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Victorian Show-Off!: Six Buildings Featured on This Year’s Tour

September 26, 2010

This year's Victorian Show-Off! in Wheeling emphasizes fretwork and stained glass as outstanding examples of architectural adornment common to the period.

The Victorian Show-Off! will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10. The walking and driving tour features a building in North Wheeling's Victorian Old Town neighborhood, two structures in Center Wheeling, two homes on Wheeling Island and a residence located "out in the country."

Visitors may start the tour at any of the six sites. Docents will be stationed at each location to provide information about the featured building.

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Realtors Bob and Dea Kennen of Wheeling are opening their building at 2241 Chapline St. for the Victorian Show-Off! tour Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9-10. The foyer of the1885 building retains many original details, including intricately carved wooden moldings and stained glass windows.

Tickets for the event may be purchased in advance at the John List House, 821 Main St., Wheeling; Hughes Design and Gift Gallery, 600 National Road, Wheeling, and Lynn Buch Interiors, 1141 National Road, Wheeling. Tickets will be sold at all of the featured sites on the tour days.

April Waltz and Laura Carter, both of Wheeling, are coordinators of this year's Victorian Show-Off! event. Prospective volunteers for the project are asked to call Carter, 304-232-5978.

When area residents and out-of-town visitors participate in the tour, "they'll see what really makes Victorian architecture Victorian," said Snookie Nutting, founder of the annual Victorian Show-Off! event. "All but one of the houses have stained glass. Most have fretwork. They have beautiful mantels, beautiful windows, balusters, stairways ... Wheeling has more Victorian buildings than any other city in West Virginia," she added.

"The country house is an earlier house and doesn't have stained glass, but it has Victorian updates," Waltz pointed out.

Taking a closer look at the featured properties, guests will see that the John List House in North Wheeling contains several outstanding features, including an entranceway with numerous pieces of stained glass depicting a maritime theme, a grand inglenook and a 7-foot by 17-foot stained glass skylight. Interior features include a family crest on the door, a stained glass window depicting Columbus' voyage to America, original lincrusta wall covering and parquet floors.

Visitors will be permitted on the first floor and a portion of the second floor.

The ornate house was built by Henry K. List, for his son, John, in 1893. The architectural style is eclectic Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival.

The John List House is owned by the Vandalia Heritage Foundation. Funding for restoration of the building included a grant from Save America's Treasures.

Moving on to Center Wheeling, the building at 2241 Chapline St. is owned by Bob and Dea Kennen, who operate their real estate business, Kennen & Kennen Realtors, at that location.

The structure, constructed in 1885 as a single-family residence, is recognizable for its three-story bay window and elaborate cornices. The cornice is suggestive of the Second Empire Period, while the curvilinear pediments indicate a Baroque design.

The foyer has retained many of the original details such as intricately carved wood moldings and stained glass windows. Original hardwood floors, with inlaid decorative detailing, remain throughout much of the interior.

In the 1950s, the building was converted into apartments. In 1998, Gus and Maria Kayafas purchased the property and restored the exterior; they used the building for the offices of Kayafas Architects. In 2006, the Kennens bought the property from Kayafas Architects for their real estate office.

Nearby in Center Wheeling, the Holliday-Schaeffer House, owned by Gus and Maria Kayafas, is used as an office complex and residence. The house has a variety of windows and double pocket doors with finely detailed wooden lacework motif over several of the doorways.

The Historic American Building Survey of 1976 stated that the house is "an example of post-Civil War eclectic architecture and utilizes elements of several different popular styles ... The rear portion appears to have been built around 1868 and the front block around 1896." The HABS study also stated that the interior "abounds in delicately crafted woodworking of Eastlake character."

John A. Holliday bought the property in 1866 and built a brick dwelling house that was sold to David Kull in 1870. Casper F. Schaefer purchased the property in 1878; it is believed that the front portion of the house was built when the property was owned by various members of the Schaefer family. During the 20th century, ownership of the property changed hands several times until 1992, when it was bought by the current owners.

Traveling to Wheeling Island, the Lutz House, owned by Dr. Debby Shondrick, was built around 1888. The land was developed by William P. Hubbard and Henry M. Russell in 1885. Businessman George W. Lutz, who also was known as "the father of the Market Auditorium," purchased the land and erected the building.

The two- and one-half-story house is finished in stucco over frame and brick and has arched windows and a hipped roof with an intersection gable. Interesting features include a complex stair railing, parquet wooden floor designs, an original tile and marble bathroom, an original bedroom sink and a back porch with Victorian wood trim.

Visitors will be permitted on the first floor and a portion of the second floor.

On the same Wheeling Island street, the Franzheim House was designed by well-known Wheeling architect Edward Bates Franzheim and built in 1897 for his brother and sister-in-law, Harry C. and Jessie F. Franzheim. Roger and Linda Cayhor now own the house.

The three-story shingle house has a cross gambrel roof, two round towers with curved glass windows and a wide front porch. Interior features include magnificent stained glass, original wood details in the stairwell, ornate fireplace tiles and elaborate bathrooms with marble paneling.

Journeying to the country, the Reed Farmhouse is owned by Dr. Lisa Hrutkay and her husband, Tom Fledderus. They purchased the property in 2001; since that time, they have built a split-rail fence, stone walls and steps and placed an antique buggy in the front yard.

Inside the house (which pre-dates the Victorian era), the dining room has been renovated in 1800s style, with antique furniture and collections of pottery and needlepoint samplers. Original chestnut floors, exposed brick walls and much of the trimwork have been preserved.

"Many renovations have utilized materials salvaged from other historic homes in the tri-state area," Hrutkay said. "Any updates have been done with an effort to preserve the 1800s style of the home and to complement the original structure."

The Georgian-style farmhouse, constructed in 1821, is among the oldest remaining masonry structures in Ohio County, she said. The property was occupied by the Reed family for about four generations. At one time, the property, which was a working sheep and cattle farm, encompassed about 200 acres and had a large barn and several out-buildings.

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