Home & Garden

Take a peek into Woodlake neighborhood homes at the annual September tour

A Woodlake home’s original maid’s cottage, which had been serving as a garage, was renovated into a guest house. The home will be on the 44th annual Historic Homes Tour, hosted by Preservation Sacramento.
A Woodlake home’s original maid’s cottage, which had been serving as a garage, was renovated into a guest house. The home will be on the 44th annual Historic Homes Tour, hosted by Preservation Sacramento.

On a quiet corner in the Woodlake neighborhood of north Sacramento, a Spanish Tudor sits in the same place it has since the 1930s.

At lunchtime, employees from a nearby office park take walks through the tree-lined streets. They pass by the house, mingling with neighbors and chatting.

“This is a great social place, because it’s on the corner,” said Doug MacLeod, who owns the home with his husband, Jeff Freitas. “People walk by, and they wave, and they see that you’re here.”

This idyllic neighborhood exemplifies its motto, which decorates signs at street entrances: “A tranquil place where neighbors are friends.”

Woodlake residents are offering an intimate look into their neighborhood and homes this summer during the 44th annual Historic Homes Tour, hosted by Preservation Sacramento.

The tour on September 15 will include an inside look at historic Woodlake homes and gardens, with information provided at each stop by docents. The walking tour will also feature a street fair.

Among the homes is the Spanish Tudor MacLeod co-owns with Freitas. MacLeod and Freitas have lived in the home for about four years, and have cultivated a beautiful and welcoming space filled with light, art, and books.

The two-story home is small, but feels larger thanks to its vaulted cathedral ceilings, original windows and smart decoration.

“It’s a nice oasis,” MacLeod said. “It just has a nice feel.”

MacLeod and Freitas have made several upgrades, including landscaping the backyard and adding a patio and a pool. Before they bought the home, its original maid’s cottage, which had been serving as a garage, was renovated into a guest house.

Despite renovation and upgrades, the home retains its original charm and historic value. Originally built in 1931 for two women who considered themselves partners, the home has since seen several owners, who have preserved its original features. Still original are its hardwood floors, ceiling beams, windows, and built-ins, among other things.

MacLeod and Freitas consciously wanted to preserve the home. MacLeod previously worked as a preservationist in Massachusetts and understands the importance of historical buildings.

“You never really own a house,” MacLeod said. “You are only a steward to it. I think Jeff and I have been really lucky to have been part of this house’s history, and to keep its spirit alive.”

If you go

What: Preservation Sacramento’s 44th annual Historic Home Tour in Woodlake

When: Sunday, September 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The tour begins at the Preservation Sacramento booth at Woodlake Park, at the corner of Woodlake Drive and Forrest Street.

Tickets: $30 advance; $35 on the day of the event. For advance tickets, visit preservationsacramento.org

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