Uptown homes bedecked for the season on view virtually for the Preservation Resource Center’s Holiday Home Tour
Who doesn’t want to peek inside some of New Orleans’ historic and glamorous homes?
That’s where the Preservation Resource Center comes to the home-curiosity rescue with its annual Holiday Home Tour, now the 45th, on Dec. 12 and 13.
But with the coronavirus pandemic this year, the PRC was in a bind: How to continue the tradition, but make it safe?
By forgoing the walking tour and creating a virtual tour of six homes located throughout New Orleans – Uptown, Mid-City, French Quarter and Bywater — available to view with purchase of a ticket. “It was thrilling to get a sampling of styles and peek into the lives of homeowners,” said PRC Executive Director Danielle Del Sol in an email. In the past, the homes were centered mainly in the Lower Garden District and Garden District, making it easy for tour-goers to navigate.
Half of the featured homes this year are in Uptown neighborhoods. The 2020 Holiday Home Tour includes the homes of Uptown residents James Carville and Mary Matalin, Penny and Todd Francis, and Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi.
The other homes are in the French Quarter (Deb Shriver’s Greek Revival townhome), Mid-City (Alexa Pulitzer and Seth Levine’s Eastlake Center Hall) and Bywater (Pres Kabacoff and Sallie Ann Glassman’s camelback style home, newly built to be environmentally sensitive).
“With a video tour, it is still a huge ‘ask’ for homeowners, but a different kind,” said Del Sol. “This year, we asked them to decorate their homes early for the holidays, then star in a video.” Accompanying the homeowners on the tours, filmed and produced by Calm Dog Productions, are Del Sol and Susan Langenhennig, PRC’s director of communications and marketing and Preservation in Print editor.