Saturday and Sunday mark the second and final weekend of the 2007 Galveston Historic Homes Tour. Every year, in order to showcase the continuing success of the city's revitalization efforts, Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) seeks out a diverse collection of restored homes and other buildings to open to the public during the first two weekends in May. This year, 10 significant Galveston buildings that represent the diversity of Galveston's architectural fabric--from humble shotgun houses to craftsman-style bungalows to spectacular mansions and sacred landmarks--have been selected for the Galveston Historic Homes Tour. The annual event will continue this weekend, Saturday and Sunday May 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event's starring attraction is the Scottish Rite Masonic Cathedral, located at 2128 Church Street. Many people who have lived on this island their entire lives say they have never had the opportunity to see inside the grand and extravagant cathedral in downtown Galveston. The imposing Art Deco cast-stone and brick building, designed by Houston architect H. Jordan MacKenzie in the office of Alfred C. Finn, was erected in 1929 to replace a Masonic Cathedral on the same site that that was destroyed by fire in 1928. The original cathedral, an imposing Victorian by Galveston's famous Nicholas Clayton, was built as Harmony Hall in 1880. The cathedral has always been the secret enclave of its members, open to the public only for small, invitation-based events.
Tour tickets cost $25 each and can be bought at any of the houses on tour on the days of the event. To begin the tour, guest should go to Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, where they can pick up a catalog, a map, and tickets. For questions call 409-765-7834.
33rd Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour Properties:
* an 1860 worker's cottage that has been transformed into a lovely island retreat
* an exquisitely appointed loft apartment in the Sergeant Building on Rosenberg
* the grand Bondies-Robertson Mansion, an Eastlake built in 1877
* a classic five-bay Gulf Coast cottage built in 1886
* the 1890 Liberty S. McKinney House, this year's restoration in progress
* the 1892 Henck Tenant House, a side-hall row house with double front gallery
* the 1892 Henry and Hazel Eimar House
* a renovated tenant house from 1905 with a grandly appointed interior
* a 1920 bungalow that was moved by GHF two years ago to save it from demolition
* the magnificent and mysterious Scottish Rite Masonic Cathedral
* In addition to touring these renovated historic homes, guests also have the opportunity to attend two other special events on Saturday, May 12.
* Artist Reception for Pam Heidt, the artist who has been creating Galveston Historic Homes tour poster art for 20 years and who is retiring this year. The reception takes place Saturday, May 12, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Emporium at Eibands, 2201 Postoffice Street. This year's Homes Tour print along with many of Heidt's prints from years past will be available for sale and signing. The reception is open to the public.
* Galveston Uncorked! A wine stroll in Galveston's historic downtown. Saturday, May 12, 5 to 9 p.m. $35 in advance (advance tickets for sale at any of the properties on Historic Homes Tour) $45 at the door. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, patrons may purchase tickets at event headquarters, Edna's Room, at the Grand Opera House, 2018 Postoffice Street. Twenty different merchants are opening their doors to vintners from all over the country and the world.
All proceeds from the Galveston Historic Homes Tour and related events go to support Galveston Historical Foundation's wide array of outstanding museums, innovative educational programs and award-winning preservation programs and services.
For more information, call 409-765-7834 or go to www.galvestonhistory.org.