Dennis Domer will go for a walk this evening, and the rest of Lawrence can join him.
Domer, associate dean of the Kansas University School of Architecture, will lead an East Lawrence Summer Walking Tour down Rhode Island street.
The walk begins at 7:30 p.m. in front of the Turnhalle, Ninth and Rhode Island streets. It will cover the section of Rhode Island street between Ninth and 11th streets.
During the walk, which is open to the public, Domer will talk and answer questions about the history and architecture of the homes. The Lawrence Preservation Alliance sponsors the walk.
"They represent a kind of variety that covers the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th century," Domer said of the houses along the route.
The houses, most of which were built in the 19th century, are "unique and precious," Domer said. They offer a good example of the architecture styles of East Lawrence.
The walk will incorporate discussions of stylistic and layout elements of the houses, as well as house type, house period and influences of culture.
The average Rhode Island street resident may not be as familiar with East Lawrence history and architecture as Domer, but many who call the street home still appreciate its charms.
"I think this is one of the prettier streets (in Lawrence)," said Jeanine Renfro who lives on Rhode Island street.
Iris Heckman, who has lived in Lawrence for 30 years and moved to Rhode Island street just two years ago, loves living in a place that is quiet but still only blocks from downtown.
"I don't really know the history of this house," she said, "but I'd love to."
Domer sees the walk as an opportunity to show Lawrence residents the history in their own back yard. By educating people about their historic community, he also hopes to make them more aware of the need for preservation.
"The more people know about their place, the more they understand its importance," he said.
-- Erik Petersen's phone message number is 832-7222; his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.