Preservation Resource Center’s 2010 Holiday Home Tour Celebrates 35 Years of Christmas Tradition in the Garden District
Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans (PRC)
For 36 years, the PRC has been a major force in preserving New Orleans’ cherished architecture and neighborhoods. Since Hurricane Katrina, the PRC has completed restoration projects valued at more than $10 million, including the completion of over 300 homes.
35th Annual Holiday Home Tour –
This annual tradition kicks off on Friday, December 10, with a Patron Party in the beautiful home of Jennifer and Fred Heebe located at 5531 St. Charles Avenue. Designed by New Orleans architect Emile Weil, this expansive mansion and its grounds are reminiscent of a French Louis XVI chateau.
The tour follows on Saturday and Sunday and will feature seven Garden District homes, including the home of the PRC’s board president, Mr. Hal Williamson, and Dr. Dale Le Blanc, at 1448 Fourth Street, pictured above. This Italianate mansion known as “Colonel Short’s Villa” was designed by Henry Howard and built in 1859; a distinctive cast-iron cornstalk fence later ornamented its grounds. At the time of its construction, no structure was larger or finer than this home in all of the Garden District. The tremendous size, asymmetrical design, beautiful ironwork galleries and masterful workmanship throughout add to the magnificence of this beautiful structure.
Another highlight on the tour is the home of John Harkins at 2700 Coliseum Street. This home is one of five nearly identical Greek Revival houses that were built by William A. Freret beginning in 1861 as a speculative project. Construction was halted due to the Civil War, resulting in huge financial losses for Freret, which earned the project its name (“Freret’s Folly”). The Harkins home is one of the most authentic to the original structural design, and one of the most elaborately detailed, explaining its reputation as the “show house” for Freret’s speculative project.
These tour homes and six other architectural treasures in the Garden District will be open on Saturday and Sunday for tourgoers to see in all their holiday glory.
The tour also includes access to an expansive holiday boutique and a professionally catered café, located at the tour headquarters at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Friday, December 10 – Patron Party
Saturday and Sunday, December 11 and 12 – Holiday Home Tour
9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. – Boutique
10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – Home Tour
11 a.m. until 2 p.m. – Café
Self-guided tour through the Garden District. Headquarters will be at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Bishop Polk Hall, 1329 Jackson Avenue.
Purchase tickets in advance by calling 504.581.7032 or visiting www.prcno.org. On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at the headquarters at Trinity Episcopal Church.
- Purchased in advance – $30 for PRC members / $35 for non-members / $25 for groups of 10 or more.
- Purchased on the day of the tour – all tickets are $40.
Tickets are valid for either day or both days during the weekend of the tour.
- Informational tours of the interiors of seven private homes in the historic Garden District, plus the Women’s Opera Guild Home
- Live performances by New Orleans musicians at each home on the tour
- A holiday boutique with a wide variety of vendors selling unique artisan wares
Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans (PRC) was founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization to promote the preservation, restoration and revitalization of New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods. The organization has helped renovate more than 1,000 homes citywide by involving citizens in preservation projects and services that enhance living in New Orleans. PRC provides resources and education to convey the economic, cultural and aesthetic importance of historic preservation in New Orleans and throughout the world.
For more information about the PRC’s hurricane recovery efforts, including the homeowner assistance program, visit www.prcno.org or call 504-581-7032.