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Tour Historic Homes in Ludlow, Newport this Weekend

You can check out some of the stately Victorian homes of Ludlow and Newport this weekend as each city offers its annual Christmastime tours.

Dickens of a Christmas - A Tale of Two Cities: Ludlow's Past & Present

This year's tour, hosted by the Ludlow Historical Society, will be the beginning of a year-long celebration of the city's sesquicentennial (its 150th birthday).

The tour is Saturday, December 7 from 4 - 8 p.m. The Ludlow First Baptist Church, the River's Breeze Clubhouse, and several historic Ludlow homes will make up the tour. Those homes include the Hazelwood Home, the Schnaitter Home, the Ashcraft Home, the Ellis Home, and the Fortin Home.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Ideal Supply (519 Adela Street), the 230 Elm (230 Elm Street), or online by clicking here.

For more information, visit: Preserve Ludlow and for descriptions of the homes on the tour, click here.

20th Annual Victorian Christmas Tour in Newport's East Row Historic District

The 20th Annual East Row Victorian Christmas Tour will be held December 7 and 8, 2013, in the East Row Historic District, Newport.  Tour hours each day will be 12:00 – 6:00.  The East Row Historic Neighborhood Association is presenting the tour.  The East Row Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the second largest historic district in Kentucky.

After picking up your ticket at Mansion Hill Custom Floors, visitors may walk through the homes, which reflect Queen Anne and Italianate architecture styles. Interior features include original staircases, fireplace mantles and woodwork. While garlands and greenery are hardly needed for the homes, which were selected for their distinctive interiors and exteriors and historic design, the residences will be decorated in their best holiday finery. Besides holiday decor, visitors will see newly renovated kitchens, master suites, bathrooms and other areas.

Most people choose to walk the Tour, but for the convenience of visitors, a shuttle will make periodic stops along the route during Tour hours. Restrooms will also be available at designated areas. While the East Row Historic District may be easily maneuvered by wheelchairs, the homes on the tour are not handicapped accessible.

Tour tickets may be purchased in advance online beginning October 1, 2013, for $16 (PURCHASE TICKETS). Tour tickets purchased online must be picked up at Mansion Hill Custom Floors during the tour hours. On tour days, tickets are $18 per person and will be available for sale during tour hours at the Mansion Hill Custom Floors, 324 East 4th Street (middle of the block between Overton and Washington Streets). Children age 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

For the fifth year, the popular Victorian Christmas Tea will be held on both days of the Christmas Tour in a beautiful East Row home. (The address for the Tea will be given at the time of on-line ticket purchase.) A traditional savory-sweet English tea will be served, including tea sandwiches, scones (with homemade clotted cream and jam), assorted cakes, tarts and cookies. Seatings will be at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Advance purchase tickets are $30 and are available online only beginning October 1, 2013 (PURCHASE TICKETS). Tickets are very limited so we suggest you purchase early!

Homes on the tour include:
* A unique 1895 Italianate town home resembling a New York City brownstone. Eighteen Christmas trees, many themed, are decorated each year throughout the home. The third floor is converted into a miniature Christmas city display with over 150 buildings and structures.

* An 1893 Gothic Revival church which has been converted into two condominium homes. The home on tour has been adapted to the layout of the church and includes the large stained glass windows as focal points. The still-functioning Koehnkent Grimm tracker type organ, built in Cincinnati, remains as part of the structure and now graces the dining room.

* A remodeled 1892 Queen Anne home, owned by a Ohio river pilot for over 50 years, with five original fireplaces (including three in Kensington tile), original stained glass, and an example of the original 1893 wallpaper. 

* A uniquely styled turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival cottage, reflecting the transition from Queen Anne to newly emerging styles, with original stained glass, woodwork, and mantles, and multi-light windows.

* An 1886 Queen Anne home with original floors, transoms, woodwork, windows and fireplaces and modern features for entertaining and living. The home’s residents included a musician in the Confederate Army who served with George S. Patton’s grandfather.

* A 1910 Colonial Revival cottage with original leaded and stained glass, built by a Spanish-American war veteran, fitted to a period style by the owner.

* A modest shotgun style home which may pre-date the Civil War featuring a gingerbread trimmed porch. The interior renovation heavily utilized salvaged materials including the maple flooring from a church in Norwood.

* An 1878 Italianate townhouse whose renovation won a National Trust for Historic Preservation award, in Victorian style, with original plaster ceiling medallions, gaslight features, mantels, windows and pine flooring, and music room. Operated as a bed-and-breakfast, it will be fully open for tour visitors. 

NOTE: Tickets for the Victorian Christmas Tour and the Victorian Christmas Tea are separate.

This year, a portion of the proceeds from the tour will benefit three food pantries in Newport: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, St. John's United Church of Christ, and Holy Spirit Outreach.

Directions to Mansion Hill Custom Floors: From I-471: Take Exit 4 West (KY 1120 -10th Street). Continue West to Washington Avenue and turn right (north towards the Ohio River). Turn right onto 5th Street, left onto Overton Street, then left onto 4th Street. Mansion Hill Custom Floors is in the middle of the block on the left. You may also park at one of the nearby lots and walk to the shop. (Map to Mansion Hill Custom Floors)

Free parking is available at the lot between Fifth and Sixth Streets and Washington Avenue or at St. John’s United Church of Christ parking lot at Fourth Street and Park Avenue. Visitors may also park at Newport on the Levee. There is also limited on-street parking.