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October is Home Tour Month

AIA, Eastwood and Small Towns Open The Doors to Amazing Houses
Compiled by Susan Fox

Whether your home penchant is for modern, traditional, historic or new — whether in Houston or tucked away in a quaint Texas town — there are home tours happening this month as well as next that you don’t want to miss.

Eastwood Historic Home Tour

First up is Eastwood, a neighborhood developed in 1913. The Eastwood Civic Association presents its 20th Annual Historic Home Tour, Oct. 17 & 18, featuring a selection of homes built between 1910 and 1930. Each have been lovingly restored with the intent to preserve their historical charm and include modern amenity updates.

Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, Foursquare, and Mission represent the prominent architectural styles found in the neighborhood. In fact, Eastwood has one of Houston’s largest intact collections of these types of homes.

The tour also includes two newly constructed homes built to be compatible and respectful of the history of the surrounding community. The tour is open from noon to 5 p.m. on both days. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online (www.eastwoodcivicassociation.com). Both pre-purchased and day-of event tickets may be picked up during tour hours at Bohemeo’s Café at 708 Telephone Road.

AIA Houston Home Tour

The AIA-Houston Home Tour, set for Oct. 24 & 25, showcases the finest residential architecture in the metro area. All were designed by licensed architects, who will be on hand at each site to talk to interested parties.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) selects each year a variety of design styles that demonstrate excellence and creativity — and not defined by or limited to certain budgets.

The tour, which is a fundraiser for AIA, is scheduled from noon until 6 p.m. each day. Tickets are $25 per person, $20

for bike riders, and $10 for a single house.

Tickets can be purchased online (www.aiahouston.org) or any of the tour houses.

Featured houses and architects:

(square footages are approximate):

11333 Iris Lee Ln. (77024), Iris Lee House — 8,708 sf, studioMET

4111 Drummond St. (77025) — 2,100 sf, Curry Boudreaux

2235 Goldsmith (77030) — 3,328 sf, Murphy Mears Architects

5906 Grace Ln. (77021) — 990 sf, M+A Architecture Studio

1577 Palm St. (77004), Terraces at Palm — 2,700 sf, Collaborative Designworks

1504 Kipling St. (77006) — 4,644 sf, CONTENT Architecture

2219 Kane St. (77007) — 751 sf, Kinneymorrow Architecture

1134 Aurora St. (77009), Aurora Duo House — 2,545 sf, studioMET

312 E. 27th St. (77008), Heights Integral Urban Homestead — 3,570 sf, Environment Associates Architects & Consultants

Bellaire Fall New Home Showcase

The 2015 Bellaire Fall New Home Showcase spotlights the latest architectural trends and technology advancements available in today’s home buying market.

Area interior design professionals also inspire, as the homes are fully decorated. All located in Bellaire, TX — a city within Houston — proceeds from the tour benefit Evelyn’s Park Conservancy. Tickets are $15 — sold online at www.bellaireshowcase.com. Oct. 17 & 18, and Oct. 24 & 25 — from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days.

Featured homes and builders on tour:

Blum Custom Builders, 5219 Pine St.

Cason Graye, 5120 Grande

Frankel Building Group, 4514 Braeburn

Lovett Homes, 5401 Alder Circle

RG Homes, 101 Calvi Court

Tommy Cashiola Construction, 420 Mulberry Ln.

Nearby Towns

Just “up the street” from Houston is the inviting community of Brenham — home to Blue Bell ice cream and a colorful heritage.

A number of historical sites will open to the public on Oct. 3.

The self-guided “Step Into the Past Historical Tour will include places that have never been open to the public before:

• Glissman Drug Store Museum looks exactly as it did in 1924, complete with medicines and equipment. A short film introduces visitors to Carl Glissman’s process for mixing medicines by hand.

• The Brenham Fire Museum houses three antique fire trucks and an introduction to the Manifest celebration.

• New displays and collections at the Brenham Heritage Museum.

• The Giddings Stone Mansion was built in 1870; this grand house hosted many lavish events for nearly 150 years.

• The Giddings Wilkin House Museum is the oldest standing home in Brenham. Built in 1843, visitors can experience how aristocrats lived in an era before electricity, plumbing or bathrooms. A cistern can be viewed in the yard and was a source of water for the home until the late 1880s.

• The Barnhill Center at the Simon Theatre is currently under renovation. It originally opened in 1925. A brief film will be shown at the Simon.

• Toubin Park showcases its original cistern built around 1878. Toubin Park displays give details about Brenham’s intriguing past and its Texas Archeological Landmark – a system of historic cisterns. For more information: 979-836-3696

In December

The Gonzales Annual Historic Homes Association Tour will be Dec. 5 & 6. It is held in conjunction with the annual Winterfest Celebration. The weekend includes a lighted Christmas Parade, shopping at Santa’s Market, Stars in the Village held at Pioneer Village Living History Center and the historic home tour. The home tour features beautiful historic homes decorated in their holiday finest.

In 2012, This Old House named Gonzales, TX, as having one of the Best Old House Neighborhoods, noting its well-preserved downtown, its large stock of affordable and fixer-upper fine houses in Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Italianate, and Greek Revival styles, as well as the town's low cost of living and proximity to the big cities of Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

Gonzales holds a unique place in Texas history as the site of the firing of the first shot for Texas independence on Oct. 2, 1835.

The oldest dwellings in Gonzales date to the mid-19th century, but most of the architecturally notable houses were constructed beginning in the late Victorian period, from about 1880 to about 1915. Queen Anne style houses are the most common, with Colonial Revival and Classical Revival houses as well.

The town also offers information on self-guided tours (www.tourgonzales.com), which can be taken any time of the year.

Mark your calendars again … and head to Bastrop, TX, on Dec.12, (www.bastropcountyhistoricalsociety.com), where enthusiasts can enjoy the Bastrop County Historical Society’s Annual Holiday Homes Tour from noon to 5 pm. Step across the threshold into Bastrop’s remarkable past and into some of its most remarkable structures during the Holiday Homes Tour, a central event of Bastrop’s four-day “Lost Pines Christmas” weekend (www.lostpineschristmasbastroptx.com)

For more than 40 years, the tour has showcased Bastrop's storied past. There are almost 100 houses, and buildings and structures on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Town of Bastrop (Villa de Bastrop) was formally established on June 8, 1832, as the principal settlement in the Stephen F. Austin Little Colony of 1827.