This Sunday, Detroiters will finally get to take an in-person look inside Ransom Gillis House. HGTV's Nicole Curtis has been restoring the 1876 Brush Park mansion since June, her show, The Rehab Addict, begins airing episodes featuring the Venetian Gothic house's renovation process next week. Sunday's open house starts at 2 pm. Curtis will work the line for the event, and told Curbed she expects a huge turnout, rain or shine. She says visitors can expect jokes, but also serious efficiency from her as she manages the queue to get into the house.
"I'm always sarcastic with a touch of wit and humor, but I also run the line—I physically run them," Curtis explained, adding that she stays outside during her open houses while her team takes visitors on tours of the newly-renovated properties. She also says that the events are well-attended, and she tries to make long waits more palatable by visiting with fans while managing the long line.
"The lines run city blocks, and I don't want people to get bored or discouraged thinking they won't get in," she explained. "If I see someone struggling to stand in the line, I pull them out and take them to the express line. I'll take them to the front myself," she said, explaining that there's a special line for elderly or disabled fans who might struggle to stand for an hour or two.
In addition to being great TV, the Ransom Gillis house project is also a key part of Quicken Loans' and the Brush Park Development Company's plans to redevelop 8.4 acres in Brush Park. The new development will showcase historic homes alongside new construction, and Ransom Gillis will serve as a showpiece for the project. Quicken Loans owns Ransom Gillis, and made the decision, initially resisted by Curtis, to turn the house into two separate duplex units.
The open house starts at 2 pm Sunday, and the line closes at 3 pm. There's a $5 charge to attend. While these events are generally free, Curtis says the fees are going to a great cause. "We are raising money for a little girl fighting cancer so we are asking for a five dollar donation per head," Curtis said. One thing is certain: if you go, you'll meet Nicole Curtis. "I run through the line, getting people pumped up, encouraging people to get to know each other," she said. "I want to meet people and answer questions about what I do and about the houses."
·Nicole Curtis Announces Open House at Ransom Gillis [Curbed Detroit]
·Nicole Curtis Talks to Curbed about Ransom Gillis [Curbed Detroit]
·Media Tour of Ransom Gillis Highlights Renewal [Curbed Detroit]
·Dan Gilbert Sponsors Nicole Curtis Rehab of Ransom Gillis House [Curbed Detroit]