Halls have been decked in one of Asheville’s oldest neighborhoods for the 21st Annual Montford Holiday Tour of Homes on Saturday, December 10, from 1–5 p.m. Nine homes—ranging from the early 1900s to recently built—will open their doors for the tour and Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast Inn will offer refreshments.
“Houses are chosen by the Montford Neighborhood Association’s (MNA’s) house tour committee for historic, architectural and/ or design significance,” says Ellen Nutter, tour publicity director. “Compared to when the tour was started in 1995, many more houses in the neighborhood have been renovated, and construction on vacant lots where houses had been demolished over the years has recreated a more turn-of-the- century streetscape.”
Montford had its heyday after 1890 when Asheville grew rapidly. A middle-class neighborhood then, the area declined in popularity after the Depression and World War II, only to see a resurgence of interest in the 1990s. It was designated a local historic district by the Asheville City Council in 1981. Home renovations and new construction follow standards set by the Historic District Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County. “The goal,” Nutter says, “is to maintain the historic integrity of the neighborhood’s period of historic significance, 1890– 1920.”
Proceeds from the tour’s ticket sales benefit the MNA’s improvement projects, such as landscaping and youth programs at the Montford Recreation Center. “This past year,” Nutter says, “we started a signage program with matching grants to neighborhood businesses for signage upgrades and are placing banners on major streets to advertise the neighborhood and its events.”
The tour is self-guided and walkable, with no house more than 20 minutes from the Asheville Visitor Center. Ticket holders will receive a map of all homes on the tour and information about each.
Tickets are $25 and are available at the Asheville Visitor Center Gift Shop at 36 Montford Avenue from December 1–10. For more information, visit montfordtour.com.