Hill’s House Tour Is This Weekend

Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:41pm

A stroll down nearly any Capitol Hill boulevard allows for lovely views of a widespread Washington vision — row houses. But it’s only once a year that you can walk right in.

That time is fast approaching with the 53rd Annual Mother’s Day House and Garden Tour this weekend.

Each Mother’s Day weekend since 1958, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society has organized a tour of homes, gardens and other structures on Capitol Hill. This year, 12 families will open up their residences to show off their homes and gardens, said Aileen Moffatt, the tour’s co-chairwoman.

“It’s just an opportunity to be nosy and see your neighbor’s house without having to walk by at night and peek in the window,” Moffatt joked. “This particular house tour has been around for 53 years, so it’s one of the most established ones in the city.”

So as not to ruin the surprise, Moffatt wouldn’t reveal which houses are on the tour. But she said families from three tour homes have lived there since the early 1960s and one still has the 1960s-era kitchen intact.

Others have been renovated and showcase sophisticated urban life, she said. They feature artfully landscaped patios and backyards, surround-sound family rooms, cushy master suites and light-filled living spaces.

All of the stops on the tour are located in the southeast section of Capitol Hill between Pennsylvania Avenue and East Capitol Street, bordered by Third and Eighth streets Southeast.

The first tour will take place Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m., and an encore will run on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tour tickets are $25 in advance or $20 for restoration society members and $30 the weekend of the tour. For more information visit chrs.org.

On Sunday, the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue Southeast will provide complementary beverages for ticket holders. And several Barracks Row restaurants will offer discounts to tour participants.

All proceeds benefit the society’s Beyond the Boundaries project, an effort to widen the scope of the Capitol Hill Historic District.