Historic home tour is a gateway to Park City’s past | ParkRecord.com

Historic home tour is a gateway to Park City’s past

The Washington School, which is now an inn, will be one of the buildings featured Saturday, June 15, during this year’s historic home tour presented by the Park City Museum.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

22nd annual Historic Home Tour

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15

Town Lift Plaza, 825 Main St.

$20 for the public; $15 for Park City Museum members


The public will get a chance to take a peek into the past when the Park City Museum opens its 22nd annual historic home tour on Saturday, June 15.

The tour will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and tourists will be able to purchase tickets online at parkcityhistory.org or on the day of the tour at the Town Lift Plaza, according to Sandra Morrison, executive director of the Park City Museum.

“After people purchase their tickets, we’ll give them a program and booties that they can wear inside the houses,” Morrison said. “We don’t want people to track dirt and other debris into these homes.”

This year’s event will feature 12 homes, including the Washington School Inn, on a two-block walk of the 500 and 600 blocks of Park and Woodside avenues, Morrison said.

“It’s not too much walking, but the city will also run some golf carts up and down the street for those who can’t walk,” she said.

Most people spend one or two hours on the tour, Morrison said.

“The houses aren’t that big in the historic district, but given that we are featuring 12 this year does make it a nice outing to see them all,” she said.

Many of the homes were built in the 1890s and survived the great fire of 1898, Morrison said.

Two of the homes — located at 614 and 610 Park Ave. — didn’t.

“They were blown up to create a fire break in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading onto Park Avenue,” Morrison said. “As the fire roared down Main Street, miners used their mining skills to blow them up with dynamite.”

These homes were rebuilt in what is known as the pyramid style, which takes its name from the shape of the roof that became popular in the early 1900s, Morrison said.

The tour will also feature three homes from 561 to 553 Park Ave., which were restored by architects Barbara Kuhr and John Plunkett of Plunkett + Kuhr Designers.

“These homes have all been restored on their original foundations,” Morrison said.

Park City Museum docents, like Hal Compton, above, will greet guests during this year’s historic home tour. The docents will give tourists some background of the homes they will be allowed to enter during the tour.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

Kuhr and Plunkett restored the first home, 561 Park Ave., in 1998, she said.

“The others were completed in 2000 and 2013,” Morrison said. Plunkett and Kuhr also restored another home on the tour at 564 Woodside Ave.

“This home was originally slated for demolition, but the couple bought it and restored it in 2000,” Morrison said.

Park City Museum docents will welcome home tourists at each house and talk about the history of each house, Morrison said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time researching every home,” she said. “So the docents will tell stories about the people who built the homes and the people who lived in the homes throughout these structures’ 100-year-plus history.”

Some of the homeowners will also be on hand to greet the tourists.

“We also ask the homeowners plan to be present during the tour if they have any interesting stories regarding their homes in regards to restoration efforts, furnishings and artwork,” Morrison said. “And those stories are always fascinating.”

Morrison is grateful to homeowners who want to be part of the tour.

“I’m always thrilled when people want to show their houses, because it takes extra care and investment on their part to clean and repair their homes to keep our history alive,” she said.

Morrison and her staff also enjoy presenting homes that have never been open to the public, or homes that have been remodeled since they were last shown 20 years ago.

“Some of these homes have been through many changes,” she said. “So it’s interesting to revisit them.”

Park City Museum is working with the Buick Club of America Bonneville Branch to park 10 vintage cars along Park Avenue to add to the historic atmosphere.

“Not only will we have historic homes, we’ll have antique cars to show,” Morrison said.

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