Here’s a review of the 2010 tour:
The Tour offers a rare opportunity to enter some of the finest private homes in Columbus and admire the special furnishings that have been treasured by families for generations but seldom seen by visitors. Enjoy the beauty, architecture and history of this great Midwestern community.
The Donner Park neighborhood and the early- to mid-twentieth century homes situated there were highlighted on the Bartholomew County Historical Society’s 2010 Homes Tour on October 9th and 10th.
This area, known as the Franklin Street Esplanade Historical District, between 17th and 19th Streets is one of the residential areas of Columbus developed primarily in the 1930s. The esplanade or median strip adds much to the beauty of the streetscape and is enhanced by the architectural styles of the houses. Most of the homes in the Franklin Street Esplanade District were built and lived in by their owners – many were prominent Columbus businessmen. James Kelly, builder of a Colonial Revival style house on Franklin Street, spearheaded a proposal to the city government and to other property owners in the early 1930s to build the esplanade. By doing this, the city did not have to pave the area, and the agreeable property owners were responsible for the landscaping – which was enhanced in 2000 as the centennial project of the area residents.
In all, eight homes were featured in the 2010 Homes Tour. The stately exteriors belie the contemporary look and feel of the interiors. Antiques and modern furnishings dwell side-by-side; original artwork stars a major role; and influences from other cultures add to their appeal.
The Homes Tour is a biennial event presented by the Bartholomew County Historical Society. In 1973, the tour originated as a means to raise funds for the organization and to highlight local historically-significant homes. Over time, the focus has evolved to also include more contemporary architecture.