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Martinez Historic Home Tour

Oct 03, 2016 05:35PM ● By Becky Coburn

The Historic Home Tour in Martinez returns for its 10th consecutive year, on Saturday, October 8, from 10am to 4pm. This event, organized by the Martinez Historical Society, enables you to stroll through seven vintage homes that are opened up to the public for one day only.

The tour starts at the Shell Clubhouse, a 1937 Arts & Crafts building on Pacheco Boulevard in Martinez.  Complimentary coffee will be served, and special exhibits are set up in the clubhouse for the day.  Since this is an election year, there will be an impressive display of vintage political memorabilia.  A complementary exhibit includes camera models used by past presidents, first ladies, and other politicians.  More exhibits can be seen in the adjacent Shell Museum, with its own displays relating to the Martinez Refinery, which was constructed in 1915.

For those who don’t want to drive, buses will shuttle tour goers from the clubhouse every 10 minutes onward to homes on the tour.  Tour guides are on the buses, and docents in each home welcome visitors. The homes are mainly in the American Craftsman or romantic Tudor Revival styles, which were popular in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Marlene Haws, who helped select the homes for this year’s tour, reports that there is a special treat for tour goers this year: a visit to a wonderful garden where wildlife are rescued and rehabilitated. 

Martinez Junior High School will also be on the tour.  Built in the Spanish Revival style, the 1931 building won a state-wide architectural award.  Tour goers will see several of the original interior features that were left intact during the 1968 seismic retrofit and the 1999 renovation. 

The Martinez Museum is also on the tour route.  “The museum has been closed for a year while the 1890 Victorian structure was renovated,” reports John Curtis, Martinez Historical Society President, “but the tour will allow visitors to see the interior of the building and new displays before it officially reopens a week later.”

“Each year’s tour is different,” says Carolyn Duncan, Chair of the Home Tour Committee, “and we’re confident that this year’s tour – with its highly personalized homes, antique automobiles, wildlife sanctuary, museums and local musicians -- will provide tour goers with a great visitor experience.”

Home Tour tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased by credit card at  or and with cash or check at the following Martinez stores:  Char’s Flowers (635 Main Street), Peirano Jewelers (510 Center Avenue), The UPS Store (Lucky Shopping Center), and I’ve Been Framed (411 Ferry Street). 

The following sponsors make this tour possible:

Shell Martinez Refinery, Cole Real Estate, West Berkeley Design Loop, Shell Chemical Company, Republic Services, Shell Western States Federal Credit Union, Hagin’s Automotive, Bisio/Dunivan, Les Schwab Tire Center of Martinez, Ecomulch, Community Focus, City of Martinez, Leading Edge Pest Management, Schroder Insurance, Connolly & Taylor Chapel and Michael Briones of J. Rockcliff Realtors.