Above: Manchester is known for historic homes.

by William Park

For 40 years, the house on the corner of West North Avenue and Manhattan Street stood abandoned and decaying until it the city slated it for demolition.

But after getting bought by a new owner and put through five years’ worth of renovations, 1339 W. North Ave. will be one of the 10 showcased homes on the 14th Manchester House and Garden Tour this weekend.

Manchester Historic Society is hosting the tour, which will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 4. The tour starts at 1411 Page St. and ends at 1332 Columbus Ave.

“We’re trying to make our tour a little funkier and a little bit more fun than a normal tour,” said Steve Hansen, a member of the MHS house tour committee.

Attendees will be given a treasure map that will guide them and provide historical factoids about the neighborhood and its homes.

Free pedicab rides provided by Green Gears Pedicabs and buses courtesy of Rivers Casino will transport attendees between houses.

One of the stops on the tour is the Wertheimer-Sipe mansion, an elegant three-story Victorian home built in 1892.

Another house on the tour, 1422 Stedman St., was also once an abandoned home that is newly renovated.

“[It] was probably nothing more than a small laborer’s home for most of its history…. It is now being turned back into a home that a single or couple would find an urban oasis in,” Hansen said.

The tour is not just an opportunity to showcase great homes and their owners’ hard work.

“People are going to see not only the homes we have on tour, but what I hope they also see along the tour routes – opportunities,” Hansen said.

Opportunities, he described, for people to find great homes and to start their own renovations.

“You can get land in Manchester that you just can’t get any place else,” Hansen said.

As valuable as the property may be, Manchester is also conveniently located near the North Shore and the T, he noted.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased the day of the event until 4 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Manchester Historic Society.

The Historic Society, dedicated to the beautification of Manchester, hopes to increase Manchester’s profile and also does tree plantings and cleanups.