Many of the homes on this year’s tour are historic and exemplify the beauty and craftsmanship typical of the architecture of the 1800s. A contemporary condominium and a home built in 1940 are also included. Tickets are available in advance at Great Lakes Ace Hardware, 1550 W. Market St. and on the day of the tour at the Tiffin Historic Trust headquarters, the Grammes-Brown House, 172 Jefferson St.
Exemplifying Second Empire architecture, it features a mansard roof typical of the style. The restoration work done by the Historic Trust members reflects the Victorian love of ornate interiors and objects.
In 1854 Judge William Lang purchased 23 acres of land on East County Road 50 (Greenfield Street) as the site for his home, “Willowdale.” Designed for entertaining guests as well as being the family home, it was the site of lavish parties hosted by the Langs. This red brick Victorian features an upstairs “dancing room.” After Jeff and Francine Neal purchased the home in 2009, it underwent a complete restoration.
Constructed in the mid-1800s, Brian and Samantha Hunt’s large Victorian-Italianate frame home on South Washington Street sits on 2.5 acres of land within the city limits. Its previous owners included several prominent Tiffinites. It is recognizable for the gazebo that was originally the Monroe Street School bell tower! The current owners have made many renovations that reflect their own style, while retaining the charm of the historic home.
Downtown Tiffin is fortunate to have a growing number of loft apartments that retain the historic exteriors of the businesses below and highlight the beauty of the original interior construction while providing modern conveniences. Included in this year’s tour is an Empire Block loft apartment that was renovated in 2017. School psychologist Molly Depew is the current tenant. The other loft is at 25 South Washington Street and is part of a group of buildings constructed in the mid-1800s and then redesigned by separate owners late in the century to form a uniform block in the Classical Revival style. This apartment features 18-foot ceilings and exposed brick walls that highlight its holiday décor.
Departing from the Victorian era, the Stark home on Herrick Court was built in 1940 by Dr. William Carrigan. It is a traditional frame home, but an addition in the 1960s included an unusual circular den paneled in wormy chestnut. The Starks purchased the home in 2013 and did some redecorating, and then even more after an unfortunate incident with a skunk!
The newest home on the tour is from early in the twenty-first century, the Schweitzer condominium in the Hedgegate North complex off Coe Street. The open living area with a vaulted ceiling that reaches twenty feet allows for a nine-foot and a twelve-foot Christmas tree. The home features a finished basement with a theater, living room and kitchenette. At least seven full-sized themed trees, including a farm tree, a funky tree, and a Santa Claus tree, as well as many smaller trees make evident the Schweitzers’ love of Christmas decorating.
Tiffin Homes on Tour includes these stops:
• The Grammes-Brown House, 172 Jefferson St.
• Lang-Neal Home, 778 E. County Road 50 (Greenfield Street)
• The Schweitzer Home, 544 Hedgegate North
• The Hunt Home, 594 S. Washington St.
• The Empire Block Loft, 144 S. Washington St.
• The Loft, 25 South Washington St.
• The Stark Home, 21 Herrick Court