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Welcome to the HOLIDAY HOME TOUR STORIES BY Sarah Bonnette | PHOTOS BY Liz Jurey HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. It’s an expression that conjures images of beloved traditions celebrated with friends and family. For many New Orleanians, as well as visitors from across the Gulf South, the Preservation Resource Center’s Holiday Home Tour, presented by McEnery Residential, is one of those treasured traditions.   For 44 years, the tour has opened the doors to some of the finest private homes in the Garden District and Lower Garden District. It’s truly a magical affair, with historic properties all dressed up in holiday fin- ery, live music and a fabulous boutique filled with great gift ideas.   The tour also gives us a chance to, once again, admire the gorgeous architecture of the Garden District and Lower Garden District. These neighborhoods boast magnificent Greek Revival and Italianate man- sions, as well as more modest homes, including hundreds of shotgun houses that, too, display breathtaking craftsmanship and care. Walking along the brick sidewalks, under live oaks and alongside elaborate iron fences, it’s easy to feel not just festive, but also that you understand why protecting our city’s historic yet living neighborhoods is so important.   The Garden District, which began developing around 1832 as an elegant streetcar suburb, was originally incorporated as the city of Lafayette, the seat of Jefferson Parish. The Lower Garden District dates to the first decade of the 1800s and was an early and important site of neighborhood preservation in the city.   The PRC’s Holiday Home Tour was born in 1975 as four homeowners on and around First Street opened their houses for the inaugural “Candlelight Christmas Celebration.” The name has since changed, but the sentiment has not. The event is PRC’s biggest fundraiser, but it’s also a time to celebrate the homeowners who keep our neighborhoods vibrant and the passion of all who love New Orleans’ historic architecture.   This year we continue in that tradition as the Holiday Home Tour opens seven houses (and one incredi- ble bonus site — Felicity Church) on Dec. 14 and 15. We promise you’ll leave inspired. OPPOSITE: The home of Jessica Bride and Nick Mayor at 1741 Coliseum St. DECEMBER 2019 • PRESERVATION IN PRINT   19