Monday, July 31, 2006

2701 FLW Tour: When you visit Springfield, Ohio

Be sure to ask for Kevin for your historical walking tour of High Street. The Springfield Preservation Alliance sponsors walking tours of neighborhoods filled with the wealth of 19th century Ohioans who built large homes along High Street, designed in Neoclassical Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Richardsonian Romanesque style. Our Frank Lloyd Wright touring group, on its 16th or 17th summer tour (depends on whom you ask), walked past these lovely homes in various states of repair and renovation to get to the Wescott House. Our tour guide, Kevin Rose, of the Turner Foundation, was outstanding. A booming voice to fight with the traffic, a love of Springfield, and a farm background, makes him ideal for this job of shepherding an architectural tour, or any tour.

The above house is actually not Henry Hobson Richardson designed, but was completed by the same builders who often did his designs. It is on the National Register of Historic Places being completed in 1888 as the personal home for American industrialist and two-term Ohio Governor Asa S. Bushnell. The mansion was designed by architect R. H. Robertson. It is now the Richards, Raff & Dunbar Memorial Home. The staff invited us in, and it is unbelievable inside. Might be worth being buried out of Springfield!

Springfield was a very wealthy town in those heady days, with many farm implement manufacturers located there. In the 20th century it was the home of several automobile factories, including the Wescott, and the Crowell-Collier publishing empire.
The Wescott House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is, of course, well worth the trip, but don't miss the rest of Springfield! Make a day of it.

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