Sneak a peek at historic homes

December 06, 2002 12:00 am
There are bungalows in Baker City. One is the John Howlett home at 1242 Dewey Ave., which will be a featured residence during Sunday's HBC Parlor Tour. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins).
There are bungalows in Baker City. One is the John Howlett home at 1242 Dewey Ave., which will be a featured residence during Sunday's HBC Parlor Tour. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins).

By LISA BRITTON

Of the Baker City Herald

This Sunday offers the chance to peek into several of Baker City's historic homes during the 18th annual Holiday Parlor Tour.

This year's event will feature eight homes new to the tour, including "vertical housing" — home built on the the upper floors of a commercial building — and four Craftsman/Bungalow style homes, said HBC program director Terrie Laeger.

The Old House Dictionary describes bungalows as small and simple, with porches that have "large square piers or elephantine (battered) porch posts."

Bungalows are one- to one-and-a-half stories, which centralized the living space to one main floor. They were built from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Laeger said that in her research on bungalows, she found it interesting that people who weren't particularly well-off could still own this style of home that had the "appearance of being special and unique."

She said there are distinct features and characteristics associated with classic bungalows, including long-sloping roof lines with wide overhangs and dark, heavy wood work that is usually square or simple rather than ornate as in the Victorians.

Various versions of the bungalow included beamed ceilings and built-in buffets, bookshelves and benches.

Bungalow design always featured a fireplace, which served as the family center. The fireplaces were built of bricks, tiles, or rustic stone and were often framed by symmetrical bookshelves.

This year's tour will also include a first-time look at the newly renovated apartments in the Pollman Building (c. 1890) at Main and Broadway streets. Laeger said these are "a prime example of the best in vertical housing."

It's up to the homeowners to decide how much of their home is featured on the parlor tour — it could be one room or the whole house.

"It's the opportunity to experience some architectural history," Laeger said. "They may be houses you've never noticed."

Tickets are available the day of the tour at the Oregon Trail Regional Museum or in advance at Betty's Books, The Sycamore Tree and Ryder Brothers. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and childrens. Groups of five or more are $7 per person.

The self-guided tour begins at the Oregon Trail Regional Museum on Grove Street at noon and continues until 5 p.m.