The Pendleton Heights Fourth Annual Holiday Homes Tour will take place today from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the historic northeast Kansas City neighborhood.

The Pendleton Heights Fourth Annual Holiday Homes Tour will take place today from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the historic northeast Kansas City neighborhood.

The tour features six homes and one school decorated for the holidays. The array of private residences represents the range of original architecture that defines Pendleton Heights, one of Kansas City’s first suburban developments.

Examples of the opulent and luxurious Victorian age, gabled American Queen Anne and an eloquently renovated three-story walk-up apartment are just some of the styles guests will experience. Many of the homes retain original elements dating to the end of the 19th century, while others have been completely remodeled and updated to contemporary tastes.

Pendleton Heights serves as an inspiration and an example of both historic preservation and a community renaissance. Bounded by Independence Avenue, Cliff Drive, the Paseo and Chestnut Trafficway, the northeastern Kansas City area is the natural neighbor to northwestern Independence and shares many of the same assets and challenges.

A visit to Pendleton Heights reveals a unique character defined primarily by the incredible historic homes that were built in the late 1800s by Kansas City’s elite social class. Home to Millionaires Row, Pendleton Heights’ architectural styles include Traditional Victorian, Craftsman, Italianate, Eastlake, Shingle-Style, Richardson Romanesque, Folk Victorian, Kansas City Shirtwaist, French Beaux Arts and Grand Queen Anne, demonstrating the wealth and sophistication of their first occupants.

After World War I, the southern portions of Kansas City became the hub of development, causing an exodus of the upper class from the northeast neighborhood. By the end of World War II, most of the grand estates had been abandoned, vandalized or demolished, while many of the few remaining were converted into multi-unit apartment complexes or commercial buildings.

The existence and perception of crime, a loss of economic stability and a deterioration of civic pride caused this once fashionable neighborhood to fall into decline.

Today Pendleton Heights is experiencing resurgence thanks to the efforts of concerned and active citizens who constitute the Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association. The member-driven group is dedicated to promoting the area and initiating programs and events that contribute to the preservation and appreciation of this unique urban gem. The association hosts events like the Holiday Homes Tour to raise funds for its mission and introduce visitors to the Pendleton Heights district. Its goals include creating a safe and secure environment for residents and businesses, building a sense of community, preservation of existing historic sites and landscapes and an increase in home ownership to reduce the transient nature of the population.

In addition to retaining the charm of the area, the association also is proactive in returning many residences to their original design of single-family occupancy and in improving the area schools to encourage home ownership and pride in the neighborhood.

Tickets to the homes tour are available for $12 and may be purchased at Scuola Vita Nuova on Olive Street. Parking and security are provided. For additional information, visit www.pendletonheights.org.