now with even more funk !

Mary Chase Perry Stratton

Part two of the Ransom Gillis house and its interiors. Here she is in the process of being cleaned up – the exterior scaffold is now gone as is all the vegetation that used to surround it.

The front of the house – the original part – was completely collapsed through all levels. The rear of the house, added at a later date, still had some flooring and shells of rooms left over. The access staircase was in the rear of the house through the back door.

These do not do much to illuminate the floor plans or orient the viewer, however they do show many of the various construction methods employed in the construction.

And now back down in the basement, on the east side of the house, toward the front – so we can look up into the upstairs library which sat behind the peak of the house if you look at it from the front. The “Fox Library”.

This is looking into the remaining front porch section and upwards toward the peak.

First floor fireplace, west side, front.

Second floor fireplace, “Fox Library”. This room is where the lease was signed for Mary Chase Perry (Stratton) to rent the carriage house, where she started Pewabic Pottery.

Here you see some of the only remaining decorative plaster in the entire house – in the corner of the “Fox Library”. Some of these had fallen on the ground, and were practically nothing but plaster dust.

The proper person would know how to preserve these decaying plaster pieces…


This (all these angles are the same piece) is one that I fished out of the dumpster, and is now part of the “Detroitfunk Library”. The best example was given as a gift to the owner at

Bricked in basement windows.

Here is how she looked after the “mothball” process was complete. (“mothballing” simply refers to an effort to stop further damages so that a structure may be usable sometime in the future.)

Here is a quick 360 of the house before the basic restorations took place.

This is an unfinished architectural rendering that I am working on, based upon historical photos, as well as just plain sitting in front of the actual house doing sketches, trying to figure out what went where originally. This building has had dozens of reconfigurations. I’ll finish this once it warms up, and I can go back and sit in front of the house.

Photos of the famous “Ransom Gillis” house in Brush Park, a house that captivates many people who have seen it. These photos are going back to 2004, before and during efforts to clean it out, and to add a new roof structure in order to “mothball” the structure.

In the basement the heating system was still there – or remnants of it anyway.

Going inside this particular house was both an act of pure love for this structure, as well as utter stupidity. Multi level collapses from top to basement through most of the front of the house, which was the original section.

This is looking up through the roof from the basement, and the fireplace is located on the front/left side of the building – one of two chimneys (west side) although this particular one had already been truncated on the exterior.

And just to the left of that fireplace – that boarded window goes into the exterior turret which gives RG its distinctive look.

Here is what most of the views looked like inside looking up – shot through with sunlight.

The bathrooms looked to be stacked on top of one another on the 1st and 2nd floors in the center of the front, on the west side.

Check out for a look at the only in depth book ever written about this house, and the various families that lived here.