Welcome Back! The 89th Annual Georgetown House Tour, April 23
By April 13, 2022 0 1685•
Welcome Back! The 89th Georgetown House Tour: Perfect Recipe for Coming Home April 23
Since 1931, the Georgetown House Tour has been described in many ways: “architectural gems,” “historically significant,” “stylish homes with stylish owners.” But, perhaps, two words best describe this year’s house tour on Saturday, April 23: “Welcome back!”
“The third year approached since the last tour, and there was some hesitation about what might happen for the 2022 tour,” said Donna Leanos, chair of the 2022 Georgetown House Tour. “Surprisingly, as the pandemic waned, homeowners began to come forward with their homes for the tour. Securing the Julia Child house helped to create excitement.”
“It is considered to be the oldest tour in the country and always much anticipated, the Georgetown House Tour brings the community together to support the many ministry outreach programs sponsored by St. John’s Church on O Street,” added Leanos, who is a real estate agent and vice president at TTR Sotheby’s, a sponsor of the tour for many years. The energetic mother of two adult sons, she holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and “loves to cook, loves the Shakespeare Theatre, the arts in general, painting, tennis, biking, weight training and is passionate about most things Italian,” she told us. “I have always loved Georgetown from a very young girl when my mom would bring us here to shop!”
“The committee of volunteers that works on the tour is just tremendously dedicated and sincere about the mission of the tour,” said Leanos, a St. John’s parishioner, and a volunteer since 2017. “Our volunteers from St. John’s, Georgetown, and the community have rallied around the return of the House Tour. The tour is very near and dear to many, and its return marks a return to socializing with friends, family and community once again.”
Another big part of the Georgetown House Tour is the Patrons’ Party, held this year on Wednesday, April 20, at the Langhorne residence on 31st Street, next to Tudor Place. The party is a tradition invented by decades-long tour organizer and promoter Frida Burling, who died in 2016 and was a force to be reckoned with in Georgetown.
In 2001, when Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn hosted the tour’s Patrons’ Party, The Georgetowner newspaper arrived at their N Street home to take photos. An editor asked Bradlee why he was involved, and the Washington Post executive editor roared back: “Because Frida told me to.”
Co-chaired by Emily Sower and Kathryn Minor Jones, this year’s top social scene soiree will pull in half of the money the tour generates to benefit St. John’s Church programs. “It’s a fun way to contribute to important work,” said Sower, a real estate agent with Washington Fine Properties, also a tour sponsor. She’s a mother of three and also a St. John’s parishioner — and married to her high school sweetheart, Cleaver. She and Jones are planning for “a memorable evening on April 20.” Jones is a lawyer who worked in the Obama administration and is a vice president of EverFi. She and husband Geoff try to keep up with their boy and girl twins.
After all, the Georgetown House Tour with its past and present stories of homes is also the story of families and their love of this place in all its many ways.
“We have eight homes on the tour this year, ranging from pop culture, Julia Child’s home, to one of eight original Victorian farm homes on P street, to designer homes on R and P, to some of the first homes in Georgetown dating as far back as 1796,” said Leanos, who added that the tour “attracts more than 1,600 guests each year, gives locals and out-of-towners alike the opportunity to visit historic homes in a variety of styles. More details at GeorgetownHouseTour.com.”
Welcome back, indeed.
For our story showcasing the 8 homes on this year’s tour (with photographs), click here.