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NPA’s Holiday Home Tour will be tonight

If you love old homes and enjoy the nostalgia of Old Town Noblesville homes decorated for the holidays, then tonight’s Noblesville Preservation Alliance “Together Again!” Holiday Home Tour is for you.

Four historic homes in Old Town Noblesville — decorated for the holidays — will open their doors for NPA’s first holiday tour since 2018.

NPA’s Preservation Hall — a former Trinity House of Worship church-turned Logan Street Sanctuary, which the NPA purchased in October 2019 from John Gilmore and renamed Preservation Hall —  will also be decorated for Christmas with some of the vintage decorations that adorned the historic Hamilton County Courthouse in earlier decades.

A few years ago, NPA sponsored the effort to save these decorations which needed to be rewired. Once rescued and restored, these decorations became the inspiration for “Lights Over Seminary,” a popular December First Friday event, a partnership of NPA, the City of Noblesville and Noblesville Parks & Recreation Department. Preservation Hall is now the new home of the vintage choir of angels.

Hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the tour of homes, so plenty of time to see the four homes. But also, be sure to leave some time to visit NPA’s Preservation Hall, which will be open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., an extra hour, with live music and hors d’oeuvres, sides, beverages and desserts. 

The menu at Preservation Hall, served downstairs, will include hot wassail (wine) served Colonial Williamsburg-style, and cold alcohol-free Christmas punch, shrimp cocktail, two varieties of hot meatballs and a variety of other hors d’oeuvres. There will also be desserts made from Dave Letterman’s mom Dorothy’s cookbook.

“It will be a feast,” NPA president Sandy Stewart said this week.

It will be a festive holiday event that the community won’t want to miss.

The theme is “Together Again!” Celebrating good times together after three years since the last Holiday Home Tour.

The 2020 NPA Historic Home Tour was canceled due to the pandemic. This year’s home tour returned and was quite popular, with masks optional and required only at one tour stop.

For tonight’s Holiday Home Tour, face masks are available but not required, and sanitizer will be available. 

“We were waiting for a time when it was possible,” said Stewart, who is thrilled about tonight’s tour.

Four homes are on the tour: Bell residence, 398 N. Ninth St.; Doudt residence, 354 N. 10th St.; Richardson residence, 1083 Logan St.; and Coyle residence, 1436 Clinton St.

Requirements to be on the tour? “They have to live in an historic home and have to be willing, in such a busy season, to open their home,” Stewart said. “These are really devoted NPA supporters, who are proud of their homes. Most of us who own historic homes feel a responsibility to share their homes. People who are passionate about their historic homes want to share.”

What else is required? “They have to clean their house and decorate it,” Stewart said.

And each home has been lavishly decorated.

The Matt and Jen Doudt home, an American Foursquare, was built by Judge John F. and Lydia Neal between 1916-20. The home is owned by photographer Matt Doudt and wife Jenn, and was featured in the Christmas edition of Flea Market Decor magazine, with their style described as “Granny Chic.” They Doudts during the holidays enjoy making baking cookies and treats. A Christmas tree tells the history of their family.

The Rick and Susan Thacker Bell house is a beautiful Queen Anne home, built by Joseph and Amanda Klotz in 1897 and is perfect for entertaining family and friends and playing host to gatherings of Calvary Baptist Church, for which Rick Thacker is pastor. The wrap-around porch was altered in the 1940s and a three-story octagonal tower was removed by 1914 after being damaged by lightning. The Bells remodeled the kitchen with adjoining four-season room. All rooms, old and new, are lavishly decorated for the holidays.

The Bret and Tammy Richardson home, a magnificent Prairie/Arts & Crafts-style home, was built in 1911 by Fred and Cora Heylmann, Bret Richardson’s great aunt. Fred and his father operated a buggy and wagon business at 10th and Conner (now a screen-print business). The matching carriage house was added in about 1920. The home has four floors with fireplaces in the master bedroom and living room, where stockings are hung by the chimney with care. The Richardsons, during the holidays, enjoy baking cookies, making a gingerbread house, watching Christmas movies and decorating their home with Christmas trees and poinsettias.

The Donny and Amy Coyle home is a vernacular Victorian-style home built before 1898. A wide side porch and flat-roofed front living area were added after 1905. The home has wide plank hardwood floors on the first floor, with dark-stained wood window trim and stair railings. Their simple holiday decor includes precious ornaments from Amy Coyle’s childhood, as well as her collection of Annalee dolls. Their kids each receive an ornament of their own each year, for their first tree when they have homes of their own.

Stewart said, “To me, it’s always fun to see how they interpret the holiday in their homes.”

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.


Want TO GO?

What: Noblesville Preservation Alliance “Together Again!” Holiday Home Tour.

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. Self-guided tours 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with Preservation Hall open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Four historic homes, Bell residence, 398 N. Ninth St.; Doudt residence, 354 N. 10th St.; Richardson residence, 1083 Logan St.; and Coyle residence, 1436 Clinton St. 

How much: $30.

Where to buy tickets:  https://preservationhall.org/ or at the door at any tour home and at NPA’s Preservation Hall, 1274 Logan St. In-person purchase of tickets require exact change, personal check or Venmo digital wallet.

Good to know: Caroling and fellowship at NPA’s Preservation Hall from 6 to 9 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres, sides, beverages and desserts served.