BATAVIA – In its sixth year, the award-winning Batavia House Walk is back with five different houses, and an additional feature that could do away with walking altogether.
Batavia MainStreet – the house walk sponsor – is implementing the use of a bus to shuttle patrons from door to door throughout the day. The new feature is “an added perk,” said MainStreet Batavia Executive Director Joi Cuartero, adding that it’s a helpful addition for those not wanting to walk or worry about parking.
The cost of a bus ticket for the day is $15, and according to Cuartero, there are still plenty of seats available on board.
However, the bus’ excess seating in no way serves as a precursor for the number of people expected to attend the walk.
“We’re probably going to get anywhere between 400 to 500 people,” Cuartero said. “Last year we were closer to 400, but this year we’ve had a little bit of push. We’ve gotten a lot of calls coming from out-of-towners.”
The uptick in interest ultimately means more funds allocated for the revitalization of downtown Batavia.
“The House Walk has turned into one of our major fundraisers,” Cuartero said.
This year’s house-walk theme is based on home and decor magazines, such as “Traditional Home,” “Cottage Living,” “Colorado Homes and Lifestyles,” “This Old House” and “Better Homes and Gardens.”
The home dubbed “Traditional Home” is a brick and cedar-dormered house built in 1991. A gardener, carpenter and interior designer have all called the “Traditional” home; each owner leaving their own aesthetic touches behind.
The Compact Victoria with the “Cottage Living” moniker is a remodel built in 1900, and the interior is accented with Southeast Asian flair.
The “Colorado Homes and Lifestyles” house is a New Construction/Craftsman Style built five years ago. The interior showcases contemporary rustic charm with Colorado-esque decor. (See end of article)
“This Old House” is a completely renovated Folk Victorian built in the early 1900s, with pre- and post-remodel photos on display within the home.
The “Better Homes and Gardens” house is a sprawling 5,000-square-foot New Construction Traditional/Old World home with an acre of land in the backyard complete with a formal English garden and multiple decks.
Shirley K. Mott, a contributing writer for the Batavia House Walk, goes on preliminary tours of the homes and pens her observations for the house-walk programs that double as event entry tickets. In her few years of experience with the walk, Mott said the houses selected are always unique and worth walking through.
“[The house walk] is a unique way to learn more about Batavia and the people who live here," Mott said. "It’s a good opportunity to get friends together and enjoy a nice fall day.”
At any time during the event, patrons can take a break from the walk by attending "Tea Time" at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. "Tea Time" will include a raffle, goodie bag handouts and refreshments.
For house-walk first timers concerned about squeezing five house tours and Water Street Studio's "Tea Time" into the five-hour event, Cuartero said, "[The walk] is at your own pace, take your time and enjoy it ... the homes are all very beautiful.”
Batavia’s house walk will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.
Event tickets purchased in advance cost $18 and day-off house walk tickets cost $20 (if available). Tickets are available for purchase online at www.downtownbatavia.com/2012housewalk, and at area establishments such as The Batavia MainStreet office, 4 ˝ W. Wilson; Sue’s Family Hair, 139 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia; K. Hollis Jewelers, 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia; and Gibby’s Wine Den, 1772 S. Randall Road, Suite 220, Geneva.
For more information or to purchase bus tickets, call 630-761-3528.
*Since the publication of this article, the New Construction/Craftsman Style home on Main Street has been removed from the house walk due to extensive flooding on the first floor. The house has been pulled with respect to the homeowners wishes.