SPRINGFIELD — Once again, the historic housing stock of the City of Homes will be highlighted by the annual The Springfield Preservation Trust’s Historic Homes Tour, scheduled for June 2, from 1-4 p.m., followed by a social gathering at the Springfield Museums from 4-6 p.m.

This year the featured homes will be in the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District, which has a long history.

Trust President Erica Swallow explained to Reminder Publishing the city has only a certain number of designated historic district and the Trust alternates this annual home tour between those districts. She said the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street was last featured 10 years ago.

What makes the tours so interesting is that “we experience the history [of these homes] inside not just on the outside.”

She added the tour will feature homes on Mattoon and Eliot streets as well as the Christ Church Cathedral and inside the Kimball Towers Condominiums, formally the Hotel Kimball which was built in 1911.

Swallow said there have been informal social gatherings after many of the tours and for the second year, the Trust is sponsoring a social event with refreshments and music after this tour.

According to a history compiled by the trust, “In the 1860s. Chestnut Street was an elegant address lined with mansions. including the well-known Breck House. William Mattoon. a wholesale grain dealer. divided his lot and opened a new street through the property in 1870. The lots were quickly bought by builders who constructed lavish row- houses for the cognoscenti who wanted to live close to Springfield’s thriving downtown.

“Despite the ‘Dull Times’ of 1873, building continued in the area. Over the next 20 years, local builders erected elaborate brick houses, many of which are still standing. Mattoon Street became the only street in Springfield to be lined on both sides with Victorian rowhouses. In 1894 only three homes were listed as single family. For some time after that, even these three had become multi-family units and there were no single-family homes listed on the street.”

The history noted that by the 1960s the neighborhood was in bad shape with some of the homes demolished and others used as lodging houses. In 1971 at the urging of an advocacy groups the Springfield City Council created an Historic District Study Committee and in 1974, the Quadrangle-Mattoon Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Today after years of renovations, most, if not all, of the townhouses are owner-occupied single-family homes.
Tickets may be purchased on Eventbrite at bit.ly/MattoonTour. They range from $20 to $80, depending on trust membership and whether the attendee is purchasing tour, social, or both tickets.

While the event tends to sell out, if openings are available day-of, tickets may be available for purchase by cash or credit/debit card at the event.