Julia-Ann Square raises funds

Several residents of the Julia-Ann Square Historic District opened their homes or gardens to visitors over the weekend to raise money for further neighborhood improvements.

The district’s Victorian Home and Garden Tour and Tea — held Saturday and Sunday — as well as a bus tour Friday, helped net around $4,400 for the district, said resident Lillian McCrary.

“We do put everything back into the neighborhood. We want to make it a nicer place to be,” she said.

Tour stops included the homes of: Craig and Bonnie Wix, 1217 Ann St. and the garden of 1209 Ann St. (The Castle); Rick and Ruami Dyke, 1024 Ann St.; Rich and Deborah Shaffer, 1025 Juliana St.; Shawn and Brenda Critzer, 939 Juliana St.; John and Louis Snively, 1111 Juliana St.; Norm and Lillian McCrary, 111 13th St.; and Bucky and Carol Duranti, 112 13th. St.

The district has used money from such tours for improvements such as installing period lighting, banners and archways at the entrances of the district. It is now pooling its money for improvements to the sidewalks, for which it already has a $5,000 state grant at its disposal.

Bonnie Wix said the sidewalks are lunch-hour destinations for many, especially workers at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital, both of which are located within a few minutes’ walk of the district.

“We have so many hospital workers who walk here, the district is a wonderful place to walk. It would be nice if we could get the funds to make improvements to the sidewalks,” she said.

McCrary said property owners would likely be matching the district’s funds in some way for the improvements. Many areas of sidewalk have been lifted up by tree roots over the years, which makes it impossible for wheelchairs to navigate some sections.

“The first phase I’d like to see personally is on Ann Street. If you were in a wheelchair or walker, you could not go walk on either side of the street,” she said.

McCrary said the district would like to do more bus tours when possible.

“We just had our first one and we have one coming in the end of July and another in the fall coming from Jacksonville, Fla. We would like to entertain more of that if we can,” she said.

See more of this coverage on the Julia-Ann Square Historic District at the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Category : In The News Posted on June 9, 2008

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