On-line sales are now closed. Tour tickets can be purchased at Central School.
Those who purchased tickets on-line are reminded to exchange your reciept for tour tickets at the "Will Call" desk which will be located at Central School.
While at Historic Central School, be sure to take time to enjoy refreshments, the Mardi Gras Tea Room as well as the Mardi Gras Museum. Proceeds benefit the museum.
Souvenir programs can be picked up (one per ticket) at will-call which will be located in Central School.
All of the properties are within one block of Central. It's a one stop, one parking place tour!
Three downtown Lake Charles restaurants are being featured as Palm Sunday Brunch Partners for the 41st Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes:
- Restaurant 1910 at 949 Ryan, open 10:30 to 2, reservations at 337-602-6278
- Cotten's Downtown, 110 W. Broad, open for diner-style-brunch 8 to 8
- Momma Reta's Kitchen at 345 Broad Street, open 10:30 to 3 for Sunday lunch.
All three provide select and varied menu options for brunch or Sunday lunch. Tour patrons can chose from these Brunch Partner sites, or may avail themselves of a growing number of brunch restaurants in Lake Charles.
Each Brunch Partner restaurant provides a singular, unique and authentic dining experience: down-home Southern, upscale New American, and even nostalgic diner.
Momma Reta’s Kitchen is located in what was originally a retail block at the corner of Broad and Bilbo. Menu offerings include full-country cooking, special Sunday-lunch style. The building was once occupied by a Western Auto Store and has been successfully converted to a popular eatery downtown. Sunday hours will be 10:30 am to 3 pm, reservations are not required.
Restaurant 1910 is in the coveted corner location of the prestigious Phoenix Building with views of the Historic Calcasieu Courthouse and 1911 City Hall at Ryan and Kirby in the heart of downtown. The restaurant offers a full range of specialty beverages and new American and unique new South delicacies. Sunday hours will be 10:30 am to 2 pm. Reservations are recommended, 337-602-6278.
Cotton’s Downtown occupies the diner space once occupied by Mary Ann’s Café, a long time Lake Charles institution. Owner Kate Cotten energizes her traditional Cotten family recipes with creative spins on traditional diner-style food. Sunday hours will be extended 8 am to 8 pm, to offer pre-tour brunch, post-tour and early supper options. Reservations not required, call for pre-orders 436-9115.
Tour Patrons are asked to identify themselves and show their tour tickets (or online vouchers) for best service at any of the Brunch Partner Restaurants.
Forty-one years ago, the Palm Sunday Tour of Homes was envisioned and begun by three individuals—assisted by many others of course—but essentially the “baby” of Ann Rosteet Hurley, Reid Tyler, and Bill Terry.
At Bill Terry’s memorial service, stories were recounted of how the three “conspired” to showcase houses in what was then called “the Garden District”.
Ann and Reid were locally born and bred, Bill was from Houston. The three saw that this area had an immense inventory of older houses that could be wonderful homes for couples and families.
They saw the beauty and charm in real craftsmanship, front porches, mature plantings, and sidewalks.
They also knew the lure of the new subdivisions drawing people away from traditional neighborhoods.
They concocted a tour in spring, on Palm Sunday when the azaleas would be in bloom, to encourage the public to re-think old houses and prove that they had charm and worth.
Photo by Cissy Guidry during the 2012 Tour of Homes in Margaret Place.
To enhance your tour experience, we offer some suggestions along with the "Rules of the House."
Tickets will be available at each of the homes. You will recieve your program with your ticket. Those purchasing tickets on-line will receive programs at the will-call desk at Central School.
You may start at any of the homes on the tour, and you may choose the order in which you visit the properties.
Docents will admit and assist you in navigating through the property. Should lines be long at one house, consider visiting another house on the tour until the line is not as long.
Please observe the following "Rules of the House":
- We ask that you do not take photographs in any of the properties.
- Please wear comfortable shoes without spike heels which can damage floors.
- Food and drink are prohibited in the houses on Tour.
- No smoking or tobacco use of any kind on any of the private property on tour.
- Please, no baby strollers inside the homes.
- Some parts of the home are private and are not on tour; please respect the homeowners’ wishes and do not ask docents “for a peek” behind closed doors, upstairs, or past ribboned hallways.
- Please be careful when negotiating stairs. Many historic homes have different levels.
Eight neighborhood gems will be on tour at the 41st Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes March 20, 2016
In addition to the six private residences, the tour will include the interiors of the Christian Science Reading Room at 701 Kirby and the renowned collection of bonsai at the Walker residence at 916 Kirby.
The Tour is scheduled for 1 pm to 5 pm on Palm Sunday (March 20, 2016). The 2016 Tour is compact and walkable with all properties within one block of Central School, the Tour headquarters and site of the Mardi Gras Tearoom. The Tearoom will operate during the hours of the Tour and offer refreshments and a peek at the Mardi Gras Museum’s revived collection of artifacts and costumes. Proceeds from the Tearoom will benefit the Museum.
Tickets are $10 for CHPS members and $15 for non-members. Tickets are available at Gordon’s Drugs, at the Arts and Humanities Council Office at Central School, and at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur. These vendors request that purchases of Tour tickets be cash or check only. Online Tickets for the Tour are available via the sidebar on this page.
Central School, Tour Headquarters
The largest building in the Charpentier-Lake Charles National Register Historic District is Central School, completed in 1912 to replace an earlier school that stood on this block since the mid 19th century. That earlier wooden school faced Kirkman Street.
Both the earlier Central and this building were served by the streetcar system that ran in the City until 1926.
This storybook Queen Anne-Victorian house was constructed in 1900 for Edna and George H. Rock, the first couple to be married at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.
The socially prominent Rock family raised 13 children and members of the family lived in the house for well over 80 years.
One of the Neighborhood Gems on the Palm Sunday Tour of Homes this year is the Lancaster Home.
This is a good example of a "two-bay side-hall house," an all-American house style suited to narrow urban lots.
While you can see this house form all over the coastal deep South in cities like Galveston, New Orleans and Savannah, you won't find a better example than the Lancaster Home.
At 917 Kirby Street Lake Charles Longtime CHPS members and Palm Sunday Tour fans will probably remember this impressive house in the mid-block of one of Lake Charles’s most appealing streets. Long the home of Tour co-founders Reid Tyler and Bill Terry, along with the late Ann Rosteet Hurley, the three crafted the Tour to showcase homes in older parts of Lake Charles.
The house is a great example of a traditional American foursquare, four rooms to the floor, two stories and a center staircase.
The current owners have refreshed the house completely, inside and out, removing 70 year old asbestos siding to reveal the narrow clapboard that the originally covered the house and carefully restoring the interior.
The authentic and tasteful exterior paint highlights the house’s good craftsmanship and details.The welcoming front porch is balanced with a rear covered deck to provide the ideal in outdoor hospitality.
A main feature of the Mulvey Home at 736 Pujo is the generously proportioned double wrap-around porch that cradles the south, west, and main facades.
Fourteen massive uniquely crafted columns support the welcoming galleries which were added to the house sometime after being built.
Originally, the house was simpler and porch-less, having been completed for the prominent Chavanne family in 1905.
832 Iris Street
The charming one-story at 832 Iris Street, the Durio Home, began its life as a two-bay side hall two story, but dramatically lost its second floor early on due to a fire,.
At that time it was cleverly rescued and cleverly reconfigured as the cozy one story cottage it is today.
A light-filled kitchen ell with double French doors opens on the beautiful west garden area and the Durios have beautifully finished the house with tasteful and comfortable family pieces.
1010 Reid Street
This neighborhood gem is surrounded by a verdant and well-cared for landscape.
The current owners, the Lacys, are expert plant enthusiasts and have invested many hours in making this corner of Reid and Iris a southern garden showplace.
The large lot features many tropical plants, bananas, gingers, plumeria, and others, and the true fullness of color and texture will be somewhat later than this year’s very early Palm Sunday Tour.
701 Kirby Street – Christian Science Church
Regular Sunday services of the Church of Christ Scientist began in Lake Charles in 1890 and by 1906 the society began Wednesday night services.
The meeting hall located on Bilbo Street was destroyed by the hurricane of 1918. That horrible storm destroyed many structures in Southwest Louisiana and disrupted training at Gerstner Field, Louisiana's first military airbase. Gerstner was especially designed to train aviators and navigators for World War I.
916 Kirby, Walker Bonsai Garden
The traditional Japanese art of Bonsai is the practice of using miniature trees in containers as objects of contemplation and as culturally crafted living art. It offers challenges for both collectors and for those who nurture the living art, and has a thousand year old heritage of aesthetics and presentation. Many bonsai specimens have been nurtured and cared for by generations and achieve advanced ages.
Alan Walker has had a lifetime of fascination and hands-on involvement with the art of bonsai.