We started by visiting the Elizabeth Pabst von Ernst house in the 3400 block of West Wells street. We had seen this house a few years ago, and were interested to see progress that had been made.
The Benzakein residence on North 33rd Street was a good example of a successful renovation. The former duplex has been converted into a single-family dwelling with eleven bedrooms and copious other living space, including a handsome deck atop the garage.
We were very interested to see the inside of the “Lion House” on West Highland Boulevard. This building, which looks like it should have been a bank building was in fact built as a residence by George J. Koch in 1897. Koch was a banker, so perhaps this seemed homelike to him? It has been office space since the 1980’s, and is presently used by the Forest County Potowatomi Foundation in what must be one of the city’s most distinguished offices
The Grosse residence in the 3100 block of West Highland is very much a work in progress. Mr. Grosse bought the 1917 Craftsman bungalow at a sheriff’s sale in 2015, and has begun what will be an extensive restoration of the neglected but basically sound property.
The Manegold mansion, also on West Highland, is a very fine example of a Queen Anne Victorian which survived use as a nursing home and as a priests’ residence with many of its original appointments intact. The present owners are restoring it and hope to make it a bed and breakfast.
The former Gezelschap home on West State Street is another work in progress, with the new owners intent on restoring the spacious Victorian, which also had been converted into a rooming house. The original owner dealt in lighting fixtures, so the home has remarkable eleven-foot ceilings, appropriate for displaying his wares.
We re-visited the Charles Krause home on West Kilbourn, which has been very nicely restored and furnished. We had a very nice chat with the lady owner there.
This year, we skipped the Schuster Mansion and the Tower House, as we had seen them recently, and weren’t interested in the Woodlands School building or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, although these were all open. We did stop in at the Tripoli Shrine Temple, the tour headquarters, for pieces of pie from the bake sale before heading home.
Notes about the tour had encouraged people to dress “period”, so of course Georgie and I did, being two of the evident few who did. However, we were very well received, and got many smiles and waves, even from neighborhood residents who weren’t part of the tour.
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