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About the historic homes tour

Duluth Preservation Alliance's 25th annual Tour of Historic Homes will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21. This year's self-guided tour features seven sites: six homes in Duluth's Congdon Park, Chester Park and Lester Park neighborhoods a...

Duluth Preservation Alliance's 25th annual Tour of Historic Homes will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21. This year's self-guided tour features seven sites: six homes in Duluth's Congdon Park, Chester Park and Lester Park neighborhoods and an historic downtown building.

Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased on the day of the tour at Fitger's Brewery Complex, 600 E. Superior St., beginning at 10 a.m. If desired, tickets can be reserved by calling 728-0350 or e-mailing DennisLamkin@hotmail.com .

The homes featured are:

13 W. Superior St.

Year built: 1886

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Owners: Bud and Ruth Darling

Original owner: Max Wirth

The three-story Wirth Building in the heart of downtown Duluth was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 as an excellent example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. It was designed by architect George Wirth of St. Paul for his brother, Max Wirth. Max Wirth's pharmacy was on the first floor, his family lived on the third floor and offices were on the second floor. After years of neglect, the building was restored to a period-style commercial/residential building in the early 1990s by the current owners who live upstairs.

1309 E. Eight St.

Year built: 1917

Owner: Joe Thorne

Original owners: Archibald and Elizabeth Ferguson

This American Foursquare received a 2008 preservation award from the Duluth Preservation Alliance for the owner's effort in restoring a period-style look to the home and restoring some of its original features. Outside, vinyl siding was replaced with fiber cement lap siding with the look of original clapboard siding, energy-efficient period-style mullion windows were installed, the porch was restored and the house was painted in colorful Arts and Crafts colors.

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2201 E. First St.

Year built: 1910

Owners: Patrick and Jennifer Boyle

Original owner: Alexander MacDougall

Despite his rags-to-riches story, Alexander MacDougall, the designer of the whaleback ships, built this modest American Foursquare in 1910 for $9,000. The house was designed by W. T. Bray and Carl E. Nystrom. The house has original moldings, some original light fixtures and stained-glass windows including a massive 7-by-15-foot one in the staircase.

2122 E. Fourth St.

Year built: 1913

Owners: Peder and Siiri Morse

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Original owner: Rollo Chaffee

This Arts and Crafts home was designed by Abraham Holstead for attorney Rollo Chaffee, who was instrumental in preserving land that is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Superior National Forest. The house has been described as a "preserved time capsule." Besides its original woodwork, flooring and windows, standout features include a wall of leaded-glass bookshelves, a fountain in the dining room, some original kitchen cabinets and a billiard room with a raised viewing deck with a fireplace for observing.

2419 E. Second St.

Year built: 1907

Owners: Douglas and Cheryl Carlson

Original owner: Byron J. Culbertson

This large, prairie-style house was built for Byron J. Culbertson, a prominent businessman who owned Culbertson Fruit Co. The house was designed by W.T. Bray and Carl E. Nystrom. The top floor was for servants, who had a separate entrance and staircase. Although updated, the house retains a period atmosphere and features.

6029 London Road

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Year built: 1909

Owner: Wendy Schwartz

Original owners: Ralph J. and Grace Davis

This American Foursquare has been updated with a blend of old and new. It contains most of its original features, with minor renovations in the kitchen and in its utilities. The front porch still has an original wall-mounted stained-glass light fixture that sports a sea captain's face. The architect is unknown.

6031 London Road

Year built: 1910

Owner: Mary Jo Connolly

Original owner: U.S. Department of Interior

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This Craftsman-style house was built to house the superintendent of fisheries at the nearby U.S. government fish hatchery at the mouth of the Lester River. The architect is unknown. After the hatchery closed in 1946, the house was owned by the University of Minnesota from 1948 to 1968. The current owner has done extensive renovations. A weathervane on top of the house is similar to one that used to be on the fisheries building.

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