MSP brings back the Tour of the Lofts


Staff Report



Main Street Portsmouth is bringing back a classic this holiday season with the Tour of Lofts, a casual daytime stroll through various downtown Portsmouth loft apartments that highlight ingenuity and modern creative design that complement the lifestyle of living in a dearly loved, but old and storied, space in the heart of downtown.

“This is a fundraiser we’ve done many times before as a way to afford the beautification work we do in downtown Portsmouth, “MSP founder and design chairwoman Sue Burke said. “The downtown residents and property owners are always very appreciative of the work we put into making downtown beautiful and in hand enjoy opening their doors for this event to raise money to support our efforts.”

Burke went on to discuss the beloved nature of this event, which has people enjoying downtown lofts in the wintertime with holiday treats to get people festive.

The group has revived their beloved fundraiser by request, saying that people enjoyed the original series, but the downtown had limited stops to appreciate and the event needed a break. Now, the size of usable space has exponentially increased and the tour has an opportunity to showcase what a lot of people don’t get a chance to see.

“When we hosted Ohio leaders from all over a couple years back, they toured some of the lofts on our list and were all blown away, “Executive Director Joseph Pratt said. “We heard people claim that they didn’t realize how nice the living spaces were in downtown Portsmouth and many of their own cities didn’t have properties near the level we do. We’ve had even more development since then and have consistently crossed the million dollar line for investors. Just this year alone, downtown property owners have collectively invested nearly $2 million in preservation and development. People see the exteriors of these projects all the time, but don’t often get to see the great work done on the interior of what are some of the most amazing lofts around.”

The design committee benefiting from this fundraiser is a consistent source of pride for the city. The group logs thousands of volunteer hours a year and oversees a huge level of responsibility, including downtown parks and green space management through, not only flowers and weeding, but contracting upkeep in the form of watering and grass cutting. Additionally, they oversee the downtown flower pots and tree wells, as well as the many urns and pots along the floodwall. They also decorate the city and county buildings to reflect every season. They’ve renovated Alexandria Park completely, perform upkeep on the esplanade and in Tracy Park, and manage the downtown-wide replacement of permanent trashcans, benches, and other infrastructure. All of this work only grows over time, as well as the cost to maintain it all. Burke said that the city, as well as the collective support of businesses and individuals, have played a huge role in getting the group along in this mission, but the cost has led to bringing this fundraiser back.

On December 2, between 1-5 p.m., for only $20 a ticket— which are available at the Scioto County Welcome Center, Century 21, and Bihls Office Supply— guests will not only make a donation that fully supports the many downtown beautification efforts, but will also get a firsthand view of the breathtaking lofts that now fill the storied buildings in historic downtown Portsmouth.

Main Street Portsmouth is a nonprofit dedicated to making downtown Portsmouth a place we are all proud to live, work and play. The group focuses their efforts on beautification and place making, bringing people and activities downtown at over 55 events a year, and economic vitality. The group is funded by the City of Portsmouth, the County, through their own fundraising efforts, and memberships from individuals, families, and businesses, including corporate sponsors Southern Ohio Medical Center, Glockner Family of Dealerships, and OSCO. To speak with someone regarding their program, call Joseph Pratt at 740.464.0203 or email director@mspohio.org.

Staff Report