Historic Oakwood homes open for candlelight tours this weekend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some 4,000 people are expected to tour historic homes decked out for the 48th Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour this weekend.

Matthew Brown's home on North Person Street is one of a dozen on the tour, the Lamar-Brown-Arthur House was built in 1896.

Brown has a traditional Italian nativity near the brick fireplace in his foyer and a beautiful Christmas tree with vintage Santa Clauses in his parlor room.

"I have traveled the world and the art and antiques come from at least 40 countries," said Brown, who restored the home after purchasing it more than three years ago, when it was dilapidated.

Chris Gotwalt and his wife, Jessica, own the Heck-Boushall House, built in 1875, on East Jones Street.

"We have a tree here that we got from the North Carolina Farmer's Market over Thanksgiving."

All of their floors are original, as well as an intricate, ornamental piece in their hallway.

"The house was condemned in the 1990s," Gotwalt said. "It was in total disrepair."

The Gotwalts have decorated their home with elegant chandeliers, colorful walls and unique furnishings that give it an eclectic feel.



Homeowners are continuing the tradition of opening their homes for the candlelight tour, to share the history of Oakwood.

"This tour saved the Oakwood neighborhood," Brown said. "The state had planned to demolish half of the neighborhood and put a highway through the middle of it."

Here's a look inside some of the homes:
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"The southbound lane of Capital would have been where we're standing right now, preservation is important because you can't rebuild things once they're gone," Gotwalt said. "It would have been, I think, a tremendous loss for Raleigh had they put a freeway here."

Residents said they fought the highway and proved the historic neighborhood should be preserved.

Now, some of the proceeds from the tour go to restoration projects.

Tickets for the event cost $30 and can be purchased here.

PHOTOS: Historic Oakwood Homes
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