After a year's hiatus, the Bay View Tour of Homes benefiting the Bay View Community Center, 1320 E. Oklahoma Ave., will return on Saturday, Sept. 8, with some new twists.
The popular tour was suspended in 2006 because the center was unable to find volunteers to coordinate the event.
In an announcement issued last week, Bay View Community Center President and Chief Executive Officer Linda Nieft said this year's tour is being planned and presented by Fuel Milwaukee, an organization of young professionals affiliated with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, as a community service project.
Art also on display during tour
A new feature of the tour will be Art in the Homes, coordinated by the Bay View Arts Guild. Members of the guild will be exhibiting and selling original works of art in selected homes on the tour.
"The addition of Art in the Homes enables us to celebrate even more Bay Viewites," said Meghan Dorn in a prepared statement. Dorn heads the Tour of Homes Planning Committee.
"Actually, I think the coolest thing is the artists being part of it," Nieft said. "I think the fact that we're working together is reviving something here. And I think the community really likes going to look at the homes."
Nieft said about 1,000 to 1,200 people usually take the tour.
Under the theme "Review the past, experience the future," tour participants will be invited to view seven homes and one garden that "illustrate the distinctive characteristics and spirit representative of the Bay View community," according to the announcement.
Support to community center
The lineup includes new construction, renovation projects and a home that is a century old. Among the features in the homes are a secret passageway, an outdoor spiral staircase, Italianate tile floors and refurbished built-in cabinets, including one that has been converted into a wine refrigerator.
Proceeds from the tour support programs at the Bay View Community Center, a nonprofit organization serving individuals and families in the area for more than 30 years. The event helps fund the center's food pantry, which provided groceries to 4,156 people in 2006. The tour also supports a holiday toy and gift distribution at the center, which provided gifts to more than 800 children from low-income homes and 300 seniors.
"This is a great event that showcases our neighborhood and residents as well as raises needed funds for the community center," Nieft said in the tour announcement. "It is a great experience working with these talented and dedicated professionals.
"They bring an excitement and fresh approach to a favorite community event. It's going to be a great tour of homes."
Take the tour
WHAT: Bay View Tour of Homes
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8
• 2425 S. Superior St.
• 2828 S. Pine St.
• 2070 S. Mound St.
• 701 E. Lincoln Ave.
• 316 E. Stewart St.
• 2220 S. Woodward St.
• 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
• 3117 S. Vermont Ave. (garden)
TICKETS: $12.50 in advance, $15 day of the tour; call (414) 482-1000.
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