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Weekend in Georgetown

April 22, 2015

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THE GEORGETOWN HOUSE TOUR, the oldest such tour in the country, and the Book Hill merchants’ annual French Market both take place this coming weekend.

The French Market is essentially a sidewalk sale with antiques and home decor offerings from A Mano, Moss & Co., David Bell, Marston Luce, et al.; art from the galleries that line Wisconsin Avenue from about P Street up to Reservoir Road NW (Maurine Littleton, Cross MacKenzie, Susan Calloway–who also has those wonderful Middle Kingdom porcelains); plus clothing and food.

Fun! And discounts! And–ta-da!–free parking on both days in the Hardy Middle School parking lot across from the Georgetown Safeway. Or, even better, free Circulator rides from down on K and Wisconsin up to the Gtown Library (for which Book Hill is named).

Festivities take place Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, 2015, from 10 am to 5 pm. For a complete list of what the stores have in, well, store, check the French Market “postcard.”

As for the Gtown House Tour, benefiting the St. John’s Episcopal Church outreach programs, that’s Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 11 am to 5 pm.

This year’s selection of homes to tour is especially fine, including Prospect Street’s Quality Hill, from 1797. (It finally got electricity in the 1940s and is known in the neighborhood as the late Senator Claiborne Pell’s house, he the sponsor of the Pell Grant).

Then there’s the house on N Street, in the East Village, whose living room was gutted by the current owner and replaced by a replica of the music room of Number 20, St. James Square in London, a room designed by Robert Adam in 1772. It includes a decorative plaster ceiling that took artisans 18 months to create. (I peer up at it regularly as I walk the dog past the house at night–the lights are often on.)

Among the other houses on the tour, 10 in total, are a P Street property that already existed in 1820 records and may have been built as early as 1808, and a house that is Gtown’s “only remaining example of a late Victorian cottage,” according to the 1968 Historic American Buildings Survey.

House Tour tickets can be purchased online, up until Thursday, April 23, at the House Tour website; just take your printed receipt to the church (3240 O Street NW). You can also buy tickets at that address on the day of the Tour. Advance tickets are $50 each; day-of-event tickets are $55. (And don’t forget that your ticket entitles you to afternoon tea at the St. John’s Parish Hall, between 2 and 5 pm.)

–Nancy McKeon

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