Monday, May 21, 2007

House Tour HUGE Success!

I was way too busy during the event to take any pictures, but the house tour was a success. We had 300 paid admissions here at Foxcroft meaning that many people started the tour here. Visitors could start and pay at any of the three sites. I haven't seen "offical" numbers yet but "guesstimate" that maybe another 150-200 came in who started elsewhere.

Here's a run down of how we organized the house:

Friends of Historic Preservation board members staffed the ticket table. Besides a ticket everyone received a one handout with page brief history of the house and list of what to look for while touring through.

My father and Lisa were on first floor, answering questions, pointing out information on display, directing traffic, etc.

I printed a lot of the scanned images I had and put them out for display.

On the front porch I put the posterboards I'd made for our town Chatauqua last spring with real estate promotional literature, and pictures from 1929:

In the living room I put out original interiors photos, pictures of Bess and Helen, copies of letters from Bess to the real estate agent, and her book that she gave to the builders telling room by room what she wanted:

In other first floor rooms I put out original photos to compare to current:

I was stationed upstairs, and spent the day explaining that we started with an unfinished attic two years ago. I tried to put "time lapse" pictures up in a place where you could look the finished product from the same perspective as the "in progress" pictures"

The big hit was the photo essay of June 16, 2005, the day we opened up the roof and started to frame out the new gable:

We had lemonade and cookies out in the back yard, our girls were in charge of refreshments. Also anyone who brought their children got an "official kids tour" by our younger, showing how you can get from her closet into our bedroom.

Lots of positive comments, three people mentioned that they had read the blog. The four hours FLEW by. Here was an email sent by a former board member to friends:

On May 20, 2007, at 3:55 PM, NAME DELETED wrote:

> Did any of you go on the FHP house tours this morning? I thought
> they were great. Here are several things I loved:
> 1. The time, 10:00--2:00, perfect for those of us who wanted to go
> in the morning and still have our afternoons for other tasks.
> 2. The number of houses--only 3, so again, not big time
> commitment, which is important this time of year when there is so much else going on or that needs to be done.
> 3. The charge--$5, very reasonable, with a ticket that had the addresses
> and directions on how to get to each house. You didn't have to have the
> ticket punched, which kept things simple.
> 4. The info provided--a sheet for each house, which you picked up
> at the house, one side was the history of the house/area, the other info
> about the restoration work and use of salvaged materials
> 5. The variety of houses, some more done with others, but each
> interesting and admirable in its own way.
> 6. Name tags on the owners, hosts, ticket sellers, etc.,
> particularly nice for those of us who have slipping memories!
> 7. The picture perfect weather they ordered up!!!
> If anyone else went, I'd love to hear your impressions. And if you
> did go, consider dropping Helen Burford [] a line,
> expressing your appreciation.

I'll echo the sentiments above: If anyone who stops by here went on the tour, I'd love to hear your feedback. Either reply to this post, or send to our executive director listed above.


StuccoHouse said...

Holy cow, that is a great turn out! I think I remember reading the numbers for our local bungalow tour last year and I don't think it hit that mark. Sounds very well organized (I liked the kids tour idea). Hopefully you turns a few people on to restoration & salvaged materials!

Willie Johnson said...

I'm sure the elderly gentleman with the beard on the first floor was the hit of the event! I hear he works "very, very well."

Mike said...

Stucco, thanks, we decided it was well worth the effort.

WILLIE! Good to hear from you man, it's been ages. Too bad you didn't make it to the tour. He didn't come upstairs, where I was, but I heard that Hayden Fry stopped in downstairs, sporting a "Pepe Rojas-Cardona for Governor" button.