On Feb. 18, 1940, the model home for the Colonial Hills subdivision opened. The two-story Colonial, priced at $7,500, was a showplace, an example of how the homes in the proposed subdivision could look.

On Feb. 18, 1940, the model home for the Colonial Hills subdivision opened. The two-story Colonial, priced at $7,500, was a showplace, an example of how the homes in the proposed subdivision could look.

Now, 70 years later, the home at 36 E. Southington Ave. will again open its doors to the public, this time as part of the Worthington Tour of Homes and Gardens on Sunday, July 11.

The model home, now owned by Jerry and Merci Katz, will be one of 10 Colonial Hills homes and/or gardens that will welcome guests from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The Katz home is still a showplace, a bit larger and grander than most of the homes that were eventually built in Colonial Hills between 1942 and 1949.

The home has been enlarged and interior spaces reconfigured both by the Katz family, which moved in 32 years ago, and by its previous owner, Franklin County Judge John Bessey.

What was once the garage is now a family room and bathroom, and a former porch is a large, bright dining room that the family uses for holidays and family gatherings.

A new garage now provides space for Jerry's workshop, where many of the home's most interesting outdoor additions were constructed.

The home's backyard is testament to his talents, with a sprawling deck; a gazebo; hot tub; a furnished play house; a shed that resembles the house; and a pond with a bridge, where one can stand and watch the goldfish.

And, of course, lots of perennials and trees.

Though it was technically the first Colonial Hills home, it preceded the next one by two years. Its plaster walls are unique for the subdivision, which was one of the first in the country to be constructed of drywall.

The rooms in the other Colonial Hills homes are also not as large, and details are different.

Visitors will be able to see the evolution of the subdivision by visiting the homes and hearing a presentation on the history of Colonial Hills by George Campbell, president of the Colonial Hills Civic Association and unofficial historian of the neighborhood.

He will be on hand at the Selby Park shelterhouse to present his program at 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.m. on the day of the tour.

The tour is sponsored by the Worthington Historical Society.

Presale tickets may be purchased for $10 at Fritzy Jacobs on the corner of High Street and West New England Avenue and at the Old Rectory, 50 W. New England Ave.

On tour day, tickets will be $12 at the Rectory or at the Selby Park shelterhouse.

Other houses that will be open are:

31 E. Southington Ave. The Cape Cod was built in 1942 and has been the home of the owners since 1963. The home has been expanded and reconfigured, and a cottage garden grows in the back.

355 S. Selby Blvd. It was built in 1943 as a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house. It now has two bedrooms, two full baths, a dining room, study, living room and kitchen. It showcases an art collection along with unusual boxes from many countries.

395 S. Selby Blvd. One of the original Cape Cods, this home was updated with new woodwork and new kitchen and the addition of a second-floor dormer suite.

453 Kenbrook Drive. Since purchased in 1984, the entire home has been updated with attention to color, spatial arrangement and flow.

501 Kenbrook Drive. After living in Colonial Hills for a few years in the 1940s, the owners returned once the children were grown and purchased the house next door. A bedroom, family room and patio were added.

461 Park Blvd. Improvements include kitchen and bath remodeling, new roof and siding, new windows and doors, refinished hardwood floors and finished basement.

386 Colonial Ave. This Cape Cod was a model home for a later phase of construction. It was built in 1948. The house shows off antiques, collections and family memorabilia and a garden.

516 Colonial Ave. Recent updates were made in the master bedroom and downstairs bathroom. The kitchen received concrete countertops and an agate inlay. A 450-square-foot patio was added this year.

517 Park Overlook. The home has the original cedar siding and has had many renovations, such as a master bedroom, family room, a three-season porch and detached two-car garage. A front court patio was added in 2009.

Other sites to be open during the tour are the Colonial Hills community garden, 5567 Sinclair Road; the Old Rectory; and the Orange Johnson House at 956 High St.