2016 Home Tour

These photos will give you an idea of what visitors saw on the 2016 Tour. If you want to enlarge a photo, just click on it. Please mark your calendar for the tour this year (2017) which will take place on the 2nd Saturday in October. The date will be October 14th, 2017.

The owner of this Craftsman home restored it as much as possible to its appearance of 102 years ago. He then added a personal touch: a model train which begins chugging around the living room (at the level of the picture rails) when you enter the front door. The house also featured antique furniture -- and paintings on the walls by the wife's artist-grandmother. Owners: Sara & Clive Savacool

During the Historic Home Tour in Martinez, visitors are greeted at the door by helpful docents.

During the Home Tours, you are greeted at the door of each house by a volunteer docent. There are more docents inside the houses to answer questions about the home or its features.

A 1935 Tudor Revival home in Martinez, California.

This absolutely beautiful example of a Tudor Revival house was built in 1935. The house is remarkably well preserved. Today's owner, after purchasing the house, carefully restored the few areas of the home that previous owners had changed during the last 81 years. Owner: Linda Barela.

Antique automobiles are part of the Historic Home Tours in Martinez.

During the home tours, you will encounter antique or classic automobiles parked in front of the homes. Several car clubs in the area, and several car owners in Martinez, loan their beautiful vehicles to the Home Tour for the day. Paul Kraintz, himself an antique car owner, organizes the cars for the Home Tour.

This house was built in 1916 -- exactly 100 years ago this year. Though the front porch has changed, the house is otherwise a good example of the the Craftsman style -- in vogue during the 1900 to 1930 period. The same well-known family in Martinez has owned the house for almost the entirety of its existence. Owner: Erin Hallissy.

There was a wonderful garden on the 2016 Tour where rescued wildlife reside while they are rehabilitated. Some of the animals in the garden are curious about humans instead of afraid. The gardener works closely with the Lindsey Wildlife Museum. Owner: Kerry Kilmer

This is another Tudor Revival home, but without half-timbering on the exterior. The current color scheme, inside and out, is due to interior decorator, Julie Fox. The house has an unusual feature for California: an unaltered 1934 kitchen in good condition. The 2016 Tour was the last opportunity to see the kitchen. It is due to be remodeled in 2017. Owners (for the last 22 years): Robert and Julia Kelly.

This is the original 1930s kitchen in the above Tudor Revival home built in 1934. Wall-mounted faucets were common at the time. Counter tops were narrow -- not as deep as today's standard of 24 inches. And cabinets were hung low over the counters -- leaving little space for items that we place on today's countertops such as applicances and coffee makers.

During the home tours, you are entertained by local musicians at several of the houses. This is guitarist Scotty O'Neill who performed on the Tour in both 2015 and 2016. For the 2016 Tour, musicians included Chris Bryant,  Phil Jones, Dominic & Daniel,  Scott Anderson, Bruce Campbell and Jay Olson.

This is another home built in the Craftsman style -- which developed around 1900 in reaction to what many at the time considered the "excessive" decoration of Victorian houses. This 1916 home has a wonderful interior with beautiful wainscotting throughout the house. The house also functions as a gallery for the photo collection of a multi-generational military family. Owners: Susan McCree and Steven King

The exterior of this house has changed since it was built by a physician and his wife in 1926. But the interior has a wonderful Craftsman and Art Deco interior with one of the finest fireplaces ever seen on the Home Tours. Visitors to the house were also able to see the gargoyle lights in the patio -- salvaged from the 1906 Monadnock Building in San Franciso. Visitors were also able to see the expansive view of Martinez and the Carquinez Strait from this hilltop house.. Owners: Jim Carter and Kim Yeager

This was the newest house on the Tour. It is an example of how a series of remodeling projects can turn a post-War home (built in 1949) into a delightful cottage-style residence. It is directly across the street from the garden which is also a wildlife sanctuary. Hone Owners: Steve and Sheila Hekl

In addition to private homes, there was one public building on the Tour each year. For 2016, it was the 1931 Martinez Junior High School, which was constructed in the Spanish Revival style and won a state-wide award for the architect. The building was seismically retrofitted in 1968 and renovated in 1999. Docents were on hand to show visitors through the building during the Tour and to point out some of the Spanish Revival interior features which date back to 1931.

Although you always meet interesting people on the Tour, sometimes its nice to go with some friends, i.e. people you already know. These red hat ladies arranged to do one of the past Home Tours together.

The Shell Clubhouse was the starting point of the Tour. There are rest rooms inside and there is plenty of parking outside. Complementary coffee was available. The Clubhouse was built in 1937. It has a great Arts & Crafts interior of natural wood. Location: 1635 Pacheco Boulevard in Martinez.

Inside the Clubhouse you will find booths and displays set up for the day. For example, our local genealogical society was there to help you find your missing ancestors.

Because 2016 is an election year, there was an extensive display of political memorabilia on display in the Shell Clubhouse, courtesy of Paul Kraintz.

Included in the Clubhouse display of political memorabilia were a number of original campaign posters. This example depicted Dwight Eisenhower and his running mate Richard Nixon. It would date from either 1952 or 1956.

Kevin Murray was back in the Clubhouse with his camera collection, but this time he also utilized an election year theme. The exhibit consisted of 20th Century press cameras -- and included camera models used by presidents, first ladies and other politicians.

You'll see around 30 cameras in the exhibit described above. Included will be this photo and an example of this camera on display. This is Jacqueline Bouvier holding a Speed Graphic press camera. Before she married John Kennedy in 1953, she worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Washington D.C.

The Martinez Museum has been closed for the last year while the building has undergone renovations. It was scheduled to reopen to the general public 8 days after the Home Tour. Howevr, during the Home Tour itself, visitors were able to obtain a sneak peek at the new exhibits inside the Museum over a week before the general public was able to see the same thing.

Shell Refinery volunteer Sharon McNalley poses for a photo while repainting the interior of the now newly restored Martinez Museum. Sharon's own house on Brown Street was on the Historic Home Tour in 2010!


There are some additional photos on the Press Page.


The cost of the Tour was underwritten by our community-minded sponsors; please mention them when possible. These are the PLATINUM sponsors:

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Cole Real Estate

These are the GOLD sponsors:

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Community Focus
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And these are our SILVER sponsors:

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Shell Western States Federal Credit Union
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Republic Services
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Les Schwab Tire of Martinez
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Bisio / Dunivan
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And these are our Bronze sponsors:

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Leading Edge Pest Management
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Connolly & Taylor Chapel
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The above pictures are provided by photographer Carter Wilson. Contact John Curtis by email if you have corrections or additional information for the captions underneath the above photos.