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Annual tour to feature town's architecture

| Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

The town of Scottdale is home to many splendid homes and mansions, offering a cornucopia of architecture and style, and the annual holiday home tour is the perfect way to get a glimpse into some of these wonderful sites.

The 2012 Christmas House Tour will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and will feature several stops for participants to enjoy.

The annual event is hosted by Scottdale Historical Society.

“The tour consists of seven stops this year — six homes in Scottdale and the Center Bethel Church of God in nearby Alverton,” Scottdale Historical Society President Tom Zwierzelewski said. “The Christmas tour gives a glimpse into the many wonderful homes in Scottdale and creates that Christmas spirit. It is a nice fund raiser for the Historical Society, adding to our operational expenses. The tour is part our mission statement, to help preserve our rich architectural heritage.”

The tour will begin at the lovely and historic Peter Loucks Homestead at 527 N. Chestnut St. where there will be light refreshments and holiday music.

The self-paced and self-guided tour will then take visitors through the streets of the town where they will be treated to some of the lovely gems whose owners have opened their doors for the event.

Stops on the tour will include a lovely Georgian inspired mansion, a handsome brick foursquare that boasts some incredible and original woodwork, a quaint little yellow stone bungalow and a wonderful Victorian manse.

The Center Bethel Church of God in Alverton, whose Victorian décor is certain to inspire an old fashioned Christmas, is also on the tour.

“All of the homes and church are new this year, except for the Loucks Homestead,” Zwierzelewski said. “ Last year, we added the homestead's spring house to the tour. This year, we have an antique co-op group displaying heritage and vintage holiday decor to see and purchase as well. The Pittsburgh Street property was on our tour four years ago, but it was sold this past year, and the new owners wanted to keep the property in the tradition of supporting the Historical Society and offered to add it to the showcase of homes early this summer.”

The Loucks Homestead and one other stop will feature the beautiful holiday decorating work of Dave Mardis from Miss Martha's Floral who will be adding his special touches to the sites.

“I'll be doing something different this year,” Mardis said of the decorating, adding that the Loucks homestead again will be awash in holiday splendor. “I'll be doing parts in traditional greens and reds, then for the parlors, I'll be doing something different.”

The town's community light celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. that same day, and Mardis said he hopes people will come to the tour and enjoy the rest of Scottdale.

“I hope that a lot of people come on the tour this year because I think that it's going to be really nice,” Mardis said. “I also hope that people come into town and walk around, do a little shopping and stop in and see the decorations.”

The event celebrated a record year last year with more than 230 guests taking part in the day, and the group hopes for another banner year to help them generate funding for the organization.

“The 2012 Christmas House Tour is planned to be one the best tours yet,“ Zwierzelewski said. “We continue to add new features like this year's Antique-Oddities display in the Spring house and performances on one of the historic pump organ. As our tour expands; we need our guest list to grow. We hope our return guests continue their support, and encourage their friends and family to make this an annual event.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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