via The Hill Cafe’s photos
I think the Hill Cafe was very well done. I am also demanding my $25.00 “Christmas” house tour fee back. Why? Because the Church Hill Christmas House tour should not be used to show properties that are for sale!!! The owners of said properties ( and you know who you are) were too cheap to even decorate!!!!
Jean, are you speaking of the Lofts? Everyone I spoke with complained that it was a sales pitch.
Karen, yes and I cannot for the life of me understand who made the decision to allow the house tour to be used for real estate sales!! This is the kind of act that destroys years of work building up a respected reputation for our Christmas tour. This should NEVER have occurred!!!
This might not happen if folks would rush to have their houses on the tour. I remember one tour in which one house was under construction and only decorated with a pin up found in the wall.
Was this house on the Church Hill tour? When? How did you feel about spending money for nothing but looking at a construction site with a pin up? By the way, what was the pin up of? I agree with you that last minute decisions are not always the best and leave no time for even a cursory review.
A lot of people were really interested in seeing the renovated Chimbo school building. You can always skip that one if you aren’t interested.
I think the pinup was from the 50’s and the next year the complete house was on the tour. A great way to educate folks all the work that goes into a complete restoration.
In years past houses that were for sale were on the tour; usually the owners volunteered because they wanted that additional visibility, and went out of their way to decorate big time. However, there was never a sales pitch; I remember once seeing a realtors cards discreetly being available but that was it. Also houses were advertised as ‘on Christmas House Tour in such and such a year’ when they went on the market later. In the latter case, it was made clear that the realtor and/or owner thought it had been an honor to be on tour and included that in the advertising.
Fulton Hill Properties was listed as a sponsor of the house tour, according to the ticket for the tour. Was that because Maggie Freund donated five hundred dollars to the Church Hill Association? If so, it would have been pretty difficult to turn down her loft development if she then wanted it on the tour. That said, I agree that a sales pitch doesn’t belong on the tour.
I didn’t go see the lofts, so can’t speak first hand, but any sales pitch belongs to an open house held on a different date than the house tour, IMHO. However, and this is for Jean, I think if I’d been hit with a sales pitch, esp. in a building that wasn’t decorated or shown as it would be when available for occupancy, then my anger would be with Fulton Hill Prop. for being greedy, not with CHA. Knowing what goes into putting on an event like this, I really don’t think CHA can control what goes on at each site.
I went by Lava Lofts, even though I’d already been inside previously, bc the people I was on the house tour with had not and wanted to see the renovated building. We did not get a sales pitch at all. We were told the rental $ price range and that the building was 50% leased out, in explaining why the building wasn’t wide open. Fulton Hill did donate to CHA as a sponsor and they will donate $ to just about everything that goes on in this community, even after their building is 100% leased. Maybe they should have put up a tree or 2 (I honestly don’t remember if there were any Xmas decorations). Regardless, they are our neighbors, consider themselves members of the Chimborazo community, and we should consider ourselves lucky to have someone who plans to stick around with us for the long haul. IMHO.
I had seen in past years, smart realtors who did open house’s during the house tour to increase the visibility of the property.
Lucky Canine, since they are rental units and not for sale, I’m not surprised you didn’t what might be termed a sales pitch. However, IMHO telling you the rental rates and how much is already rented out is a sales pitch for getting renters.
Also how is having a bunch more rental units up here a sign of someone planning to stick around with us for the long haul? The renters probably won’t stick around, and Ms. Freund does not live up here. She is in the development business for money, not friendship or neighborliness.
Sorry, but I think putting rental units on the house tour is tacky, particularly when they tell you the rental rates.
What thoughtful, well written comments!! I have lived at my present address since 1978 and I know how much work it is to put together the Christmas House Tour, Garden Tour, Christmas Ball and High on The Hog. I have decorated, cleaned, Organized, donated and been on both tours. It is the CHA’s job to control what goes on at each property on tour. We have Docents and this tour invites all of Virginia to our neighborhood. When we first started, no one wanted to come to Church Hill and nobody was here after 3:30!! This event has taken years of work to get it to where it is today and to non-chantly degrade it is very sad indeed. I Have been threatened with “embarrassment and or public chastisement towards my person—we would be compelled, madame, to read and , disclose this e-mail and it’s contents to all our members” I told the person who wrote this rather long, personal attack to go ahead and make it public.
Many arrogant people have a false charm that no one seems to see through, However the arrogant person is more than happy to show their cruel side to any one that DOES see through it.
Jean…go ahead and name names…who at the CHA threatened you? Curious minds want to know. 🙂
Laura, The person is no longer in a position to make decisions. He assumed that I was talking about the house on 23 rd. St., also undecorated and up for sale. My concern was for both of these properties, and that still is an issue of concern. People DO NOT have to come up here and spend $25.00 ( a considerable price hike from last year) and they WILL NOT if this is the result. It is my understanding ( as of yesterday ) that cautions relayed about these two properties being put on the Christmas tour were summarily ignored. In my opinion, it seems that It would be appropriate to to instigate some sort of controls, review system, criteria, accountability, etc. so in the future the Church Hill Christmas Tour cannot be used to do personal promotions, repay favors or promote ones friends. I have gone on many of the C H house tours and always appreciated the creativity and sometimes the luxurious efforts of the decorations!! Simple or ornate, there are some gifted people up here.
As far as naming names, lets just say, I refuse to have an intellectual duel with an unarmed opponent.
Jean and crd… I have to agree. The Christmas Tour is not something required. This is a function to showcase “decorated” houses. It is not a venue to take shameless advantage to get free advertising. If these people would have at least decorated the houses then possibly it would have been overlooked. If the house is in no condition to decorate then don’t put it out there on the tour… simple as that.
I am sure there are organizers in charge for this tour… right? If so, then a good idea to make sure everyone abides by the rues is to have someone go out and check the registered houses the day before to make sure everything is in order before the actual tour.
Eric,What a great idea!! The “organizers” in this case feel they have done nothing wrong, or at least they are not able to admit it. If this is the future of the Christmas Tour, then we should not have it .
John Murden, Is there any way to transfer this discussion to a more informative heading? Maybe “Church Hill Christmas Tour in jeopardy” ?? Thank you, Jean
Maybe if you feel the tour was done wrong then offer to chair the event next year and show how it should be done.
Have you noted the amount of silk and fake greens are used?
eds, read post #13. Better people than I have “shown how it should be done” There are binders of invaluable information, instruction and guidelines passed on from one chair to the next. These binders are a compilation of years of work done by dedicated, hard working Christmas Tour Chairpersons who have had the foresight and grace to put in writing their experiences and creativity to help the next chairperson. The issue is poor judgement and an insolent, autocratic approach that does not induce people to jump in and participate.
As for faux greenery, some of it is hard to tell from the real stuff these days!
eds, unless there are guidelines that dictate that you are supposed to use real plant decorations then I see nothing wrong with faux. It is still the spirit of the decorating which reflects.
Also, there are things like Parade of Homes or what we use to have (do we still have it) Neighborhoods in Bloom, which people can showcase houses and those up for sale. The Christmas tour should be just that and that ONLY.
I remember in 1999 when I participated in CHA and volunteered to do their web site. It was at that time I realized the organization wasn’t about bringing the “community” together but what it was all about was what can be done for the CHA and had no use for outsiders. It seems like the scenario still exists today and outside criticism is not welcomed hence our concerns will not be addressed. That needs to change!
Eric, Bravo. you hit the undecorated tree on it’s head!!
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