Austin's Weird Homes Tour says goodbye—for now

Photo of a weird home
The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Weird Homes Tour, which guided Austinites and visitors in a trip around the city's "weird and unique" architecture, has shut down.

Tour founders David and Chelle Neff announced June 17 that business had taken a hit from COVID-19, causing the Weird Homes Tour to end. However, the Neffs said they hope a new local operator will eventually step in to resurrect the tour.

“We are going to retire this event for now. And not in a Ozzy Osborne has one more tour way, or a Michael Jordan comes back to play baseball way. We will only bring back this brand if we receive a true sign that Austin is ready,” David said in a press release.

The Weird Homes Tour pivoted to an online model in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, offering tours on ZOOM, Instagram Live and other platforms, but ultimately struggled when people tired of virtual events but hesitated to return to in-person tours, the Neffs said.

The tour, which started in 2014, eventually expanded to offer tours in other cities, including Houston; New Orleans; Detroit; and Portland, Oregon.


"I really loved meeting the people behind these amazing homes. They are extremely fascinating people whose homes reflect their passions. I found a lot of inspiration through them, and I hope that our tour goers did as well," said Kevin Shaw, managing director of the Weird Homes Tour.

People can continue to view 170 of the tour's weird homes at the Weird Homes Tour website.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.



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