Edina's majestic red brick Baird House, which dates to 1886 and the city's bucolic origins, will be a highlight of this Sunday's three-house tour in honor of Edina's 125th anniversary.
Architectural explorers will also have the opportunity to step inside a 1912 Arts and Crafts bungalow with a built-in buffet, a swinging pantry door and a coal shoot, and to make their way through a 1929 Mediterranean-style home in the Country Club District. The tour runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $20 in advance or $15 at the door.
The tour's chair, Diane Plunkett Latham, told the Star Tribune that part of the tour's goal is to teach residents to appreciate the value of historic housing amid a trend of teardowns in old neighborhoods. (Edina's issued almost 170 teardown permits since the start of 2012.)
“Edina’s history is being torn down right in front of our eyes,” Plunkett Latham said. “We want to show people how to retain these homes. With minor remodeling, you can make them very livable. We want to encourage people to do that.”
Houses in Edina's Country Club neighborhood are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected from teardowns, and homeowners of Edina bungalows are allowed to nominate their homes as protected Heritage Landmarks (though none have).
“Here are homes that are functional, beautiful and preserve the historic character of the neighborhood,” Marci Matson of the Edina Historical Society told Edina Magazine. “Each shows how older homes can be remodeled without disturbing the community’s heritage.”