The 902 W. Walnut St. house owned by Bridget Flynn, above, with fiancé Michael Alderson, is on the Home Show Squared tour of 10 center city residences, orchestrated by the Home Builders Association, Urban Districts Alliance and Urban Neighborhoods Alliance. The tour is an addition to the annual HBA Home Show.
Home builders, center city groups team up to showcase urban living
As is customary, the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield's Home Show will give attendees the chance to learn about new innovations in home building and remodeling, but this year, they'll also be able to visit 10 center city residences that have undergone transformations.
The Home Show runs Jan. 29-31 at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 St. Louis St., and for the first time, the HBA is teaming up with Urban Neighborhoods Alliance and Urban Districts Alliance to present Home Show Squared, a tour of lofts and homes in the downtown and West Central neighborhoods.
Bob Horton, executive director of the UNA, said the idea came about as his group and UDA were searching for a way to showcase urban living.
"We thought ... why not try to capture the thousands of people that are coming to the Home Show in our efforts to do this?" Horton said.
Five downtown lofts and five single-family homes in the West Central neighborhood will be open for public tours noon-4 p.m. Jan. 30-31, and Home Show attendees will be able to catch free shuttle rides from the Expo Center for the tours.
Bridget Flynn, a homeowner in the West Central neighborhood, said it didn't take long for her to agree to showcase her renovated home at 902 W. Walnut St.
"Anything to help the neighborhood," she said, adding that she loves the home's proximity to downtown. "I can walk downtown and get a bite to eat and ride my bike around."
Flynn has transformed the house - which, like all other stops on the tour, is for sale - removing paneling added in the 1920s or '30s, raising the ceilings to their original heights, refinishing the original hardwood floors and installing new insulation, electric wiring and plumbing.
"I had a great time. It was a very big learning experience," said Flynn, who bought the house in 2007.
"You never know what you're going to find in 113-year-old walls."
Home Show traditions
HBA Operations Manager Charlyce Ruth expects about 250 vendors at the Home Show (see map on page 16), with plenty of options and expertise for do-it-yourself homeowners who want to learn about home building and renovation trends, as well as connections for those who might be considering custom-built homes. Helping the public connect with home building experts is the primary reason for the show, Ruth said.
"It's wonderful to put a name and a face together, especially a builder or remodeler who you'll be spending a large part of your life with," she said.
Attendees also will have the option of taking advantage of seminars and demonstrations that examine issues ranging from tax credits to the latest trends in interior design.
Nola Shivers' company, Decorating Den Interiors, is among the businesses that will be offering seminars and, for the first year, Decorating Den will have its own booth at the Home Show.
Shivers said her company worked with builder Sam Bradley, owner of Sam Bradley Homes, at previous Home Shows, but this year, she thought it was time for her company to branch out into its own booth space.
"Our business is expanding and I felt that it was a good opportunity for my decorators to do some networking and some marketing," Shivers said.
In addition to the booth - which Shivers said is a room setting reflecting the latest trends in decorating - she and her three designers will present the Jan. 30 seminars Keys to Successful Decorating and What's Hot in Remodeling (see the seminar and demonstration schedule at right).
Ruth said the Home Show is a chance for people to see the full scope of what vendors have to offer.
"We try to keep our seminars and demonstrations (focused) on the beginning stages of projects, because the better educated people are, the better decisions they can make," Ruth said.
"We want happy homeowners."[[In-content Ad]]What: 2010 Home Show, presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield
Where: Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St. Louis St.
Tickets: $6; children 12 and younger admitted free
Home Show Squared
Tours, presented by Urban Districts Alliance and Urban Neighborhoods Alliance, in conjunction with HBA, will run noon-4 p.m. Jan. 30-31 at 10 residences in the downtown and West Central neighborhoods. Combo tickets for Home Show and Home Show Squared are $10 each, available in advance at the UDA and UNA offices, or at the door on the day of the event. Tour stops include: