During the 1960s East Montrose became a center for counterculture and hippie communes. Today a diverse mix of people and architecture, this pedestrian-friendly area was recently named one of the ten great neighborhoods in America.
Homes on the tour are an eclectic mix of old and new (NOT ALL HOMES ARE LISTED)
• The meticulously restored Victorian Arts and Crafts hybrid house at 903 Welch provides a starting point. Originally built in 1910, it was the home of Houston's first Pagan Church during the 1960s and 1970s. "They performed nude weddings - all sorts of things," said 96 year old neighbor. "The children told fellow students they would turn them into black cats for lunch money. My mother refused to walk on that side of the street."
• 713 Bomar, this 1270 square foot 1907 home was remodeled in 2000, and perfectly fits the needs of a young family, while retaining its turn-of-the-(last) century cottage charm.
• The interior of this ultra-modern, metal, stone, and glass home at 2202 Whitney is sleek and open, showcasing floor-to-ceiling windows, quartz countertops, and contemporary design. There is a fabulous outdoor living area with roof-top deck overlooking downtown.
• Just three blocks away, 301 Welch is comprised of two shotgun shacks built in 1915 and 1925, and later bolted together. The house was bought for $400 in the 1930s. The house had an escape hatch in the floor of a linen cabinet – possibly for bootleggers. The cabinet was discovered when the house was moved in 1991 from Jackson street next to St, Josephs Hospital in, to its 3rd location here in east Montrose. The homeowners are artists, and many quirky touches can be seen, such as red Craftsman tool cabinets used as kitchen lower cabinets. A 3-story addition was added in 2005, that features an apartment and artist’s studio.
• 401 Avondale is located in the heart of the 100+-year-old Avondale neighborhood. The 5000 square foot mansion retains its turn-of-the-century grandeur, with multiple roof angles, brick arches, and porches wrapped all around. The walls seem to whisper tales of horseless carriages pulling up under the porte-cochere. The owners have furnished this exquisite home with art deco collections from around the world.
Six restaurants will offer delectable tastings to guests (quantities limited).
Also visit the working studios of six 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.
Many local restaurants and clubs will offer 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; available