all who wander are not lost

The Ransom Gillis home on the corner of Alfred Street and John R. is receiving its new turret work in the last few days. Theyve slowly been renovating the roof and masonry over the last few months, but I am sure I am not alone in awaiting the rebuilt turret.

Here is what RG looked like a few short years ago, before any restoration had begun.

This Victorian period ruin had become an icon of Detroits abandonment, so its restoration is really a positive move in the right direction. Demolishing this structure would have gotten way too much attention. Already, in its ruined state, this had to be the most (over) photographed abandoned building in Detroit.

2 Responses to Ransom Gillis

  • Look more closely. The plywood is clearly part of a structural stabilization effort to keep it from deteriorating further. A decisive step in the right direction considering how near to collapse it was before they started shoring it up!

    Notice in particular how small the plywood turret is in relation to the original base. My guess is that the plywood is simply there to support the real reconstruction around it out of original materials.

    It’s a miracle that’s got me crying tears of joy! I’ve loved this house ever since I used to photograph it as a boy. I never gave up hope that it could be saved with enough determination to JUST DO IT, regardless of cost.

  • uhh, is that PLYWOOD they’re putting up there? correct me if i’m wrong, but don’t you have to use true-to-original period components in order to maintain historic landmark status, or something like that?

    besides, thats just lame…i dont care how efficient and economical and strong plywood is, IT LOOKS LIKE SHIT and you can practically see it underneath a building’s skin. nothing can replace true organic craftsmanship, all the way. (aint nothin like the real thing, bay-bay.)