This Old House is headed to the Motor City. Recently, PBS announced season 37 of the series will take place in Detroit.
The new season of the long-running home restoration show will “showcase the renovation of two Detroit homes. First is the restoration of a two-story brick home in the historic Russell Woods neighborhood. A magnet for the cultural pioneers of Detroit, the area was once home to legendary greats like Diana Ross, poet Dudley Randall, artist Carl Owen and NFL player Dick Lane.”
Season 37 of This Old House premieres on March 30th.
CONCORD, MA, (March 1, 2017) THIS OLD HOUSE®, the Emmy award winning public television program, premieres ten all new Detroit-based episodes starting Thursday, March 30 on PBS (check local listings). The episodes, part of the show’s 37th season, highlight Detroit’s unique architecture and the urban renewal projects fueling the city’s resurgence. #TOHDetroit
‘This Old House’ will showcase the renovation of two Detroit homes. First is the restoration of a two-story brick home in the historic Russell Woods neighborhood. A magnet for the cultural pioneers of Detroit, the area was once home to legendary greats like Diana Ross, poet Dudley Randall, artist Carl Owen and NFL player Dick Lane.
Built in 1939, the Russell Woods home features stained glass and leaded windows, ornamental plasterwork and Tudor-style tiled archways. Abandoned for several years, the property had extensive water damage from a leaking roof, and the heating system and other items had been stolen by vandals.
Homeowners Frank and Tamiko Polk purchased the property through the city’s Land Bank Authority, a homebuyer incentive program for people committed to restoring and living in these properties. For these Detroit natives, the program provided the extra boost they needed to recommit to their city.
Renovations include artisan restoration of the windows and plasterwork, roof repair, reconstruction of front and back porches, and kitchen and bath remodels. Through it all, the homeowners strive to marry their modern aesthetic with the home’s defining historic characteristics.
Many of the Polks’ friends and family pitched in on the renovation, as did the greater Detroit community. People regularly showed up at the house ready to swing a hammer, paint or contribute in any way possible.
“It quickly became evident that this was truly a community-supported project,” says senior producer John Tomlin. “Detroit is a special place that does not give up, and all the people who donated their time to this renovation reminded us of the importance of community and helping your neighbors.”
‘This Old House’ premieres its first digital series, ‘Detroit. One House at a Time’ on Friday, March 3 to give fans and viewers a closer look at the stories behind the Fullerton renovation and the transformation of the abandoned property from an empty house to a home again. ‘This Old House’ goes behind the scenes to talk with members of the team, homeowners, and local residents who contributed to the project about the people, communities, housing stock and architecture that make the city unique.
As homeowner Frank Polks comments, “This is a community of hustle, muscle, hard work and digging in. I think this project represents that, and I think what’s occurring in the city overall is supportive of the idea that we can do this –one house at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time. And if we all carry on that mindset, we’ll accomplish something really great here….We’re grateful. Our expectations have been exceeded big time. ”
The four-part series will air weekly on ThisOldHouse.com and PBS.org.
In addition to the Russell Woods project, This Old House will follow the renovation of a Rehabbed and Ready project, another urban renewal program. A cooperative effort between the city, Quicken Loans, and Home Depot, the program renovates abandoned houses and sells them, often at a loss, to buyers who will promise to live in them.
‘This Old House’ follows the renovation of a 1930s home in the Grandmont – Rosedale section of Detroit, from its selection for the program, to renovation and market. The house had been empty for more than 10 years.
With work underway in the Motor City, the team also visits some of the region’s iconic landmarks, including the original site of Motown Records and the Ford Estate in Dearborn, Michigan, currently under its own painstaking renovation.
The team talks to community leaders, including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, to review the city’s revitalization efforts. Meanwhile, This Old House Plumbing and Heating expert Richard Trethewey investigates the water situation in Flint, Michigan, learning about the city’s FAST Start initiative to replace its lead-tainted service lines.
Finally, the team visits three urban farming initiatives to learn about this growing industry and its role in community sustainability.
Unlike other cities, Detroit grew out instead of up with thousands of beautiful homes built across neighborhoods in the early part of the 20th century during the auto industry boom. Once a trendsetting metropolis, Detroit has struggled through periods of economic decline with as many as one million people leaving the city – and their homes – behind. The This Old House Detroit series sheds light on Detroit’s ongoing efforts to restore its unique housing and continue to grow and revitalize its communities.
‘This Old House’ and ‘Ask This Old House’ air back-to-back and may appear in local TV listings as ‘The This Old House Hour.’
What do you think? Do you watch This Old House? Will you watch the new season?