04 May 2015


CHRS House Tour Will Make It Hard To Go Home

courtesy of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society

courtesy of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Don’t you love to take a peek into other people’s homes? See how they hang their artwork, organize their kitchens and make the most of small spaces? This weekend you’ll have a legitimate reason to ogle and take notes — on the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) Annual House and Garden Tour. In it’s 58th year, it’s the longest continuously running tour in the city, and for good reason.

Some of us only spend time in Northeast when we’re headed to H Street — and there’s plenty of reasons to slow down and marvel at the houses while looking for a place to park. Long the quiet side of the Hill, Northeast is now the focus of urban development on H Street, NOMA, Union Market, and Union Station. The tour will take you to earlier homes just behind the Supreme Court, then continues east to Eighth Street, then zigzag north across the Stanton Park neighborhood to refurbished homes along E Street.

You never know what you’ll find when your step inside a Hill home. This is your chance to see cozy attic libraries, master bedrooms that take your breath away and basement in-law suites you’ll want to move into. You can take your chances down rickety (read: charming) stairs down to unfinished cellars, back stairways for the staff, and crooked stairs right out of Hogwarts. The first part of the tour celebrates traditional Capitol Hill architecture with a visit to a wood-slatted home built shortly after the Civil War and two beautifully-remodeled Federalist homes. The homes in the second part of the tour reflect the way the neighborhood’s architecture evolved over the twentieth century. House tours don’t often give you a chance to see a thirty-year old pop-up above a mechanic’s shop. Along the way you can take a break at a nineteenth century vicarage chapel.

For more than a half century visitors to the CHRS House & Garden Tour have used this opportunity to check out restorations and renovations, to see what is new in interior design, to gather ideas for their own historic homes. It’s also a lovely way to spend Mother’s Day.

Tour homes are open on Saturday, May 9, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Sunday, May 10, from 12 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 through May 8, and $40 after May 8. Tickets may also be purchased during the tour at any of the tour homes.

Tickets are also available in advance at chrs.org or by calling 202-543-0425. Look for CHRS’s ticket booth at Eastern Market, on the weekend thru May 10. Tickets are also available at these Capitol Hill retail outlets: Appalachian Spring in Union Station, Coldwell Banker, Berkshire Hathaway, Groovy DC, Hill’s Kitchen, homebody, Hill Center, and Labyrinth.

CHRS is the oldest civic volunteer organization on Capitol Hill. It was founded in 1955, and is dedicated to preserving the historic residential character of Capitol Hill. Proceeds from the tour support CHRS’ educational projects in the Capitol Hill community.

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