Some 250 people took advantage of some bang-up weather and convivial hospitality yesterday, making a full day of exploring the interiors of a group of New Albany’s historic homes. As one of the host homes on the tour, it was gratifying to meet so many like-minded people appreciative of what our downtown neighborhoods have to offer. A certain kinship exists between those who share ideals and the home tour was in some ways a reunion of that family.
A personal highlight was meeting a pair of former neighbors who’d come to see what had become of the home they remembered from decades past. One woman was born two doors down and used to visit with the doctor who built our home when he still held office hours in the house in the 1930s. Another lived in the historic duplex directly behind our home as a newlywed in the Forties and remembered over-the-fence conversations with members of the Wright family, our house’s second owners. They were thrilled that their pasts had become part of our future. We were happy to feel so connected with the community that preceded us in the neighborhood, knowing that our work will help maintain that human continuum.
With a steady stream of visitors over several hours, it was an exhausting day but one that very much validated the effort that so many downtown exert to preserve the city’s heritage by ensuring its continued reinvention. It seemed worth it yesterday.
I’m appreciative of the folks who took up the task of making the tour a reality and look forward to participating on some level in future. Readers who participated in the day’s festivities are invited to comment on their experience.