If you're curious about the building that used to house Lasting Impressions Fine Gifts at 1127 Cass St., now is the time to satisfy your curiosity. The new owner, Chuck Summers, will be showing off the house's fine architecture during this year's Holy Trinity Generation After Generation Holiday Home Tour on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Summers, who moved back to Wisconsin after many years living in Texas, said the Mediterranean style appealed to him since you see that architecture a lot in Texas, but not so much up here.
"I just liked the style of the house. It fit with my furnishings," Summers said.
When he bought the house, he didn't have a good idea what shape it was in because it wasn't cleared of store merchandise. When he moved in and got to work, he was pleasantly surprised to find original lighting fixtures and sconces in working order and the home's original architecture intact.
"There was a false floor in the sunroom," he said, which he had to deal with. "But all the detail was there."
In fact, he has done more work on the exterior than the interior, he said, working with Walters Concrete to restore the sidewalk to its original look.
He had no trouble furnishing the house because he moved truckloads of his furniture from Dallas to La Crosse and said his large-scale furniture fit easily into the expansive spaces of his new home.
The house looks much the same today as it does in old newspaper clippings from its early years. Summers was glad to find those clippings so he could confirm that this is, indeed, how the house originally looked. The building was constructed in 1925 as the home of John Bayer, president of Batavian National Bank.
The biggest challenge now, Summers said, is converting the original kitchen on the main floor back into a kitchen. For now, he uses a kitchen in the basement.
For the tour, the main floor and the second floor bedrooms will be open. Only the basement will be off limits, Summers said, because he has to store his construction mess somewhere.