Sunday, April 29, 2012

Old Town Cape will showcase downtown living during its third annual Downtown Historic Home and Garden Tour. The tour, which will feature six homes, will be from noon to 4 p.m. May 12.

"It's a service for people to enjoy our downtown and to promote downtown living," event organizer and Old Town Cape volunteer Lisa Bertrand said.

In July of 2009, Old Town Cape Girardeau implemented the Downtown Strategic Plan. This plan grew out of the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.

"We are using it as a way to increase interest in living downtown," said Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape.

The tour helps further this plan by showcasing the different types of homes located downtown. According to Mills they have featured everything from apartments to big homes.

"The kind of cool homes we show on the tour raise awareness that there is all kind of living downtown," Mills said.

Bertrand's home, at 306 Independence St., is one of the six homes to be featured. It is a three-story home that was built in 1906. She said it has wonderful inlay wooden floors in the living room and dining room. Bertrand used salvaged material from her husband's antique shop to remodel the family room.

"We tried to keep it as historically true as possible," Bertrand said.

The home of Julie Mellies, located at 826 Themis St., will also be a destination on the tour. It was built cirque 1883 for Frederick W. Pott, who came from Prussia and settled in Cape Girardeau. This two-and-a-half story home is modeled after the Italianate style.

"It is from that period when everyone was interested in Italian villas," Mellies said.

In 1939, the home became a doctor's office. Mellies said this kept it from being torn down. She bought the home in 1995 and has been remodeling it for 17 years. It is on the national and state Register of Historic Places.

Other homes featured in the tour will be the Greaser home at 125 S. Spanish St., the Kage home at 120 Broadway, the Mocherman home at 220 N. Lorimier St. and the Southard home at 113 N. Frederick St.

According to Mills, over 200 people attended the event last year. She is expecting the same number of attendees or more this year.

Bertrand said the weather has always been nice for the event and is hoping the tradition will continue this year. She said they tried to schedule the homes relatively close together so people could enjoy the day.

"It is a chance for people to get out and walk," Bertrand said.

The event has taken place the Saturday before Mother's Day since it's inception three years ago.

"We see a lot of mother-daughter groups come through," Mills said. "We offer it on a weekend when people are looking for something to do with their mother."

Advanced tickets for the tour are $15 and can be purchased at Old Town Cape, Annie Laurie's Antiques, Spanish Street Mercantile and Realty Executives. The day of the event, tickets will cost $20 and will be available at the Bertrand home.

For more information, visit www.oldtowncape.org/events.



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