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2017 EAST MONTROSE HOME TOUR and ART WALK
Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm1520
The East Montrose Civic Association (“EMCA”) will host its 11th Biennial Home Tour and Art Walk on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. East Montrose, referred to as “the Heart of Houston,” was platted in the early 1900’s — back in the days when Houston’s population numbered fewer than 300,000, and when a railroad ran down what is now Fairview.
During the 1960s, East Montrose became a center for counterculture and hippie communes, as well as home to the First Pagan Church of Houston. This Pagan Church has since been converted to a residential home, which you will see on the Tour. Today a diverse mix of people and architecture, this pedestrian-friendly area was named as one of Houston’s Hottest-of-the-Hot Neighborhoods of 2016, by Houstonia.
The tour will highlight six houses that exhibit a variety of architectural styles. These six houses have original build dates ranging from the early 1900s to 2015. Tour goers can get a glimpse of how the architecture has been transformed over the years, with results of unique, thoughtful, and diverse renovations that are characteristic of this distinctive, eclectic neighborhood.
The Home Tour:
• 903 Welch: The starting point for the tour is the meticulously restored Victorian and Arts and Crafts-hybrid house (both styles were popular in the early 1900s). Originally built in 1910 by an insurance company owner, it was the home of Houston’s first Pagan Church during the 1960s and early 1970s. “They performed nude weddings and all sorts of things,” said Nell Stewart, neighbor and Montrose historian. The current owners removed the home’s second entrance, but otherwise restored the house as closely as possible to its original state, also using original siding and floors on the house’s sweeping upstairs porches.
• 713 Bomar: Originally built in 1907, this gorgeously updated Victorian cottage was purchased by the current owners in 2011. The interior boasts of gleaming hardwood floors with decorative inlays, sculpted archways, and double-crown molding. Additions to the cottage include an attic loft 20 years ago and a second bedroom and bath in 2012. The backyard is a private oasis: pool surrounded by a beautiful Zen garden including Star Jasmine, Wax Myrtle, palms, Pittosporum, and seasonal plants.
• 2202 Whitney: One of six modern townhomes unveiled (and built) in 2014, this three-story townhome with rooftop terrace features floor-to-ceiling windows, top of the line appliances, hardwood floors throughout, and multiple outdoor spaces. The exterior is a contemporary combination of stucco and wood.
• 301 Welch: Just three blocks away, 301 Welch is comprised of two shotgun shacks, built in 1915 and 1925, that were bolted together. Friends of the family bought the house for $400 sometime around the 1930s. The house had an escape hatch in the floor of a linen cabinet – possibly for bootleggers. The cabinet was discovered in 1991, when the house was moved to its current, location here in East Montrose from Jackson Street (next to St, Joseph’s Hospital). In 2005, a three-story addition was added, which includes an apartment (designed to make the most of a small space) and an artist’s studio (which will be included on the Art Walk).
• 2107 Taft: Built in 2015, this four-story townhome exudes elegance inside and out: timeless brick and stucco exterior and appointed with high-end finishes throughout, including solid oak floors; quartz countertops; custom cabinetry; Bosch Cooktop/Oven; custom elevator; and third-floor, master bedroom retreat.
• 401 Avondale: This turn-of-the century, four-square, brick exterior house is located in the heart of Avondale, a neighborhood that is more than 100 years old and holds the Historic District designation. The house has been enlarged and renovated with a modern flair by the current owners: stucco, ornate additions and a rooftop terrace. This 4,800 square foot house has a wide front porch, typical of the era, which extends the full front width of the brick exterior. This gorgeous home retains its turn-of-the-century grandeur.
Local restaurants will offer delectable tastings to guests.
Also visit the working studios of five local artists, all within comfortable strolling distance. You’ll be invited in to the space where artists get their inspiration, and you’ll see where and how their crafts come to life.
• Maureen McNamara
301B Welch / Interdisciplinary Art (at Taft Street gate)
• Joan Son
904 Welch / Paper Art, Origami, Jewelry, Gifts
• Constance Braden
920 Damen Ct. / Books & Drawings
• Anderson Fair
2007 Grant at Welch / Refreshment, Legendary Houston Music Landmark
• Fantasy Gallery
804 W. Gray / Fantasy Art, Features the paintings of Valery Milovic
Plan to spend the day, browse neighborhood shops, and stay for lunch or dinner, as many local restaurants and clubs will offer special discounts for home tour patrons who present a tour ticket. The neighborhood folk music venue, Anderson Fair, 2007 Grant at Welch, will be open for the day.
East Montrose is in the 77006 Zip Code and lies within the boundaries of Montrose, West Gray, Genesee, and Fairview. Drive or bicycle over, and look for the Home Tour signs.
Advance tickets cost $15 at www.eastmontrose.org.
Day-of-Tour tickets are $20 and available at any tour home. The Art Walk is free.