Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Century-Old House Highlights Springfield Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Century-Old House Highlights Springfield Tour

Article excerpt

Walk inside the 108-year-old historic home in Springfield and

you may feel as if "you've just been hugged," said its owner,

Laura Geisel-Freeland.

That's the warm feeling she says hooked her 31 years ago when

she purchased the two-story home at 34 W. Fourth St. for $9,000.

It was a hidden treasure Geisel-Freeland said she nearly

overlooked.

"I drove by the home with my husband, and you couldn't even see

the house," she said. "It was covered with shrubbery and vine. I

got out of the car and looked behind the shrubbery and said,

`Ray, come and see what I found.'"

What she found was a neoclassical, revival-style home with four

fluted columns built in 1890 by the late Frank S. Gray, head of

the S.B. Hubbard Hardware Co.

Now, for the first time, the public will have an opportunity to

see the grand house, which sits on an estate-size lot and has a

Queen Anne presence.

The home, completely restored in July, is one of 13 structures

on the Springfield Home and Garden Tour this weekend. It is

lived in by Geisel-Freeland's daughter, Shirley Pyatt, along

with her husband, Marc, and daughter, 5-year-old Shelby.

The tour concludes tomorrow and is sponsored by the Springfield

Preservation and Restoration group. Cost is $10 to visit

historic restored homes, churches and office buildings.

Last year, SPAR raised about $5,000 from the tour and used the

money to sponsor community educational activities. For example,

members want to sponsor a workshop this summer that teaches

urban children about photography.

The tour is in its 20th year and is Springfield's way of

showcasing its jewels to encourage potential homeowners to

settle in the historic neighborhood, said Sallie Holbrook,

cochair of the event.

Holbrook said the concept has enticed some homeowners to the

area. …

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