DEARBORN — The 2010 Dearborn Symphony’s Heritage Home Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in west Dearborn. Proceeds benefit the Dearborn Symphony and its scholarship program.
This year’s Home Tour features a tree-lined boulevard in west Dearborn that has attracted buyers for over 80 years, yet few residents know it exists. All of the eight homes open that day on Long Boulevard are different displaying varied tastes in remodeling and home decor.
Call (313) 565-2424 for tickets at $13 pre-sale and $15 on tour day at the Dearborn Country Club headquarters, where lunch is available for $15 and several vendors will be showing their wares.
Commuter buses will be available.
An added attraction this year is vintage cars: a 1968 Mustang Fastback, a Model T, a vintage fire engine from Les Stanford and a classic 1947 Packard touring sedan. Attendees will also have a chance to test drive Smart Cars.
Also on display will be a collection of 1:18 die-cast metal replica Ford Mustangs signed by famous engineers Carroll Shelby and Scott Hoag. For information go to www.DearbornSymphony.org.
Long Boulevard is a historic, private street loved by Henry Ford for its seclusion and was one of his favorite spots along the Rouge River. Ford used to spend time walking along the river south of Long, enjoying the beauty of the seasons and chatting with the residents.
“Mr. Ford helped build a tractor with a man named McCormick in my garage years ago,” said Pat Kuptz, who occupies one of the oldest and unique houses along the street. “I fell in love with this house when we were house shopping.”
The colonial was built in 1921. Kuptz has lived there for almost 24 years and still has the fix-it-up fever. Much of the woodworking around the doors and windows she has done herself.
She and her husband added a sun room across the entire back of the house providing lots of sunlight. The back of the house overlooks the Rouge River and its deep ravine. The house has three floors and several wooden patio decks.
All of the eight homes on the Saturday, May 15 Home Tour are entirely different but display the different tastes in remodeling and decorating a home. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. John Matthews Jr. and Kimberly Giandiletti are co-chairing the event.
In contrast, Pam Dunworth, a 30-year owner of the Pamela School of Dance has enjoyed her colonial house on the river for many years. It is decorated with many pictures of swimmers and dancers. Pam is the widow of Jack Dunworth, a social studies teacher and swimming coach at Dearborn High School. The pool at Levagood Park is named the Dunworth Pool in his memory.
Pam said that she and Jack wanted a larger home to raise their three sons and they “fell in love with the lots along Long Boulevard. We pooled all our resources and bought the lot on the river to build a home.
Bradley Storrer, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright was the builder.
Pam was born in England and raised in America. “I didn’t want an English Tudor style, so we designed our own home to our liking,” she said.
John and Lark Washington chose the most sturdy of all the houses. Built in 1935 and originally owned by cement contractor Larry Humes, the house has cement walls, floors and ceilings. The Washingtons have been there since 1998.
The 3,400 square feet attracted them to the dwelling and a place to raise their four children. “It is quiet here at the end of the boulevard, sturdy and very efficient,” John Washington said. The location next to Ford Field provides a good place for the children to play. The Washingtons find the neighbors up and down the street very friendly. They enjoy the proximity to Ford Field and downtown west Dearborn.
Rick Rababeh, whose wife, Reem, found the house she liked, chose the colonial with huge pillars. Rick is president of the Long Boulevard Association of Homeowners and Riverbend Neighborhood Association, of which the former is part. As president he plans block parties and Easter egg hunts for the neighborhood children.
“I find that more young couples are purchasing homes in our neighborhood and making changes to the houses,” Rick said. He petitioned the city and was able to plant 13 new trees in the median. No one parks on the street which makes it very quiet and beautiful. He works as a chemical engineer from their house, and Reem is a Dearborn school teacher. Their house has four bedrooms and four fireplaces.
Roger Somerville lives in the Long House on the corner of Long and Military, the oldest home in Dearborn. It was open for the first Home Tour 29 years ago. The Long House was built in 1878 and completed two years later. The three-bedroom quaint brick home attracted Somerville’s wife and as the love story goes, “I told her when it became for sale I would buy it for her. I had to keep my promise. We looked at the home after attending Christ Episcopal Church one Sunday and I bought it.”
In the 1800s, the property covered 600 acres of land, extending as far as where the Dearborn Country Club stands. It was owned by a Revolutionary soldier by the name of Reynolds. Both Thomas and Samuel Long owned the land at different times. Samuel Long also built the Wagner house which stands at the corner of Long and Brainard.
Former Ford Motor Co. Treasurer and Vice President John Sagan and wife, Margaret, both deceased, chose the home at the end of Long overlooking Ford Field for their residence, and Henry Ford Community College President Gail Mee lives in a stately brick house a few doors away. She enjoys the peace and quiet along the river too.
She moved in 3 1/2 years ago after looking at many other homes. “I liked Long Blvd. the best,” she said. “It’s a very diverse group of people, a good mix and provides a fine family feel.”