A selection of seven historic Heritage Hill homes will open their doors to the public this weekend for the annual Heritage Hill Home Tour.
The tour offers a glimpse into the past and present of Grand Rapids’ historic neighborhood through these restored houses. It also highlights the work of the Heritage Hill Association, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The association launched with a goal of preventing the neighborhood’s pending demolition.
Thanks to the association’s efforts, “This Old House” named the neighborhood one of the “Best Old House Neighborhoods.” Heritage Hill encompasses 1300 homes representing architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tours take place Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $18 and are available at the Heritage Hill Association office, at 126 College SE, or at Heritage Hill Association. There will be shuttles available to help visitors to the homes get around.
View these seven Heritage Hill homes as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Meyer May home and the Art Deco Museum School.
115 College SE (the Voigt House)
The Voigt House, a virtual time-capsule of the Victorian Era, hosts the furniture, artwork, clothes and even the toothbrushes of the Voigt family. The craftsmanship of this 1895 Chateaux mansion is perfection, especially in the extensive oak woodwork.
703 Madison SE
Built in 1903 by a lumber baron, this home has some of the most beautiful oak woodwork in the city. The ornate fireplace mantle fills an entire wall and the sweeping and carved double stairway takes your breath away.
447 College SE
The glowing oak woodwork in the huge bay windows, the carved mantle, the staircase and the generous trim makes a fitting backdrop for the family heirlooms and antique shop finds that fill the house.
512 College SE
This circa 1900 Shingle Style home with a huge two-story, curved bay window and an unusual arched opening to the entry porch, has many delightful surprises waiting inside. An open-concept living space has been created on the first floor ending in a modern kitchen with soapstone counters and an orange stove.
216-18 College SE
The second Queen Anne on tour has all of the ornate exterior detailing characteristic of its 1884 style, but the interior could be from a high-rise in NYC.
216 Antisdel NE
Built in the Vernacular Style, it is part of the Hill’s first “housing development” with four other houses on this alley-like street having different trim, but the exact same floor plan.
216 Prospect N.E.
This stately 1920 brick home’s architecture draws heavily from the Prairie Style. It has a welcoming front porch and a serene ambiance as you enter the foyer, where you will be greeted by a simple, but elegant fireplace.
508 College SE
One of the most unusual homes to ever be on tour is a two-room converted carriage house. The 17’ high ceilings, the old beams, and a few remnants of the building’s history remain and blend nicely with the contemporary furnishings and artwork.
*Photos by Dianne Carroll Burdick