Forest Hills was first developed back in the mid-20s, when the land south of White Rock Lake was just as the name implies – a forest with a few nice hills hidden among towering trees. Nearly 80 years later, the area still has those same hills and plenty of trees, though almost 600 homes stand among them.

The neighborhood is home to some of the most diverse architectural styles in the city. Tudor, Spanish, Eclectic, Colonial, modern and ranch-style homes are just some of the styles there, and somehow they all manage to look like they belong.

Given the popularity of home tours in our area, it’s surprising that a community with all those elements has never hosted one. But residents Kathy Wall and Ann Walton are out to change that this year – they’re heading the effort to put on the neighborhood’s first event of this type.

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years now and finally are just getting it off the ground,” Walton says. “We’re learning as we go with this one, because I don’t think  anybody working on it has ever done this type of thing before. There are so many details involved with putting on a home tour, but it’s been fun.

Wall says they had a little help from their friends in planning the tour. “We worked with Hollywood Heights, which does a home tour every spring, and they were very helpful.”

The tour will raise money for the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, to help with beautification and security costs, but will also benefit Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital and Alex Sanger Elementary.

The five homes on the tour will reflect the neighborhood’s diversity of architecture. “There’s a one-story English Tudor, a huge two-story… it really runs the gamut of styles and sizes,” Wall says.

“The homes are just beautiful,” Walton adds. “We ended up having a great group of homes. And that’s wonderful, because you really want your first one to be spectacular so people will come back.”

The tour will conclude with the Fourth Annual Winter Art Fair at Alex Sanger Elementary, in Forest Hills. Sponsored by  the White Rock Preschool PTA, the event will include more than 60  artists and raise money for academic programs and campus improvements at the school.

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