Natalie Lorio knew as soon as she stepped onto the property at 4309 Westway Avenue that she had found her next home — and her next project.
Two years, one architect, and four interior designers later, the 1930s home was transformed from a quirky, old house into a modern, elegant paradise.
The only thing that remains unchanged is the charm of the French Eclectic architecture on the facade.
“I love old homes,” Lorio said. “I think they have a lot of character and personality. I would have hated to tear it all down.” Lorio’s home is one of the four that will be featured April 1 in the 15th annual Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) Home Tour.
In addition to the French Eclectic property on Westway Avenue, the tour features a 1930s Colonial style home on Greenbrier Drive, a 1922 Greek Revival on Miramar Avenue, and a 1929 “Tudor wonderland” on Fairfax Avenue.
“We are so fortunate to live in a community where our neighbors are willing to share their homes that showcase such excellent examples of renovation and restoration,” PCHPS President Kendall Jennings said. “It is always a joy to work with the homeowners and hear their stories of how they came to love their residences.”
PCHPS, founded in 1982, aims to maintain and promote the historic and aesthetic elements of the Park Cities. Money from the tour funds scholarships for Highland Park High School students interested in studying architecture, art, or history, as well as other projects such as landmarking and preservation-focused education. This year, money from the tour will also help fund a partnership with the University Park Library to provide new archive cabinets.
Jennings said the tour is important for the community because it showcases successful revival projects.
“For us, it’s an educational tool to show what Natalie’s done — she’s saved a house and made it relevant and modern,” she said. “We try to tell people there are options besides tearing down a house.”
Home Tour Chair Tish Key is especially excited about showing the Lorio home because it shows that homeowners can have it all. Though not readily apparent from the perfectly landscaped exterior of the
house, 4309 Westway Avenue is home to Natalie, her husband, five kids, two dogs, a cat, and a bird.
“It’s livable, it’s elegant, and it’s really family friendly, which is an incredible thing,” Key said.
WHEN: April 1, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
TICKETS: $20 advance tickets available online or at Tom Thumb. $25 tickets available day of the tour.
For more information, go to pchps.org