It’s finally time to start planning outdoor activities, and what better way to enjoy spring in NYC than strolling around picturesque neighborhoods while getting a special look inside some of their most spectacular dwellings. House tour season is kicking off on May 1st with the Greenwich Village Society’s annual event, followed by nine other tours from standard historic house ‘hoods like Fort Greene and Park Slope to more under-the-radar gems like the secret gardens of Hoboken and the Victorian beauties of Flatbush. Whatever your budget and preferred architectural style, there’s a tour for you ahead.
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation House Tour↑
Sunday, May 1, 1:00-5:30pm
This is the 18th house tour benefit for GVSHP, which has over the years become one of the more high-end events of the bunch. The stops are almost always all townhouses and range from classically historic to bohemian to uber-contemporary.
Fort Greene House Tour ↑
Sunday, May 1, 12:00-5:00pm
$25 in advance; $35 day of
The theme of this year’s Fort Greene tour, put on by the Fort Greene Association is “The ♥ of Downtown Brooklyn,” which showcases how the vibrant neighborhood is an important part of the new Brooklyn Cultural District. Highlights include a Gilded Age beauty, a sleek 21st century home, and a rear garden with a temple honoring Venus, a “GrecoRoman Disneyland.” There are also two special features for those who reserve in advance–a guided tour and backstage pass to BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House and a visit to the Fort Greene Park Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.
New York Junior League Annual Spring House Tour ↑
Saturday, May 7, 10:30am-4:o0pm
The New York Junior League works with women in the city, training volunteers to develop skills for community work, serving on boards, and acting as leaders. The tour opens the doors to some of the city’s most prestigious and luxurious homes, which are both designers’ own residences as well as their clients. There’s also several added perks–a breakfast at the Astor House, a buffet lunch, post-tour cocktail reception, and silent auction.
Park Slope House Tour ↑
Sunday, May 15, 12:00-5:30pm
$35 in advance; $30 day of
Organized by the Park Slope Civic Council, this tour has so many stops that a shuttle bus is provided to get you from points in the central and northern sections of the neighborhood. Some of what you’ll see this year are an 1875 late-Italianate home that has been retrofitted inside as a Passive House; a Renaissance Revival house that has the chandelier from Billy Rose’s rehearsal hall; another Renaissance Revival masterpiece that boasts a collection of Japanese wood block prints and Stickley furniture; and an 1891 Neo-Renaissance home with fireplace tiles that depict characters from Charles Dickens novels. The tour is also followed by a lecture from local architect-historian Francis Morrone entitled “A Short and Selective History of Prospect Park.”
Prospect Lefferts Gardens House Tour ↑
Sunday, May 22, 12:00-5:00pm
$20 in advance; $25 day of
This tour is now in its 46th year and will showcase eight homes and offer a garden refreshment area. Photos of this year’s interiors show a wide range of styles, from mid-century modern to traditional to rustic.
Southampton House Tour ↑
Saturday, June 4, 1:00-4:00pm
$95 in advance; $110 day of
Not only will you “experience extraordinary houses that illustrate Southampton’s unique architectural history from colonial days to present day” on this tour, but you’ll be treated to a champagne reception.
Boerum Hill House Tour ↑
Sunday, June 5, 1:00-5:00pm
$20 in advance, $25 day of
A fundraiser for the Boerum Hill Association, this biennial tour is usually one of the most down-to-earth and laid back with a good mix of full townhouses and apartments. There’s also a reception open to all ticket holders at the Invisible Dog Art Center.
Victorian Flatbush House Tour ↑
Sunday, June 5, 1:00-6:00pm
Thanks to the Flatbush Development Corporation, here’s your chance to get inside the stately Victorian homes in one of the city’s best preserved suburban neighborhoods. There are five residences opening their doors, but just strolling through the area’s five historic districts is a treat.
A garden from a past tour, via The Hoboken Journal
Hoboken Secret Garden Tour ↑
Sunday, June 5
Call 201-656-2240 for more information
This tour gives good meaning to the Garden State. Organized by the Hoboken Historical Museum, it will feature seven to eight private gardens “hidden behind the row homes and repurposed factories lining Hoboken’s streets.” Past stops have included a Japanese Zen garden, English cottage garden, and a Moroccan courtyard. As 6sqft noted last year, “the Hudson River city was founded by Colonel John Stevens, who introduced the Chrysanthemum and the Camellia to America and had some of the most elaborate and scientifically cultivated gardens of the time.”
The garden courtyard at 83-10 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights
Jackson Heights Garden Tour ↑
Saturday, June 8, 12:00-4:00pm
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group has been sponsoring events for 26 years to celebrate the unique role Jackson Heights played in urban planning history (it was the first planned garden and cooperative community in the United States). Nine gardens will be on view, open to the public for the only time during the year. Prior to the tour, there will be a free lecture about the neighborhood’s history, and on Sunday there’s a walking tour for an additional $10.
Know of another tour in the area? Let us know in the comments so we can add it to our list!
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Tags : flatbush development corporation, Fort Greene House Tour, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Hoboken, Hoboken Historical Museum, House Tours, Jackson Heights Beautification Group, New York Junior League, Park Slope Civic Council