July 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
61°F

Historic homes to open doors for tour

One of the homes on the 2012 Holiday Home Tour will be the Aylard Home, owned by Matt Wiederhold, Main Street Medina executive director. (COURTESY PHOTO)

MEDINA — The city’s Community Design Committee is carrying on the tradition of showcasing historic homes for the holidays.

For decades, the Medina County YWCA had sponsored a county-wide tour of historic homes, but that tradition ended last year when the YWCA closed.

The holiday tour was too good an idea to let die, said Bill Lamb, president of the Community Design Committee Board of Trustees.

“It fits well with our new focus of working in the neighborhoods,” Lamb said, who also serves as a Medina city council member at large.

The Design Committee was formed in 1967 and played a major role in the restoration of Medina’s Historic Square. The organization works for preservation and maintenance of Public Square, the gazebo and its surrounding neighborhoods.

The tour will be Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and will feature five historic homes decorated for Christmas:

• A Western Reserve style house built in 1845 by Asa Davis that has been restored and appointed with primitive furnishings.

• An Italianate house built in 1878 for Herman Holmes, a traveling agent on the railroad. Interesting elements include the seven-inch hand-hewn foundation stones. Holmes added the wrap-around porch and the county’s “most perfect water works system for home use” in 1896. The summer kitchen remains behind the house. When the current owners bought the home in 2006, very little had changed since the 1950s. They have spent the past six years updating the interior.

• The Aylard Home, a Colonial Revival style house built for banker and phone company executive Harry E. Aylard in 1912. The American Four-Square home, which features substantial oak woodwork, a beamed dining room ceiling, three fireplaces, and an Arts and Crafts stained glass window, was the Aylard family residence for over 60 years until it was sold to the Society for Handicapped Citizens as a patient residence. The current owners purchased the home in 2011, and have spent the past year restoring it to a single-family residence, respecting the history and design of the space, but adding a modern thrift twist.

• A Greek revival home built in 1855, one of Medina’s examples of pre-Civil War architecture. The original owner, William L. Terrill, was proprietor from the 1850s to 1870 of the landmark American House Hotel on the Square. The current owners purchased the home in 1978 and have restored it over the past 34 years. The family room was recently transformed into a state-of-the-art kitchen with a beamed wooden ceiling, and wooden cabinets, while the former small kitchen became the laundry room. A cozy new porch fits perfectly into a recessed front corner of the home.

• An 1860 home built by hardware merchant Frederick Beck. The porch posts are supported with swallows in flight made by a former owner. Victorian plantings surround the house and an inviting garden room beckons in all seasons.

The tour also will include the United Church of Christ, Congregational and the 1877 Munson House, which was relocated to South Prospect Street from the Square in 1985.

The Munson House, which is used as the offices of the Community Design Committee and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, will feature a display of antique toys during the tour
Tickets cost $20 per person, and the proceeds fund the non-profit work of the committee.

Tickets are available at all Medina County Buehler’s stores, Miss Molly’s Tea Room, the Medina County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Project Learn: BookShelf.

Guide books and tickets for the tour will be available Sunday and can be picked up at three locations: The Western Reserve Bank Drive-Thru, 4015 Medina Road, will be open for guidebook pickup from 11:55 am. until 1:30 pm, and the United Church of Christ, Congregational, northeast corner of Public Square, and the Munson House, 141 S. Prospect St., will have guide books and tickets available all afternoon. Tour attendees may start at any of the seven properties. Parking is limited at some tour destinations, and car-pooling is encouraged.
Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon in the north hall of the Congregational Church. For more information, call (330)725-7516 or email medinacdc@zoominternet.net.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.