BACK IN 1958, 17 homeowners on Capitol Hill, SE and NE, made their homes available for the public to tour. When the visitors wanted to take a break, they could have tea at St. Mark’s Parish Hall for 50 cents per person.
The next year, the house tour featured an even dozen homes, plus tea at Sewall-Belmont House. Tickets were $2.
This Mother’s Day weekend, the 57th Annual Capitol Hill House & Garden Tour takes place, sponsored as always by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society. The weekend features a “twilight tour” on Saturday, May 10 (4 to 7 pm) and a Mother’s Day tour on Sunday (noon to 5 pm).
Tickets are $30, are good for both days and can be purchased at the Eastern Market Ticket Booth. Tickets can also be purchased online, at www.chrs.org.
Over the years Senators and Representatives, Admirals and Colonels and Lieutenant Commanders have opened their doors. And some houses have made repeat appearances: One in particular, though not on this year’s tour, offered visits in 1962, ’65, ’71, ’76, ’77, ’93 and ’06–seven open houses under five different owners!
There are half a dozen other “repeaters,” showing a kind of continuity that is surely the envy of other neighborhoods.
One feature of this year’s tour, according to the CHRS, is that about half the homes have been extensively renovated very recently, so the CHRS promises “a number of new bathrooms and kitchens on display along with information about architects, craftsmen and appliances.”
Reason enough for the house-obsessed to spend a weekend on Capitol Hill, right?