2019 Summer Tour Series

June 1st through August 31st, 2019

Join the Westcott Center for Architecture + Design as we celebrate our region’s distinctive architecture and history with our annual Summer Tour Series.

The Summer Tour Series examines the architecture, design, and history of the built environment in the Greater Springfield Region. The 2019 series includes regular and special walking tours, bicycle tours, happy hour tours, a youth tour and members only tours. Architects, curators, historians, and local professionals guide each tour. This year’s series starts on June 1st and runs through August 31st.

Please be advised that we do not mail tickets. You will receive an order confirmation by email. You will be automatically added to the attendee list upon the completion of your order.

2019 Schedule:

Saturday, June 1 at 10 am: Quirky Springfield Bicycle Tour

While every town has an attraction that can be described as quirky, Springfield has many. Join us on this out-of-the-ordinary bicycle tour as we discover Springfield’s unique assets and unusual stories. From roadside attractions like Ben Hartman’s Historical Rock Garden to the mystery of buried gold at Snyder Park, we will visit the interesting and intriguing gems that make Springfield a one-of-a-kind town. Meet at the Hartman Rock Garden, 1905 Russell Drive, on your bicycle. Tour Guided by Mike Groeber. Sponsored by Alan Ladd & Jake Studebaker. Mobility 3.

Saturday, June 15 at 10 am: Gilded East High Walking Tour

With the success of the Champion Reaper in the late 19th century, Springfield led the nation in the production of farm machinery. These industrialists’ vast and often newly-acquired wealth manifested in opulent Gilded Age mansions along East High Street. Tour with us through this open museum of architecture and enterprise and discover the rich histories of Governor Bushnell, famed publisher W.W. Norton, and more. Meet at the corner of East High and York Streets. $10 General / $8 Members. Guided by Kevin Rose. Sponsored by W. Eugene & Mary Barnett. Mobility 2.

Wednesday, June 19 at 6 pm: News and Sun Building Site Tour

Schultze and Weaver, the celebrated architects of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, designed this stunning Italian Renaissance Revival style building for newspaper publisher James Cox. It was dedicated on October 20, 1929, just days before the stock market crash that sent America into the Great Depression. Join us as we tour one of Ohio’s great landmarks from the Jazz Age. Meet outside the News and Sun Building at 202 North Limestone Street. Free for Members. Guided by Kevin Rose. Sponsored by Lois and Bob Christel. Mobility 1.

Saturday, June 22 at 10 am: Mid-Century Modern Bicycle Tour

Modernism is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Springfield’s north end, yet these historic neighborhoods contain a diverse and impressive collection of mid-century modern design. Join us on this bicycle tour as we examine pre-war International Style houses by Max Mercer, sleek Contemporaries by Jack Kline, all-metal Lustron homes, and a Usonian gem by Roger Montgomery. Meet at the corner of North Fountain Boulevard and Sunnyside Place on your bicycle.  $10 General / $8 Members. Guided by Vicki Rulli and Tom Heaphey. Sponsored by Mike & Lorrie Steele. Mobility 3.

Saturday, June 29 at 10 am: East High Street Churches Walking Tour Plus

Springfield’s urban houses of worship serve as anchors in the revitalization of our historic neighborhoods. The East High Street Historic District is home to three landmarks churches close to downtown: Christ Church, designed by the eminent Detroit-architect Gordon W. Lloyd (1874); High Street United Methodist Church, one of Frank Packard’s best examples of the Craftsman Style (1904); and the spectacular St. Raphael Catholic Church by local architect Charles A. Cregar. Join historian Kevin Rose as he delves into the history and architecture of this community landmarks. Meet outside the Christ Episcopal Church, 409 East High Street. $15 General / $12 Members. Guided by Kevin Rose. Sponsored by Ski & Cheryl Schanher. Mobility 2.

Saturday, July 6 at 10 am: Historic South Fountain Walking Tour Plus

Prominent Americans like Oliver S. Kelly, William N. Whitely, and Harry S. Kissell are just part of South Fountain’s storied past. With their success, and that of their neighbors, South Fountain came to be recognized as a premier neighborhood for Springfield’s affluent class. Experience the renaissance of this National Register Historic District. Meet outside First Baptist Church at 638 South Fountain Avenue. $15 General / $12 Members. Guided by Jeff Smith and Richele Shepard. Sponsored by Joan and Andrew Elder. Mobility 2.

Saturday, July 13 at 10 am: Lenski Walk for Kids Youth Tour

“Sing a song of people / Walking fast or slow / People in the City / Up and down they go,” wrote Springfield native Lois Lenski, who, in addition to her prolific and award winning career as a children’s book author, was a gifted poet. Some of her most insightful work focuses on the experience of living in a city. Join us as we combine poetry, art, architecture, and collective memory on this exploration of downtown Springfield for kids. Created for ages 9 to 12, but children of all ages are welcome. Meet outside the Heritage Center, 117 South Fountain Avenue. Free. Guided by Phyllis Hill. Sponsored by Esther Manuel. Mobility 1. 

Wednesday, July 17 at 6 pm: Downtown Modern Happy Hour Tour

In the 1960s and 1970s, a new vision for a vibrant downtown materialized through a series of structures that remain today as an enduring imprint of the modern era in Springfield. Join us as we examine the buildings that redefined the downtown experience, from the elegant minimalism of SOM’s Credit Life Tower to the sleek expressionism of Alfred Shaw’s Key Bank Building. Meet at the corner of North Limestone and East Main Streets. $15, which includes one drink at Seasons Bistro and Grille. Guided by Suzanne Cavazos. Sponsored by Julie and Joe Garrigan. Mobility 1.

Saturday, July 20 at 10 am: College Hill South Walking Tour Plus

This late-Victorian neighborhood surrounding Wittenberg University is one of Ohio’s best kept secrets. Springfield’s three great classically-trained architects, Charles A. Cregar, Robert C. Gotwald, and William K. Shilling, all called College Hill home. Join us to discover the fascinating story of this historic north end neighborhood. This tour features the areas south and east of campus. Meet at the corner of West Ward Street and North Wittenberg Avenue. $15 General / $12 Members. Guided by Robin Inboden. Sponsored by Charlie Swaney. Mobility 2.

Wednesday, July 31 at 6 pm: Lenski Walk Happy Hour Tour

“Sing a song of people / Walking fast or slow / People in the City / Up and down they go,” wrote Springfield native Lois Lenski, who, in addition to her prolific and award winning career as a children’s book author, was a gifted poet. Some of her most insightful work focuses on the experience of living in a city. Join us as we combine poetry, art, architecture, and collective memory on this exploration of downtown Springfield. Meet outside the Heritage Center, 117 South Fountain Avenue. $15, which includes one drink at Mela Urban Bistro. Guided by Basil Fett. Sponsored by Suzy Turner. Mobility 1.

Wednesday, August 7 at 6 pm: Downtown West Happy Hour Tour

As Springfield continues to redevelop downtown’s west end, civic-minded citizens are re-examining the historic structures that have outlived urban renewal. With big projects in the works, there is renewed focus on several regional landmarks, including Crowell-Collier, the Masonic Temple, and the former Elks Building. Join us as we explore Downtown West’s historic past and hopeful future. Meet outside the Masonic Temple, 125 West High Street. $15, which includes one drink at the Buckeye Sports Lodge. Guided by Scott Greene. Sponsored by Richard & Joyce Spangler. Mobility 1.

Saturday, August 17 at 10 am: Antioch Modern Walking Tour

In 1944, Antioch College hired the celebrated architectural firm of Saarinen & Swanson to envision a modern campus that could meet the demands of increased enrollment following World War II. Over the next decade, amid the backdrop of the Red Scare and McCarthyism, Antioch reshaped its campus into a bastion of avant-garde design. Join us as we examine the modernist landmarks that fill this picturesque campus, including designs by Eero Saarinen and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Meet outside Antioch’s Olive Kettering Library at 925 Livermore Street in Yellow Springs. $10 General / $8 Members. Guided by Kevin Rose and Scott Sanders. Sponsored by MaryEllen Snider. Mobility 3.

Wednesday, August 21 at 6 pm: St. Joseph Church Site Tour

Charles Cregar was no stranger to ecclesiastical design when St. Joseph Parish hired him to design their new edifice in 1892. That year the young architect was working on four church designs simultaneously, each in a modified version of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. With St. Joseph, Cregar attempted to meld the Romanesque with the church’s preference for Gothic. The results were stunning. Join us as we explore the religious center of the Irish Hill neighborhood with historian Mary Oliver. Meet outside of St. Joseph Church at 819 Kenton Street. Free for Members. Guided by Mary Oliver. Sponsored by Pete & Sandy Hackett. Mobility 1.

Saturday, August 24 at 10 am: Ridgewood in the Country Club District Walking Tour

Platted in 1914, the picturesque Springfield neighborhood of Ridgewood was one of the first planned, upscale subdivisions in the United States. And its developer, Harry Kissell, was one of the twentieth century’s  biggest proponents of the “American Dream” of home ownership. Explore the neighborhood’s architectural gems and learn the fascinating story of this historic suburb. Meet at 1345 North Fountain Boulevard. $10 General / $8 Members. Guided by Melissa and Bill Hallmark. Sponsored by Chris & Liz Simonton. Mobility 2.

Saturday, August 31 at 10 am: Ferncliff Cemetery: Sacred and Symbolic Walking Tour Plus

Ferncliff Cemetery, covering over 240 acres of rolling hills and pastoral landscape, was platted during the Civil War as Springfield’s new rural cemetery. Its many mausoleums and memorials, including those of leading citizens and industrialists, are replete with religious symbolism and imagery. Join Ferncliff historian Ski Schanher on a tour of this hallowed ground, as he interprets Springfield’s rich history preserved in stone. Meet at the Ferncliff Cemetery Chapel, 501 West McCreight Avenue. $15 General / $12 Members. Guided by Ski Schanher. Sponsored by Mark Grimes. Mobility 3.

About the Series

The Summer Tour Series examines the architecture, design, and history of the built environment in the Greater Springfield Region. Historians, curators, and local professionals guide each tour. 

Walking Tours

Walking Tours feature remarkable districts and neighborhoods in the region. Tours last approximately one and a half to two hours. Rain dates are the following day at 1pm.

Walking Tours Plus

Our Plus walking tours delve deeper into the architecture and history of our region’s remarkable neighborhoods and districts. These include guided access through several private interiors. Tours last between two and two and a half hours. Rain dates are the following day at 1pm.

Happy Hour Tours

Happy Hour Tours are forty-five to sixty-minute walking tours of downtown, followed by a beer, glass of wine, or soda at a downtown restaurant. Rain dates are the following day at 6pm.

Bicycle Tours

Bicycle Tours run approximately two hours and cover four to six miles at a leisurely pace. Tours utilize bicycle paths and side streets whenever possible. Bicycle required. Helmets are strongly encouraged. Rain dates are the following day at 1pm.

Youth Tours

Youth Tours are interpreted for children ages 7-12. Our trained and knowledgeable guides encourage a lifelong connection and appreciation for our region’s rich history and architecture. Tours run less than an hour. Rain dates are the following day
at 1 pm.

Members Only Tours 

Members Only Tours guide Westcott members through special, limited-access landmarks. Tours last forty-five minutes to an hour. Rain dates are the following day
at 6 pm.

Accessibility

Our tours and programs are developed for a broad audience, including those with disabilities and decreased mobility. Tours move at a leisurely pace with brief periods of standing at tour stops. If entering a building or house, some stairs or inclines may be possible. All tours are assigned mobility levels between 1-3. 

Mobility Level 1
Up to 6 blocks walking, mostly flat terrain, paved, stairs not likely. Wheelchair accessible.

Mobility Level 2
May be more than 6 blocks walking, some hills, mostly paved, some stairs possible. Please call or email about wheelchair accessibility.

Mobility Level 3
Considerable walking, various terrains, unpaved areas. All bicycle tours. Please call or email about wheelchair accessibility.