Marietta Main Street Holiday Lofts Tour explores past

Original brickwork shows in one wall by a stairwell on the second floor of the Perry & Associates building at 313 Second St. in downtown Marietta. Originally a Ford dealership, the restored historic building is one of the bonus stops in the Marietta Main Street holiday lofts tour scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. today. (Photo by Michael Kelly)

MARIETTA — The Marietta Main Street Holiday Lofts Tour is for those who want to go beyond the storefront of history of downtown Marietta and get a look at the upper stories of the past.

The self-guided tour, which includes 14 stops, begins today at 6 p.m. and continues through 10 p.m. Highlights include restored upper floor residences, business offices and other spaces in some of Marietta’s most revered downtown buildings.

Marietta Main Street director Cristie Thomas said the tour has been offered as a holiday treat for several years and last year attracted about 200 people.

“This year, we’re almost three-quarters of the way with online ticket sales, and I expect another 75 or 100 at the door,” she said. “‘The door” is Marietta Main Street headquarters at 100 Front St., which opens at 4 p.m. today for ticket sales and to hand out tour maps.

It’s a way to give people insight into downtown and Harmar Village they don’t ordinarily get, Thomas said.

Amanda Altier, administrator for Perry & Associates, looks down the main floor of the building at 313 Second St. in downtown Marietta. (Photo by Michael Kelly)

“You can see the storefronts when you’re walking along downtown but you’re not able to see the upstairs,” she said. “We have businesses that participate, people can tour those spaces, and we also have vacant spaces, and this is an opportunity for the property owners to show what spaces are available.”

“This is a chance for people to see what it looks like to live downtown and what a diversity of offerings we have in downtown Marietta,” she said.

One of the businesses opening its space for the tour is Perry & Associates, a downtown accounting firm that moved into the historic two-story building at 313 Second St. After a $2 million renovation project, the firm moved in at the beginning of this year.

The building was originally home to Wilderman’s, the city’s first Ford dealership. Perry administrator Amanda Altier said when the firm first looked at the building, it was apparent how much work would be required.

“It was pretty rough,” she said. The remodeling design, crafted to meet the requirements of the historic building tax credit, maintained the original flooring and ceiling, along with generous open spaces throughout both floors and the original dimensions of the windows, which were intended to draw people into a showroom.

“We tried to maintain the character of the building,” she said.

It’s now spacious and bright, with high ceilings that have the original look of stamped tin tile, poured concrete and stone floors on the main level and the original hardwood upstairs, and much of the brickwork walls still exposed.

“I love working here,” she said. “We thought about moving out on Pike, but we wanted to stay downtown. This building was vacant, and it’s been such a big part of Marietta.”

In addition to 14 available loft areas and restored buildings to view, ticket holders also are eligible to win a $200 necklace from Gold Line Jewelers and a #MyMarietta pass.