It's a little bit like the History Channel meets HGTV. Right in your backyard.
Get a peek into several of the South End's historically notable or highly designed homes on the 44th annual South End House Tour, put on by the South End Historical Society.
The tour, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a self-guided walk through six amazing South End homes starting at the Southwest Corridor and ending mid-way down Shawmut Avenue. Since the tour is at-your-own-pace and snakes around on a more than 1 mile path, the full tour can take anywhere from two to four hours. It starts at the Boston Center for the Arts.
South End Historical Society Executive Director Hope Shannon said the idea for the house tour began more than four decades ago as a way to showcase the creativity and history of the neighborhood.
"People were buying a lot of run down or abandoned buildings in the South End and restoring them," she said. "The neighborhood was much different back then."
Today, the tour seeks to showcase all sorts of notable homes, from the historical, to the "green," to the homes with unique architecture or high design.
Special to the 2012 tour is a combination deal with the Ellis Memorial Antique Show, which will be held at the Cyclorama on the same day. A ticket to the house tour comes with a complimentary admission to the antiques show. This year's tour will also feature a stop inside the New Hope Baptist Church, which will soon be turned into condo apartments.
Shannon said that besides serving as a significant fundraiser for the historical society, the house tour's main goals are to continue bringing people into the South End and to showcase the neighborhood's history and charm.
"The neighborhood has changed so much, and the homes have so much history," she said. "We want to remind people of the long history and bring awareness for continued preservation. We want visitors to leave with positive memories of the people they meet and the businesses they patronize, and recognize the South End is an important place historically."
Tickets are on sale now through Oct. 19 for $25, and can be purchased online at the Historical Society's website or through several different realtors in the neighborhood. Tickets will also be on sale on the day-of for $30 each. A $50 ticket includes admission to a private party at an additional house.