PIQUA — Six homes in historic downtown Piqua will open their doors for a self-guided tour from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dece. 7, once again sponsored by the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association (PCHDA).
One home to be featured is the Frank Irwin House located at 722 Caldwell Ave. Frank Irwin was initially a cashier at Citizen’s National Bank in Piqua and later became bank vice president. The Queen Anne-style home was completed in 1894 and the house has several features of this style, among them a turret with a conical roof, a Palladian window in the gable area, and a belt course that separates the first story from the second. The house is attributed to I.J. Whitlock, a Piqua-based architect and master builder who also contributed to the construction of the Fort Piqua Hotel and Westminster Presbyterian Church. The home is currently owned by Todd Robert Allen, who serves as pastor at Westminster.
For many years the house was home to the family of Albert G. Roeser, president of the Piqua Ice Company.
In keeping with the era of its design and construction, the home features solid oak flooring and decorative elements, glazed tile fireplaces (four in all), plus a unique arch found in the turreted master bedroom. The house also features period furniture, along with wallpaper that evokes the Victorian era. Two very large trees on the property — a Ginkgo and Kentucky Coffee Bean — are believed to have been planted when the house was constructed. A carriage house with its original block and tackle still in place rounds out the property.
Tickets to view this home and five others are available at Allisten Manor’s Flower Box, Mainstreet Piqua, and Readmore’s Hallmark in Piqua. Cost is $25 per person, and credit card transactions should be made at Mainstreet Piqua, 326 N. Main St., Piqua.
Shelley and Chuck Black, co-chairs of marketing and advertising, suggest tickets should be purchased early since only 300 are available, and in 2017 and 2018 tour tickets sold out several weeks prior to the tour.
Proceeds of this tour are earmarked for signage identifying historic homes within the district, and the association’s long term goal is to place historic signs at the perimeter of the district to help accentuate the significance of these historic properties within the City of Piqua.
For more information, please contact the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association at P.O. Box 212, Piqua, OH 45356.