The Rapidian

Open houses In Heritage Hills draws crowd

An article about the 2013 Heritage Hill open house
Heritage Hill Banner

Heritage Hill Banner /Allen Wegener

One of the open houses for Heritage Hill tour.

One of the open houses for Heritage Hill tour. /Allen Wegener

Shuttle Bus Driver Jeff Parks is one of three drivers to take visitors around tour.

Shuttle Bus Driver Jeff Parks is one of three drivers to take visitors around tour. /Allen Wegener

The 42nd annual Heritage Hill Tour of Homes in Grand Rapids took place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.

"We have this open-house tour for people to visit our homes in Heritage Hills because we want to give back to the community a part history," says Kate Diedrich, Secretary of the Heritage Hill Association. "We switched from the fall tour to spring time because we couldn't compete with Art Prize. Our number of visitors went down during Art Prize, but they are coming back up now in the spring time."

The Heritage Hill Tour of Homes began back in May, 1971. To own a Heritage Home is a chance to own a piece of history.

"We are expecting about 2,500 visitors this weekend," says Jim Payne, President of Heritage Hill Association. "We will have about 300 volunteers helping out with the tours this weekend. When tours get going we expect letting people tour a house in a new group every five or six minutes."

At each house there are desginated people who will help the visitors tour the house they want to see. There is a greeter, a shift manager and four guides that will help coordinate the flow of visitors at each house.

"I wanted to see the homes in the Heirtage Hills," says Jane Visser Vanden Hoek from Bryon Center.

"I was anxious to see the homes and the garden and to get some ideas for my home as well," says Shelly Binder.

It was a nice sunny day for the opening day of the home tour. There were food booths, restrooms available in designated areas, and shuttle buses provided rides from place to place for those who had tickets they purchased for the event.

Shuttle buses were provided free of charge to the Heritage Hill Association for their use during the Home Tour free of charge by Spectrum Hospital.

"We will have three Shuttle Buses operating during the tour and a fourth one for stand by," says Jeff Parks a shuttle bus driver. "Each of these buses hold 24 people and each driver has to have a CDL to drive them."

"I've been involved with the North College Block club food booth for 31 years now," says Char Krizich, a Heritage Hill food booth volunteer and resident of Heirtiage Hill.

There were eight homes open for the public and a historical school to view during this year's event.

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