Historic Midtown Hosts Annual House Tour

Published On: Oct 29 2013 10:34:02 AM CDT   Updated On: Oct 29 2013 04:54:54 PM CDT

Casey Siebels

The Historic Midtown Citizens Association (HMCA) will hold its annual walking tour of homes Oct. 12 and 13. Proceeds will be used for restoration of the historic Fresh Air Baby Camp building (Girl Scout Little House) and the horse barns at the O.J. Watson Park in Wichita.

The walking tour this year features the Historic Campbell Castle, also known as the Castle Inn Riverside prominently located on North River Blvd.

Costumed docents will provide guests with a behind-the-scenes tour at four sites in Wichita. The annual walking tour dates back to 1974 and draws between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors.

The tour celebrates the preservation and revitalization of properties in Historic Midtown. In addition to walking through the homes to learn about their history, visitors will be able to listen to live music, see vintage cars and bicycles, and enjoy refreshments.

 “We think many of our guests will be drawn to the Campbell Castle,” said Rachel Schober, HMCA tour chair. “The walking tour is a rare opportunity to walk into this beautiful home for a behind-the-scenes tour along with three other properties on the tour. Many of us drive by these historic properties all the time and wonder what they are like inside. The walking tour is a great way to find out."

 “The walking tour is a rare opportunity to see some of Wichita’s oldest homes and learn about how they have been preserved and restored,” said Rachel Schober, HMCA tour chair. “This weekend event provides visitors a chance to step back in time and view some of our city’s architectural heritage. It’s really amazing to be able to just walk into some of these beautiful homes. You start to realize how much of a treasure we have in the heart of our city and why people love living in these old neighborhoods. There is a renewed sense of community throughout Midtown that we are proud to put on display and share with our guests.”

Tickets can be purchased in-person during touring hours at the Campbell Castle or the Park Villa in North Riverside Park. Tour tickets are $13 for adults, and children age 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

The tour runs Sat., Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun., October 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Properties on the 2013 tour include: 1233 N. Pearce; the Historic Campbell Castle (1155 N. River Blvd.); the Fresh Air Baby Camp (Girl Scout Little House) located at 1221 W. 11th St. in Oak Park; and the Park Villa in North Riverside Park (1029 N. Bitting). This year is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Park Villa.