39th annual Historic House Tour offers ‘kaleidoscope’ of style and diversity
By MARIA JAMES — Spring in Hyattsville brings with it the popular Hyattsville Historic House Tour. Hosted by the Hyattsville Preservation Association (HPA), the 39th annual Historic House Tour will be held on Sunday, May 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. The self-guided walking tour starts at the Hyattsville Municipal Building, located at 4310 Gallatin Street, where participants will receive an informative booklet that includes a map of the houses on the tour. All of the houses featured on the tour are within walking distance and may be seen in any order at the visitor’s own pace. The city also provides a bus that continuously circles the tour route to assist those who need a ride.
“We hope that residents and visitors will enjoy meeting our creative and resourceful homeowners [and] that they will appreciate the way these homes have been adapted for today’s lifestyle, but yet maintain some of their original features,” said HPA President Gloria Felix-Thompson.
Creative and resourceful are appropriate words to describe homeowners Nigel and Stephenie Brooks-Maynard. The couple decided to showcase their home, which was built in 1909, for the first time on the tour after completing extensive renovations. The Maynards say a previous homeowner renovated the house in the early 1990s and ripped out most of the original molding, light fixtures and detail, which provided them with a clean palette. “As a result, our house is relatively modern on the inside with faucets, appliances and other tiles from Spain, Germany and Italy. The exterior retains the traditional charm of the neighborhood,” said Nigel. “This house is perfect for the way my wife and I live, but we also love this neighborhood. The people are really friendly, the town is engaged with the community, and we can walk to almost everything we need. We just love living here.”
The Historic House Tour is a popular event, welcoming over 500 visitors to the city from surrounding towns such as Takoma Park, College Park, University Park, Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Washington, D.C. HPA describes the neighborhood tour as a kaleidoscope in terms of the range and variation of houses it showcases. There are 10 homes on this year’s tour, ranging in style from small bungalows to Queen Anne-style and Victorians. One home even turns 100 this year.
“Not only do the homes range in style, but the owners’ personal aesthetic does too,” said HPA Vice President Randy Fletcher. “The colors and textiles that were chosen, the artwork that hangs on the walls, [along with the] furniture, and other collections, all tell a unique story of who the homeowners are and how they fit into the fabric of this really cool town. The tour is truly a celebration of Hyattsville and its residents.”
“We hope that all that come to visit will experience the City of Hyattsville’s tremendous community spirit and pride in our town,” said Felix-Thompson.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the tour. Advance tickets can be purchased at Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store. Cash or check only. Visit www.preservehyattsville.org/tours or call 301.699.5440 for more information.