It was marketed in the 1920s as ‘a place of quiet, rest, and beauty’. It offered its residents a bucolic lifestyle with city amenities. Just over a mile from the downtown business core, it was Durham's first automobile suburb.”

Preservation Durham's Annual Old Home Tour returns to Forest Hills this year and will include seven of the neighborhood's most notable homes and two gardens, including a unique sculpture garden on Oak Drive. The tour will be April 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Designated as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, Forrest Hills retains traces of its pastoral origins -- a few outbuildings, a 19th-century farmhouse, a barn -- combined with the winding tree-lined streets organized around a beautiful city park and clubhouse.

Homes in Forest Hills were built between the 1920s and 1950s and are representative of several styles popular at the time, including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, English Cottage, and mid-century Modernist. This year’s tour features four excellent examples of Tudor Revival variations, two impressive Colonial Revivals, two different interpretations of Modernism, and one rare example of Spanish Colonial Revival.

Preservation Durham's Old Home Tour annually offers hundreds of people the chance to tour historically significant neighborhoods in Durham.The tour is an important fundraiser for Preservation Durham, an organization dedicated to protecting Durham’s historic assets through action, advocacy and education.

Tickets will go on sale April 1st, and will be $20 before the day of the tour. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit Preservation Durham's website. Tickets also will be available in advance at Morgan Imports, at The Regulator Bookshop, and at the Preservation Durham office.

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