The Tour-ists were swarming Piedmont neighborhoods Saturday.
They were appreciating six fine homes and stopping in the center of town for boutique shopping and lunch at Piedmont Community Center.
It was. The Children’s Support League of the East Bay was hoping to surpass last year’s mark of 1,600 people taking the tour, said Jeanne Berres, one of the organizers.
It’s all for good causes, nonprofit agencies in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with programs for at-risk children. Last year, the CSL donated $165,000 to 24 agencies.
“The mansions are the draw,” said longtime CSL volunteer Linda Hoffman. “But the ones who are serious about remodeling and kitchens like the smaller houses.”
Hoffman, watching groups walk leisurely through a Selborne Road home originally built for an astronomer/ornithologist, said, “It’s amazing to see the upkeep required in all of these.”
The tourers are generally well behaved, Hoffman said. “Some of the couples are very focused on kitchen remodeling, interested in details like the shape of knobs on drawers and work on cabinets ... Other people are clearly out with their girlfriends and just skimming through.”
And, as the afternoon wears on, “you get the glazed ones after a while who have already been to three or four homes.”
The Tour-ists seemed to motivate to buy, knowing part of their purchase went toward children’s services agencies. “They’re shopping!” said Beverly Travlos of Travlos Jewelry in Burlingame, a vendor at the boutique shopping at Piedmont Community Center.