Corona del Mar Home Tour marks its 50th anniversary with sold-out event

The interior of one of the eight homes of this year's Corona del Mar Home Tour.
(Courtesy of Valia Properties)

A 50-year tradition of showcasing local homes will be celebrated next month by the Corona del Mar PTA, which relies on the popular annual fundraiser to support the CdM Middle and High School.

The precise story on how the PTA decided on a home tour as a fundraising vehicle is uncertain. But the tour has ties to the Sherman Library & Gardens, which long supported the CdM Home Tour, according to library director Jill Thrasher.

For the record:

11:49 a.m. Feb. 20, 2024This story previously stated the Corona del Mar High School orchestra would be performing. It is high school’s Orchesis Dance Group.

Thrasher said Charles Wade Roberts, the first director of the Sherman Library & Gardens, had been seeking a way to bring more visitors to the gardens while raising funds for the school. She said she believes the connection between the two parties was established because Roberts’ wife, Jan, was involved in the Corona del Mar High School PTA during the time that their two children, Darren and Darcie, attended the campus. Until recently luncheons were held at the botanical gardens in conjunction with the event.


In a clipping from an October 1974 edition of the since-shuttered Newport Harbor Ensign, an article announces the beginnings of the tradition. It lists the several area homes that were going to be featured during the Nov. 1 event, including the residence of the Argyroses on Linda Isle, with its “crystal and yellow decor.”

An article announcing the first Corona del Mar Home Tour was in an October 1974 edition.
An article announcing the first Corona del Mar Home Tour was in an October 1974 edition of the now-shuttered Newport Harbor Ensign.
(Courtesy of Sherman Library Ensign Collection)

That same article says donations solicited for the tour were $3.50. Funds raised would be earmarked for a baccalaureate tea.

By 1990, those prices went up to $25. This year’s tickets for the sold-out event, set for March 14, went for $125 each.

The scope of the event has grown over the decades, according to Gina Jaha, chairman of the home tour since 2019. It now includes a catered breakfast reception, the tour, a luncheon, boutique and after-party.

In a recent photo, homeowner Jane Croul, 93, poses in front of her Victorian home.
In a recent photo, homeowner Jane Croul, 93, poses in front of her Victorian home on 427 Fernleaf Ave. The Crouls were featured twice in the home tour previously, but will not be this year.
(Courtesy of Gina Jaha)

Returning this year are the home tour’s presenting sponsors, Barclay Butera Interiors and VALIA Properties.

To celebrate the tour’s golden anniversary, the high school’s drumline, Orchesis Dance Company, jazz band and cheer team will be performing at the Newport Beach Civic Center as part of the luncheon, according to Jaha.

“Another special thing is that Bliss Home Design will be placing 50 ‘golden tickets’ inside some of the swag bags, which will be redeemable in-store,” Jaha said. “The after-party’s going to be a lot bigger, and it will be in the VALIA Properties’ parking lot with a big canopy tent. We’re going to have a proclamation from the city [for the tour] and Mayor Will O’Neill. It’s a big deal.

“The raising of the funds is to benefit the school and do the enhancements and everything we need for the students and the classrooms,” Jaha continued. “That means teacher grants, student scholarships, and we really try to spread the funds throughout the whole school so that every student at CdM benefits from it. That’s what the PTA — our mission — is. The projects have really created a lot of school spirit and boosted morale around campus, which is so beautiful now.”

Pictured is a mural on the Corona del Mar Middle/High School campus funded by the CdM Home Tour.
(Courtesy of Gina Jaha)


11:49 a.m. Feb. 20, 2024: An additional home was added to the tour after this story was published, bringing the total to eight.