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Downtown Muskogee, Inc. (DMI) will sponsor a tour of historic homes and buildings located in Muskogee’s historic districts. Called “This Place Matters Historic Homes & Buildings Tour,” the event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Downtown Muskogee, Inc. is the organization that manages Muskogee’s Main Street program.
The “This Place Matters” campaign is an effort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to highlight and encourage “green” preservation of historic structures all across America. This is the third year for Muskogee’s “This Place Matters” Tour. As a Main Street Community in Oklahoma, Muskogee is striving to take a lead position in historic preservation for the state.
“Muskogee has some of the most extensive historic building stock in our state,” says Oklahoma Main Street Center architect Ron Franz. “Only larger cities such as Oklahoma City and Tulsa can rival Muskogee for the variety and quality of historic homes and buildings.”
“We have a wonderful group of historic structures on the tour,” states DMI Executive Director Jonita Mullins. These structures are located in Muskogee’s historic districts, which include the Downtown Historic District, the Kendall Place Historical District and the Capitol Hill area.
The sites for the 2011 “This Place Matters” tour include the Severs Home located on North Terrace. This home is one of the oldest in Muskogee and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its impressive five fireplaces and wrap-around porch make it a distinctive home which was built by Captain F.B. Severs.
In the Kendall Place District, the Welch Home will be featured. This house at 14th and Okmulgee is one of Muskogee’s most beautiful homes with towering columns and a one-time ballroom on the third floor. Two other homes in Kendall Place on the tour are the Thomas-Foreman Home and the Griffin-Hays Home.
In the Downtown Historic District, Grace Episcopal Church located at Sixth and Court will be open for the tour. This historical church dates to 1905 and has stunning stained glass windows. Also located downtown is the Turner Annex at 223 N. Third Street. Newly renovated as office space and apartments, the Turner Annex was once a hotel.
Also on the tour is the Muskogee County Courthouse, built by the Manhattan Construction Company in 1928. A second church, One in Christ Outreach Christian Center, was also a Manhattan project built as a Camp Gruber Chapel in 1942.
Self-guided tickets for the “This Place Matters” tour are $15 and may be purchased at the Downtown Muskogee office at 223 N. 3rd St. on the day of the event. For a guided trolley tour, tickets are $20 and available at Three Rivers Museum where the trolley will load passengers. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Downtown Muskogee, Inc., a non-profit organization.
The ticket will be a tour booklet which will provide photos and interesting facts about each home and building and also a map to each site. Self-guided visitors will be responsible for their own transportation, but parking directions will be included in the tour booklet.