There’s no place like home, and Preservation Austin’s annual Homes Tour is coming back in a big, in-person way.
In celebration of the Preservation Austin’s 70th birthday and 30th tour, the Homes Tour will present almost double the dwellings.
The event — the nonprofit’s biggest attraction and annual fundraiser — will return to its traditional in-person format for the first time since 2019 from Saturday, April 22-Saturday, April 23.
This year’s tour is city-wide, so Preservation Austin Executive Director Lindsey Derrington said she hopes “everybody in Austin can see something of themselves” along the way.
What is the Homes Tour?
With a goal of showcasing Austin’s diverse cultural and architectural history, the Homes Tour began in 1993 to highlight unique neighborhoods like Bouldin Creek and Rogers-Washington Holy Cross.
Each year, six-to-eight real-life, homeowner-occupied houses open their doors to the public for a self-guided architecture crawl. This year’s tour will feature 11 homes across the city, as opposed to a single neighborhood.
“We’re using this opportunity to celebrate not one particular theme or neighborhood but histories and cultural heritage throughout the city,” Lindsey said. “Consider this your weekend to go and explore your city and learn about its history through the lens of these homes.”
This year’s theme: celebrating Austin history
Expect an array of architecture styles and homes as unique as Austin itself. Visitors will learn about the home’s provenance, history of its design style, and how it has been preserved over the years.
Visitors will tour the Casa de Sueños, or “House of Dreams,” a Mexican-American landmark built in the 1940s and 50s over the course of 14 years by Genaro Briones using a tinted concrete method. Guests will also get the chance to tour the Victorian-style Park Lane Home, and a 1904 train depot-turned-residence that was formerly occupied by civil rights advocate Heman Sweatt.
What do the funds benefit?
Lindsey said this year’s fundraising goal is $130,000, which will be used to fund educational programming — like a historic home weatherization workshop — support preservation efforts, and reinvest in the community. Lindsey said Preservation Austin has given $3 million in grant funding back to the community and $200,000 to small projects since its inception in 1953.
“Preservation Austin exists to empower Austinites and shape a more inclusive, resilient, and meaningful community culture,” Lindsey said. "(The Homes Tour) makes you feel good about our city. It makes you feel good about our history and preservation.”
Tickets are on sale now, starting at $45 for non-members.