Homes tour showcases history, architecture, neighborhood in Heritage Hills 

click to enlarge Overholser Mansion at 405 N.W. 15th Street, 9-8-15. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Overholser Mansion at 405 N.W. 15th Street, 9-8-15.

Heritage Hills Associates Board holds its 49th annual Heritage Hills Historic Homes Tour Sept. 26-27.

Seven historic homes, including Henry Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15th St., were selected. Heritage Hills is nestled in central Oklahoma City, and the homes date back to the 1900s. About 2,000 visitors are expected to make the tours this year.

Tom Brown, a retired Oklahoma City University professor, lives at 218 NW 18th St., his fourth home in the area.

When Brown moved back to Oklahoma City from Denver in January, he was keen on finding a home in what he describes as a special neighborhood.

“[Heritage Hills] is a great place to ride [bicycles] and walk and run,” he said.

The Colonial Revival house Brown lives in was built in 1922 and was home to five previous owners. Judge Clarence Mills, who served in the District Court of Appeals, was one owner, and his portrait remains hanging over the fireplace in the main living area.

Brown volunteered his home. It is the first time this house has made the list, although his prior three homes were showcased. He believes in the work of the neighborhood’s board of historic preservation.

“If there weren’t historic preservation in Oklahoma City, a lot of these houses would be gone because a number of the really big houses over the years fell into disrepair,” he said. “When I first moved here … I was hit with a lot of panhandling. Now, it’s young women pushing baby carriages and walking their dogs.”

Leslie Arnold recently moved to Heritage Hills from Alexandria, Virginia. She works in communications for Chesapeake Energy and was recruited as public relations chairwoman by another board member. As former residents of historic Alexandria, Leslie and her husband appreciate the qualities of old homes.

The tour will reflect the changing landscape of the community, Arnold said.

“There’s people that have more traditional homes [with] more traditional furniture,” she said. “And then you have a lot of younger people moving into this older neighborhood and you’re going to see a lot more renovations in those houses.”

As owners of historic homes, all community homeowners are required to keep the exterior intact, although internal renovations are left at each owner’s discretion.

The diversity of the neighborhood was key in the final selection of the homes for the tour.

Overholser Mansion is the central hub of activities for the tour. Tour festivities include food trucks, pop-up shops, live music and guided informational walking tours with narration. Visit heritagehills.org or call 401-8712 for more information.

Print Headline: Celebration lap, An annual home tour features several houses that showcase the Heritage Hills district’s style and history.

 

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