This week, we took a ride to our favorite spot, The Ransom Gillis House, located in midtown Detroit. It was exciting to notice that the boards are off the windows, flowers were being planted, and everything seems to be just about completed. There were workers everywhere, painting, raking, planting, installing, and making things ready for the big reveal in November.
The Ransom Gillis house in Brush Park is being rehabbed by a team led by Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s Rehab Addict show, and Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans & Bedrock Real Estate Services. The house was built around 1876, for a wholesale dry goods merchant, Mr. Ransom Gillis, at a cost of $12,000 and holds 5,000 square feet of living space. The Ransom Gills House brought the Venetian Gothic style of architecture to Detroit. Sadly, it has not been occupied since the mid-1960’s. The home was recently featured in the movie, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, as the rumored Wayne Manor.
The Ransom Gillis house will be part of the Rehab Addict television show’s eight part series beginning in November. The star of the Rehab Addict show, Nicole Curtis, has been coordinating the effort to bring the house back to its former glory.
The house is being renovated into two separate units. The roof appears to be slate with lots of iron detailing. The iconic southwest-facing turret was saved and stabilized. It is accented by five rows of tiles of simple, geometric designs in hues of bright blue, red, yellow and brown. The turret was decorated with stone carvings of flower blossoms, similar but all slightly different. Similar tile work was spread throughout the rest of the structure. Upon completion, the house should contain all hardwood floors, new Pewabic tiles and lots of stained glass. Work is non-stop, with an average of 20-40 volunteers at the site, daily.
The house is located in Detroit, at 205 Alfred St. (at John R) near Comerica Park, Ford Field, General Motors’ Headquarters and the soon to be built Detroit Red Wings hockey arena. Nicole Curtis will be holding an open house for the completed rehabbing of this house, on November 1st. There will be a requested charitable donation at the door.
As we drove around the immediate area near the corner of Alfred and John R, we noticed many homes built around the same time as the Ransom Gillis house, mostly abandoned and in need of restoration. There are two homes on the next street that have been restored and are occupied. Notice in one of the photos here, the homes in the background. Let’s hope they are in future plans for restoration, as they are truly beautiful historic structures that are irreplaceable.
If you are a fan of Nicole Curtis, and her show on HGTV, The Rehab Addict, as we Undercover Divas are, we can all look forward to her renewal of the Ransom Gillis house from ruin to a stately historic landmark in the revival of our hometown, Detroit. We will be watching this transformation in November.