The Detroit House
A 1939 Russel Woods-area home is restored with help from the community
Season 36 of This Old House TV culminates with a 10-episode dive into Detroit, a brand-new city for our master crew. Homeowners Frank and Tamiko Polk grew up here, and want to see their new home restored to the beauty it was when first built in 1939.
Before the Polks purchased the home from the Detroit Land Bank Authority, the two-story brick house in the Russell Woods neighborhood of the city was abandoned for four years, subject to smash-and-grabs of its copper assets and extensive water and roof damage. But the TOH team believes the home’s potential outshines its problems. Viewers will see how the community rallies around the house, offering additional expertise on how to care for and rejuvenate leaded glass windows with stained glass crests, ornamental molding and plasterwork, and a fireplace with a wooden surround.
Throughout this leg of Season 36, we’ll also be following the Rehabbed & Ready team as they restore another 1930s home in the Crary-St. Mary’s section of the greater Grandmont-Rosedale area of Detroit. As a part of the Land Bank, the program partners with Quicken Loans and Home Depot to update neglected homes in Detroit neighborhoods.
Both the Polks’ home and the Rehabbed and Ready project will provide viewers more information about the entire city of Detroit, from its many urban renewal projects, like urban gardening, to its hard-working, community-focused people.
This second half of Season 36 (preceded by the Arlington Arts & Crafts house) debuts on PBS on March 30. Watch our Web mini-series, “Detroit. One House at a Time,” to preview the Detroit project before the official season airs. You can read more about the Polks and preview the workload for the TOH crew here.