NOLA’s Preservation Resource Center Holiday Home Tour goes virtual

Actor Bryan Batt and his husband, Tom Cianfichi, in their charming West Indies-style cottage. Photos by Liz Jurey.

Although the nonprofit Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans’ in-person events have been canceled due to COVID-19, its beloved Holiday Home Tour is back—this time virtually—for its 45th year. Curated from just down the road in the Crescent City, the homes of six noteworthy families will be showcased this Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, via virtual homeowner-led tours, each lasting for about 20 minutes.

“We walk through the rooms and talk about the history of the house and the neighborhood, as well a their art collections and interior design,” says Susan Langenhennig, communications director at the Preservation Resource Center. “Basically we feature anything that’s important to them, how they celebrate the holidays and why historic architecture is something that they love.”

James Carville and Mary Matalin’s home in uptown New Orleans.

The featured homeowners include political couple James Carville and Mary Matalin, Mad Men actor Bryan Batt and his husband Tom Cianfichi, and renowned stationary designer Alexa Pulitzer and her husband Seth Levine, along with other notable figures in the Big Easy.

The Greek Revival townhome of Debra Shriver.

“It’s very holiday-centric,” explains Langenhennig. “One of the homeowners is Jewish and she talks about her traditions. Other homeowners have big trees and their traditions. It’s lovely.”

Viewers can expect to see stunning art and interior design, along with the historic design and diversity of New Orleans architecture. The featured homes will take views across the New Orleans area, highlighting the great variety of style of the Crescent City.

The residence of interior designer Penny Francis and her husband Todd Francis.

The annual Holiday Home Tour is a crucial fundraiser for the Preservation Research Center. All proceeds from the tour help the PRC in its work preserving New Orleans’ historic architecture, neighborhoods and cultural identity. From educational classes about purchasing and restoring historic buildings to Revival Grants helping low-income homeowners make repairs to their houses, the PRC’s efforts help keep the historic areas of New Orleans pristine.

“We do a cross-section of work to ensure that our historic neighborhoods are vital, healthy places to live,” says Langenhennig.

The virtual tickets will be sent out this week, with each ticket including a password that unlocks the tour videos going live this Saturday, December 12.

If unable to virtually attend the tour this weekend, tourists can still grab tickets on sale afterward, when they can watch the tours through the end of December at their own leisure.

For more information, visit prcno.org.