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Ewing Manor hosts its yearly Architecture Tour

Written by on February 23, 2024

Photos provided by Ewing Manor

NORMAL, Ill. – Ewing Manor is opening its doors again for a once-a-year event. The Architecture Tour will allow guests to see the unique features of Bloomington’s only “castle.”

Appointed guides will walk attendees through all 44 rooms of the manor. Director of the Ewing Cultural Center Toni Tucker elaborated on the tour and how guides share facts about the manor.

“We share the architectural style and information that is unique to each room,” she said.

Davis Ewing designed the manor and took his inspiration from books, homes he saw while visiting Europe and ideas created by himself and his wife, Hazel Ewing.

Tucker shared facts about the Channel-normal design used during the 1928 building process.

“This design is typical of country homes you would find in Normandy, France,” said Tucker.

The house was self-cooling due to the cross breezes within the home. Therefore, Ewing Manor is not air-conditioned.

“The manor is only 20 feet wide at its widest point,” she said. “This is intentional for the cross breezes, so they could blow through the house.”

She recognized that the Architecture Tour is the only tour that allows guests to enter the mechanical rooms in the back areas of the manor.

She said, “So for being built in 1928, the manor has many amenities that would be considered extravagant by today’s standards.”

Tucker started the Architectural Tour in 2016 because “people were always asking to see beyond the typical residential tour.” Since then, the tour has changed over time due to new discoveries.

She hinted that guests can discover a “secret” room on the two-and-a-half-hour-long tour.

“Two years ago, I was polishing the wood in the library, and I noticed a crack in the wood,” she said. “After closer examination, I saw it was a removable panel with hidden shelves behind it.”

This year, the Architectural Tour will be on Saturday, April 6, 2024. Ewing Manor offers other seasonal tours throughout the year showcasing the manor and its history, all information surrounding the Architecture Tour and others can be found on their website.

Courtyard and Gardens behind Ewing Manor