Ramsey Hill Association House Tour

The Ramsey Hill biannual house tour was yesterday. It was a gorgeous day for walking the historic neighborhood and viewing how many families have updated their homes for today’s lifestyle, while keeping the historic integrity of the homes intact.

5 Responses to “Ramsey Hill Association House Tour”

  1. As someone who has, for many years, loved and attended house tours on both sides of Summit Ave., I was bitterly disappointed in this years tour. I have to look at the twenty-five dollar ticket as a donation to a worthy cause since, in my opinion, there was really nothing to get excited about in this tour. This makes me wonder about the future of such tours. Several questions come to mind: Have all the really great homes been exhausted by previous tours? Is it time to rest house tours for a few years? Have these tours become a shop window for contractors and impending house sales? The recent trend toward including churches, libraries and other buildings to flesh out these tours speaks volumns. Fewer business cards and brochures and more historic information on these homes would have been appreciated but nothing would have made this lackluster collection of houses worth the price of admission.

  2. Hi Snowman!

    Thanks for the feedback on the tour. This year centered around homes that have had updates, helping bring them into modern day living, and of course this included a few contractors around in case any visitors wanted to learn more about the renovations. Yes, there were no huge Summit Avenue mansions on the tour this year…it just didn’t work out in getting a homeowner to participate. So we centered more on the neighborhood and what it has to offer.

    What do you feel would make a better tour and draw more people in? I would love to hear some ideas. Unfortunately, tours today need sponsors to help fund them. How much more historical information would you like to see?

    You do have a good point about tours maybe becoming exhausted. There are now historic tours everywhere in the Twin Cities, and maybe the local public is growing tired of them.

    I know one thing we changed this year is having less homes on the tour. The complaint last tour was that there were too many homes, so we reduced the amount so that people didn’t feel rushed through.

    Let me know any other thoughts you have. I will be meeting with the tour committee in a week and would love to share your feedback.

  3. Dear Jennifer; As I wrote in my previous comment, I am a big fan of historic homes and also what people have done with them. That being said, there are remodeling showcase tours where visitors expect and welcome the information from contractors and decorators. In two houses we visited, the volunteers, while cheerful, pushed to give information on who had done the kitchens and how wonderful they were. When the tour is marketed as an historic house tour, I would expect the emphasis to be on the value of the architecture, the setting of the house and its place in the neighborhood. The opportunity to see some of the original blueprints was wonderful.
    I think most people do expect to be wowed by one or two mansions which they would otherwise be unable to see. My most amusing memory of this tour was seeing a large group of people up on Stan Berger’s porch peering into the beautiful oversized windows and wishing they could see inside. The garden was, of course, wonderful…….but there are garden tours as well. I know how difficult it must be to put on one of these tours and how much the homeowners go through to get their beloved homes ready for the public. I personally decided not to participate in last year’s tour in part because of its being labelled,” Warner’s Stellian Summit Hill House Tour” Kudos to your group for calling Jet the Platinum Sponsor. That gave them full credit for their support without taking away from the homeowners and the organizing committee. These are difficult economic times, as everyone knows, and I think the audience for these tours has been shrinking for the past five years. People don’t always want to see what they cannot afford, either the houses themselves, or the kitchen makeovers. That doesn’t stop someone like me from wanting to see a grand house like Biltmore for the sheer joy of a beautiful home. Perhaps knowing that you have one “flagship” house that everyone is excited to see would be a good starting point for planning. I can think of several north of Summit that I would be happy to pay to see. To be quite honest, I could tell from the day I bought our tickets and eagerly read the descriptions, that I was going to be disappointed. I am only one individual who loves historic homes and what really matters is how many people attended this year’s tour and what overall feelings were expressed. Good luck at your planning meeting. Snowman

  4. Thanks for your additional feedback. It helps to have someone outside the tour let us know their thoughts. I will share them with the committee and discuss ways to make it better. Not having a flagship mansion was definitely one thing we knew would hurt the tour, but it was out of our hands this year. I really hate to hear your dissapointment in the tour, but knowing your love for historic homes, I completely understand.

  5. Jennifer; Good luck with the planning meeting. I will, of course, be looking forward to the next tour.

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