Heritage Hills opens homes and gardens to the public for its annual tour

click to enlarge This home located at 1611 N. Classen Drive will be a stop on the 51st annual Heritage Hills Homes and Gardens Tour. (provided)
This home located at 1611 N. Classen Drive will be a stop on the 51st annual Heritage Hills Homes and Gardens Tour.

This year marks the 51st annual Heritage Hills Homes and Gardens Tour, an event that gives Oklahoma City residents a chance to appreciate the architecture and history of one of the city’s oldest and most significant neighborhoods.

The tour is noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are available online at heritagehills.org and at select local vendors and are also available the day of the tour.

The Henry Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15th St., will serve as the central hub of activities, hosting food trucks, ticket services and the pick-up and drop-off of the tour’s trolley service. The nearby Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Hall of Fame will also be open in association with the event.

Preserving history

Since the neighborhood began in 1903, when Henry Overholser built his manion, it has been known for its stunning architecture, pristine gardens and unique charm as a residential enclave adjacent to downtown OKC.

In addition to its renowned architectural legacy, Heritage Hills also has a history of passionate preservation work and robust community involvement that has maintained the neighborhood’s character throughout time.

Historical Preservation Inc., a local nonprofit organization, has helped preserve Heritage Hills’ unique architecture and landscape since its formation in 1969, after the neighborhood began to be eroded by urban renewal.

Today, the group is responsible for maintaining and beautifying public spaces such as Harn Park within the neighborhood.

As the oldest historic preservation group in Oklahoma City, it also helps support other neighborhoods that want to begin historic preservation work.

Events like the Homes and Gardens Tour raise money for the group and publicize its preservation efforts.

“We use it as an opportunity to share our love of preserving homes,” Elizabeth Richards, tour chairperson, said.

Eclectic architecture

Four homes and three gardens are open to visitors this year.

The homes were all built in the 1920s and display an eclectic array of architectural styles true to Heritage Hills’ distinctive neighborhood character. Two are colonial revival style, one is English Tudor and the last is Mediterranean-inspired.

Visitors will be equally impressed by the interiors of the homes, which boast idiosyncratic features from both their original and current owners.

227 NW 15 St., built in 1923 by owners of a tile and marble company, is a “treasure trove of original art tile and marble,” Richards said. Visitors will be able to see a marble-walled powder room, a sunroom with a fountain and arts and crafts-era tiles that adorn several rooms throughout the home.

Other features of note on the tour include a basement remodeled to mimic a cave, antique toy and art collections and an original laundry chute.

Similarly to their architectural counterparts, the three gardens on the tour display a mix of landscaping styles including Japanese gardens, desert landscapes and even a vegetable garden.

print headline: Touring history, Heritage Hills opens homes and gardens to the public for its annual tour.