Tour opens doors to homes PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:46
Jeff Snook and his wife Lee Anne Snook are seen inside their home in Bowling Green, Ohio on April 24, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Through the decades, houses take on a life and a biography of their own as they reflect the aspirations, hobbies and challenges of all the families who have dwelled in them.
The passage of a century or more makes for even richer reading.
The Wood County public is being invited to open a particularly engrossing book two weeks from now as the much-anticipated Wood County Hospital Guild Home Tour gets under way. The theme for the May 17-18 event will be "Restorations and Renovations."
Six local homeowners will open their homes:
•  Phil and Karol Bortel, 1138 Lyn Road;
•  Ivan and Myrl DenBesten, 123 Larchwood;
•  Scott and Elisabeth Heacock, 319 Wallace;
•  Jeff and Lee Anne Snook, 315 W. Wooster;
•  Tony and Cheryl Vetter, 13100 County Home Road;
•  George and Susan Winters, 328 W. Wooster.
"Actually, the Winters came up with this theme idea because so many of the homes in this year's tour were involved in restoration or major renovation projects," said Ann Bowers, guild second vice president in charge of fundraising.
The tour is the guild's premier fundraising event, held only once every two years.
Bowers and her committee are particularly excited about the wide variety in the places showcased this time around.
"It's nice to have that variety - the fun homes, like the Vetters'" who "wanted to restore to themselves their time in the national parks; the historic homes" owned by the Snooks, Heacocks and Winters, "and then these homes that anybody could see themselves doing something comparable in their own home," Bowers said. She feels tour-goers may pick up creative, yet accessible ideas as they view the Bortel, Vetter and DenBesten dwellings.
Inside the DenBesten residence in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Phil and Karol Bortel at their residence in Bowling Green, Ohio on April 24, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
George and Susan Winters at 328 West Wooster Street in Bowling Green. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Exterior of the Vetter home from the road. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Scott and Elizabeth Heacock pose in their living room with their dog. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
One important change for 2013 is the scheduling of the event. For the first time, the tour is being held on a Saturday.
"Always before, the public tour was on Friday, and patron tour on Thursday evening.
"We're hoping for a bigger increase in attendance with the change in days," said Bowers. Moving to a weekend allows organizers to shorten the hours of the planned event a bit. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, "where in past (Friday) tours it went until 6 p.m. to allow people who did work that day" time to see the houses.
A closer look at the six homes, starting with the two oldest, on West Wooster:
• Snook - This stately three-story Queen Anne-style home just celebrated its 120th birthday and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places along with many other homes in the Boom Town Historic District. It was built in 1892 during Bowling Green's oil and gas boom. In the 1940s, the second owner joined the front two parlors, creating a large living room, added a screened-in porch to the side entrance, a garage, and a stone fireplace in the library. In the early 1980s the house was further renovated and the woodwork and baseboards were painted white, adding a more contemporary feel.
Only five families have enjoyed the house's high ceilings, stained glass windows and airy rooms in the last 120 years. The Snooks purchased it in 1985 and have filled it with their collection of whimsical decorations, antiques and American folk art. The kitchen was recently remodeled from the walls in, with soapstone countertops and custom-fitted cabinetry.
• Winters - They are the seventh owners of this 135-year-old frame Italianate home built around 1878. The parlor was the meeting place of the suffragette movement in Wood County, and it may have been used for early performances of the normal college's drama department. The house was divided into several units during the Great Depression, but recent owners have returned it to a single-family home, necessitating extensive restoration. The midnight rose color of the home approximates the paint color found where restorations uncovered traces of the original paint. Interior features include an original marble fireplace surround, original hardwood floors, ceiling medallions, electric chandeliers converted from gas fixtures, and extensive woodwork such as seventeen-layer crown moldings. Antiques complement the restorations such as the solid oak kitchen pantry, from which at least eight layers of paint were removed. The new owners have added a three-car garage, gutted and renovated the kitchen (restoring the original high ceiling), gutted an upstairs kitchen and converted it into a master bath suite, and removed storm doors that masked the original carved oak double entrance doors.
• Heacock - This home was built in the early years of the 20th century with a "shotgun" design. Scott, an architect, designed the large sunroom addition that provides views to the landscaped back yard. He also reconfigured the master bedroom to maximize the ceiling height and storage options. Elisabeth has been collecting antiques since 1974 and has combined her collection with antiques handed down from their parents. Along with the paintings of several local artists, including Scott, the antiques add interest to the home's Country French/cottage theme.
• DenBesten - Every inch of this lovely retirement villa has been renovated. The sunny yellow kitchen walls accent Grandma's canister set, Swedish Blue plates and Mexican art. New cabinets, glass tiles, granite and hardwood floors update the room. Arts and crafts collected during the DenBestens' extensive worldwide travels can be seen throughout their home. Most were found during a two-year period in the 1970s. Of special note are the glass sink and mosaic, and marble floors in the baths. If you have culinary interests, browse through the owners' vast cookbook collection.
• Bortel - Built in 1967, the couple purchased this Westgate area home in 1992.  Proximity to St. John's Woods and a preference for single floor living swayed a recent decision to remodel rather than relocate. The traditional ranch floor plan was totally reconfigured and now conveys a feeling of spaciousness in a modestly sized home. Four rooms were eliminated and transformed into a kitchen and great room with vaulted ceiling. The kitchen now features custom cabinetry and a triangular island focal point. The décor is an eclectic mix of Danish and contemporary interspersed with handcrafted artwork. The 10-month renovation also included the addition of a utility room and small basement.
• Vetter - This log home was inspired by a visit to the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park and the Vetters' desire to feel like they are on vacation while at home. The back of the house contains many windows, each with a view of the water. The property has expanded to include Cheryl's photography studio of 25 years, Hagemeyer Fine Photography. The Vetters completed many of the interior projects themselves including the 20-foot stone fireplace. Tony's handiwork includes the restored 15-foot wooden canoe hanging from the 27-foot vaulted ceiling above the kitchen area; saddle bar stools; unique handmade doors; and, the master bed designed with logs and metal, backlighting a scene of moose and bear tracks.
Tickets for the May 18 public tour are currently available at the hospital gift shop or by contacting Julie Thayer at (419) 354-8006. Ticket prices remain at $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour.
The Patron's Night will be held on May 17, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., in the atrium of the hospital. Invitations were mailed in April. Anyone who has not received an invitation in the past and would like to attend may contact Cheryl Windisch at (419) 352-8514.
All tour proceeds will be used to support the guild's many contributions to the hospital, including the new Meditation Room.
Committee members assisting Bowers are Thayer, Ruth Milliron, Marie Rogers, Jean Bamburowski, Windisch, Peggy Boren, Laurie Newlove, Jean Daly, and poster artist Jennifer Joseph.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:56

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