step inside this house

Galveston historic tour unlocks virtual treasures of island life

Galveston historic tour unlocks virtual treasures of island life

Galveston Home Tour 1826 Sealy St Sonnenthiel House
Step inside historic Galveston homes without leaving your sofa. Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

As thousands of visitors are jam-packing Galveston’s beaches and bringing roads to a stand-still, some locals in the area are understandably insistent on observing social distancing and safety precautions during the COVID-19 crisis.

To that end, the Galveston Historical Foundation has decided to nix its immensely popular and annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour this year due to the pandemic. However, fans of Galveston and home design can still participate in a special virtual home tour, which takes place Saturday, May 9 from 1 pm to 5 pm.

The free event will be streamed on the foundation’s official website and on its Facebook page.

Enthusiasts and aficionados can enjoy live walkthroughs of historic homes, lectures and special presentations by historians and architectural experts, and special programming. (Houstonians should watch for a special lecture by noted preservation expert, Stephen Fox, who will discuss legendary Houston architect, John Staub, the mastermind behind Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens.)

As a way to offset lost income from the normal yearly tour, the foundation asks visitors to consider a $30 donation — the cost of a normal tour ticket — or a contribution of their choice.

For those longing for a Galveston experience without leaving the confines of home, the foundation’s new Digital Connection program offers numerous online learning and community opportunities through a variety of digital platforms, according to release. Programs include Facebook live lectures, special Instagram takeovers, virtual tours, homeschool programming, and more. A full list of current experiences is available online.

Here is the schedule of home tour events

  • 1 pm – 1:30 pm: Tour of the McKinney-McDonald House, built in 1890
  • 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm: Galveston architecture lecture by GHF executive director, Dwayne Jones
  • 2:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Tour of the William and Mary Margaret Moody III House, built in 1938
  • 2:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Stephen Fox lecture on the architecture of John Staub
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Tour of the Charles and Estelle Miller House, built in 1899
  • 4 pm – 4:30 pm: Presentation by Plein Air Southwest
  • 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Tour of the James and Louise DeForest House, built in 1883