The Oakdale neighborhood's historic homes are works of art “meant to be seen,” according to resident Liz Flaherty.
Flaherty is part of a neighborhood group of volunteers organizing a home tour from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, which will allow the public to get a closer look at several residences and a church. The historic Oakdale neighborhood is situated just south of Fort Wayne. The area, located in the ZIP code 46807, was developed between about 1915 and 1930. It includes notable examples of Colonial Revival, American FourSquare, and Bungalow/American Craftsman-style residential architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Flaherty has lived in the neighborhood for more than three years. She said the atmosphere is what keeps her there.
“We love the neighborhood and the neighbors – the whole vibe,” she said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to be inviting and sharing that with everyone.”
History buffs will appreciate a special touch. The tour map will include newly gathered historical information from local researcher Jill Downs of The Story of Your House. The tour highlights nine homes and a church: 407 Arcadia Court, 456 Englewood Court, 457 W. Oakdale Drive, 501 W. Oakdale, 625 W. Oakdale, 628 W. Oakdale, 701 W. Oakdale, 709 W. Oakdale, 3702 Arlington Ave., 3500 South Wayne Ave., Mision Cristiana Elim Church, which Flaherty said is an attraction in and of itself.
A former Baptist church, the gathering space boasts notable architecture. In her words, “It's not what you'd expect looking from the outside.”
Another stop is 457 W. Oakdale, which Flaherty said was chosen for its rich legacy. Multiple generations of the Miller family lived in the home, until 2015. Flaherty said the home, which is sprawling and stately, is well-maintained.
Speaking of architecture, Flaherty said the motivations for each home tour goer can vary and often go beyond this factor. There are many reasons people feel drawn into these historic homes, she said. Among them are the architecture, interior décor, historic value, gardens and landscaping.
“Everyone can find something,” she said.
And she does mean everyone. Children under 10 can attend the tour free, she said. In fact, it can be a good way to expose them to history and architecture at a young age.
There is also the opportunity to educate adults who might hold uninformed stereotypes about the neighborhood. Flaherty said that for most people, the homes in the area are well-maintained and residents take great pride in caring for them.
To join the tour
• Parking, day-of-tour ticket sales/check-in and tour maps will be available at First Missionary Church, 701 West Rudisill Blvd (just south of the neighborhood) or Mision Cristiana Elim, 3500 South Wayne (just north of the neighborhood).
• Tickets may also be purchased online, $10 pre-sale, $12 day of tour. For tickets visit https://goo.gl/mwUIRM or “Historic Oakdale Neighborhood Home Tour 2017,” on Facebook.
• The tour is rain or shine, and all money goes back to the neighborhood association.