Downtown residents open their homes for third annual tour

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Becky Mocherman, left, leads Ann and Larry Hall of Jackson on a tour of the Mocherman home Saturday, May 12, 2012 in Cape Girardeau. It was part of Old Town Cape's third annual Downtown Historic Home and Garden Tour. More photos from the tour are in a gallery at semissourian.com. (Fred Lynch)

Six downtown homeowners offered visitors a chance to view diverse and architecturally interesting homes in Cape Girardeau on Saturday afternoon during the third annual Downtown Historic District Home and Garden Tour.

The Bertrand house at 306 Independence St., built in 1906, is owned by Dr. Lisa and Charles Bertrand. The floors in the living and dining rooms are an unusual wood pattern. The sink in the first-floor bathroom and the light in the family room came from the St. Charles Hotel.

An entertainment area in the back of the house overlooks a deck and pool. The bar in that area was created by local artist Tim Roth using 28 old church pews.

"I just told him what I wanted and he did it," Charles Bertrand said.

Creative thinking turned an area that once housed an attic fan into a cozy reading nook for kids. A former "sleeping porch" was converted to an office area.

"Some people just use a few rooms in their homes," Bertrand said. "We use every room in this house."

Tanya Davis, who teaches a housing class at Notre Dame Regional High School, brought students Aaron Arnzen, 18, and Tatum Dodd, 17, both from Cape Girardeau.

"In class we cover building style, furniture style, art and décor," Davis said.

As they went through the houses they talked about design elements and furniture styles.

Of the houses they saw, Tatum really liked the Italianate Mellies home at 826 Themis St., which is known as the Frederick W. Pott House on the National Register of Historic Places.

Frederick and his wife, Marie, had 12 children, eight survived to maturity.

After the house was sold in 1974, it was used as a doctor's office. Later it was used as a gallery and retail space. Renovations have been extensive and are a work in progress.

One of the features of this home is the side courtyard, which has a brick privacy wall, plantings, a fountain and sitting area.

Arnzen liked the Greaser Home at 125 S. Spanish St., which has 5 1/2-foot windows throughout and paint in the dining room that appears to be leather. The wall beside the staircase to the second floor had matching paint. It had pocket doors and glass doorknobs.

Leading to the front door of the Southard home at 113 N. Frederick St. is a brick courtyard with a low wrought-iron fence. The house was built in 1892 as a single-family home. After being used as offices it was renovated keeping as close to the original design as possible. It showcases 11-foot ceilings, barn wood paneling, an updated kitchen and a versatile loft area.

The Kage home, built between 1860 and 1870, was the oldest in the tour. It has an apartment upstairs and space downstairs being renovated for retail use.

The Mocherman home at 220 Lorimier St. has an English garden with a view of the Mississippi River. Owners Becky and Roger Mocherman bought the house from Becky's parents. The garden was created by her mother, Martha Lou McGinty. A room overlooking the garden was added in 2002 and named the River Room.

"Cape means a lot to me," McGinty said. "I loved doing this house."

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