VA-HI Homes Tour
Start your holiday season with a bit of history, architecture and some tasty treats at the Virginia- Highland Tour of Homes on December 3 and 4.
What started 22 years ago as a fundraiser to prevent an interstate bisecting the neighborhood has become a favorite community tradition with more than 200 volunteers, explains Robin Ragland, chairperson of the home tour committee. “People like looking at historic houses, seeing the renovations and getting decorating ideas,” she says.
“The close proximity between homes makes the tour a pleasant walk, and local restaurants provide food tastes in each home. That makes our tour distinct,” says Ragland. “Last year, we added a driving history tour, and that will be back this year.”
The eight homes include a prairie-style Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home, a 1922 bungalow with beautiful gardens along a brick-paved street and a 1915 Craftsman bungalow, the home of Mande Harris and Joe Gasser.
The latter was renovated and enlarged six years ago by a previous owner. An antique farm table has its place, as does a dining room light fashioned from the afterburner of a military jet. “I’ve doing some research on the house’s history and plan to display some old pictures for visitors to see,” says Harris.
“All of the money goes back into the neighborhood, and the tour has funded more than $245,000 in grants for our schools, library, parks and non-profit organizations,” says Ragland. “We’re also helping to renovate Fire Station 19, the oldest operating fire station in the city.”