by Ann M. Colford

Do you harbor a secret desire to be the host of a bed-and-breakfast? Do you yearn to escape all the holiday bustle and pamper yourself with B & amp; B hospitality? Or maybe you're just looking for ideas for your own holiday decorations? Whatever your motive, you'll see visions of sugarplums -- whatever they are -- this Saturday at the Spokane Preservation Advocates' (SPA) third annual Holiday Tour. This year, the tour features five of the Spokane area's historic bed-and-breakfasts, all gussied up for the season.

"The inside and outside of each house is decorated, and every floor is open at all the houses," says the SPA's Marilyn Grossman, who's organizing the event. "The local B & amp; B people came to us this year to see if we could collaborate on a tour." Prior tours have visited private homes, so this is the first time attendees will be able to view homes' upper floors.

The annual holiday tour of historic homes has become a major source of revenue for the SPA, according to Grossman. "We saw the success of the MAC's Mothers' Day tour of homes and decided to try something similar at this different time of year."

The SPA is a membership organization that educates and advocates for historic preservation in the Spokane area; members also tackle hands-on preservation projects. Recent efforts include a summer cleanup in Peaceful Valley, repair work on a Victorian home in the East Central neighborhood and work at an archaeological site in Whitman County. In addition, SPA's Heritage Fund provides grants to individuals and organizations in Spokane County for preservation activities such as National Register nominations and architectural consultations.

The five B & amp; Bs are conveniently located in easy proximity to downtown, with two on the lower South Hill, two on the near Northside and one in Browne's Addition.

With its corner turret and wrap-around porch, the Fotheringham House (2128 W. Second Ave.) in Browne's Addition is a classic example of the Queen Anne style popular in the late 19th century. Built in 1891 by David B. Fotheringham, the house is listed as a contributing property of the Browne's Addition National Historic District; it is also listed individually on the Spokane Register of Historic Places. The year his house was built, Fotheringham was elected the first mayor of the City of Spokane; this achievement is still noted in the designation of his bedroom as the Mayor's Room.

Owned since 2001 by Irene and Paul Jensen, the home has been a B & amp; B since 1984. Paul Jensen says the holiday decorations reflect the Victorian style, in keeping with the home's historic period. "We have a bunch of lights up outside, and the tree's up in the living room," he says. "We've also decorated around the fireplace and the staircase leading to the second floor." All four bedrooms in the house will be open for viewing, Jensen says, including the Mayor's Room and the Museum Room.

The 1907 Sengfelder-Bungay House has been operated by innkeeper Lynette Gustafson as Angelica's Bed & amp; Breakfast (1321 W. Ninth Ave.) since 1998. The noted architectural firm of Cutter & amp; Malmgren designed the brick house following the Arts & amp; Crafts tradition, with strong elements of the then-new Prairie Style. Much of the original leaded glass remains intact, including the windows along the east wall of the dining room with their textured crackle glass. Also in the dining room is a handpainted frieze that was restored by a previous owner.

Just a few blocks away, Hannah's Garden Inn (820 W. Seventh Ave.) sits tucked on a hillside just above Deaconess Hospital. The 1908 Cutter home -- known historically as the Corbet-Aspray House -- is an eclectic blend of Italian Renaissance, Craftsman and Prairie styles, with a lovely yard and gardens. In the 1930s, the house was owned by Dr. Joseph Melvin Aspray, one of Spokane's first radiologists. Dr. Aspray helped establish the radiology department at Sacred Heart Medical Center; his wife, Grace Parsons Aspray, served the community in civic and philanthropic roles.

The Waverly Place Bed & amp; Breakfast (709 W. Waverly Place) sits at the southwest corner of Corbin Park and is a contributing property of the Corbin Park National Historic District. The 1902 home displays many of the architectural features typical of the Queen Anne style, including a wrap-around porch, a corner turret and multiple gables and dormers. Originally built by Harry J. Skinner, an associate of D.C. Corbin, this house boasts original windows and exterior siding.

A fine example of the American Foursquare style is the Marianna Stoltz House (427 E. Indiana Ave.), a house constructed in 1908 for Spokane railroad contractor A.L. Snow. The architectural firm of Clapp & amp; Clapp designed the home with four main rooms set squarely - thus the name - on the first floor, along with the hip roof and full front porch that are typical features of this style.

Tickets are $12 per person (cash or check only) and may be purchased at each house anytime during the tour, which runs from 12-5 pm on Saturday, Dec. 7. The SPA reminds tour guests that food, drink, smoking, photographs, backpacks, spiked heels and strollers are not allowed inside the homes. For additional details, call 624-5618.

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