Tri Kappa Tour of Homes

Campbell’s Old City Hall,
Masonic building to be showcased

Tri Kappa tour to run Oct. 10-12 in Madison

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(October 2008) – I wonder what it looks like inside?
This question is undoubtedly asked several times a day as residents and visitors to Madison pass by restored homes lining the downtown streets. Surely, houses so elegant and unusual on the outside must inspire their owners to make the inside just as beautiful?
The Tri Kappa Tour of Homes will help satisfy the curiosity of those who have wondered about the interiors of some of Madison’s most striking homes and buildings. And these buildings live up to their outer beauty.
“Some of the homes are like museums and are so ornate,” says Publicity Chair Sherry Craig.

Old City Hall

Photo by Lela Jane Bradshaw

Guests on the Tri Kappa Tour of
Homes will have the chance to see
preservation work in progress on
Old City Hall, damaged in the
2006 Elks Club Fire.

The Tri Kappa Tour of Homes started in 1950 as way to raise funds for philanthropy projects. Taking place in even-numbered years, the 2008 tour will run from Oct. 10-12 and will feature seven historic Madison homes and buildings.
Among them will be two significant structures owned by Donn Vecchie-Campbell, 47, of Madison. She plans to open both the Masonic Hall and Old City Hall to the public.
The tour will offer many visitors their first chance to see the third floor of the Mason Hall, which for many years could only be viewed by those associated with the Masons. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the Masons and even see what was able to be saved of the extensive murals that once decorated the Hall. While Vecchie-Campbell had been involved with renovations before, the size and scope of work done on the Masonic Hall was something new.
“It’s like another child to get to this point,” she says with a laugh.
In addition to the work progressing on Old City Hall, Vecchie-Campbell is working on plans to renovate the former St. Anne’s School, located at Broadway and Third streets, and a country house in Kent.
“I have a fantastic crew of guys, and they stick with me. That’s probably what makes it easy,” she says of her continued involvement in preservation efforts. Hills Historic Painting and Preservation worked on both the Vecchie-Campbell properties that are a part of the tour.

Tri Kappa Tour of Homes

• Advance tickets are available through Oct. 9 online; at the Madison Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 601 W. First St.; at River Valley Financial Bank (main Hilltop branch on Clifty Drive); Main Source Bank (downtown); and at Something Simple and The Attic, both on Main Street.
• On tour weekend, tickets will be sold at Tour Headquarters, Madison Presbyterian Church, 202 Broadway St
• Tickets are $12.50 for adults in advance, $15 tour weekend, with children’s prices available.

For more information:
• Call the Madison Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at
• Visit: www.trikappatourofhomes.com.

After the 2006 Elks Club fire that damaged much of Old City Hall, Vecchie-Campbell was approached about purchasing and restoring the building. This year, those who take part in the Tri Kappa Tour of Homes will see just how far the building has already come and get a first glimpse of what the future holds.
Plans call for the first floor of Old City Hall to house two office suites, and structurally the first floor of the 1879 building will remain unchanged. The second floor is being finished as a dance studio with a viewing area for parents to watch the progress of their budding young stars. Renovations are expected to be completed in 2009 on Old City Hall and the finished project might even be included on the 2010 Tri Kappa tour.
Past tours have averaged about 1,300 guests who enjoy visiting a variety of historic homes and buildings, Craig said. “All of the money we raise we give back to the community.”
A Home Selection Committee draws up a list of houses for the tours and often area homeowners will volunteer their own dream homes to be a part of the event. “When they approach us to do this, it’s exciting,” says Craig.
Hostesses work with the owners of the properties to learn the stories behind the homes and furnishings. By sharing information on antique furniture, color choices, and even ghost stories, the hostesses and homeowners make the buildings come alive for visitors.
The 2006 tour raised approximately $12,000, which was provided to local and in-state charities and used to fund several college scholarships for area seniors.

Back to October 2008 Articles.



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