Matt Dillon and Stefanie Purdon, who grew up in Windsor, spent a lot of time during the COVID-19 pandemic watching “Chateau DIY, ” a U. K. TV series following British expats as they fixed up French villas.
The research will come in useful for their own renovation efforts as the newest owners of the Book mansion, a 1911 Louis Kamper-designed home at 8469 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit’s Indian Village modeled after Marie Antoinette’s Versailles palace.
The property, which had been listed for $3. 5 million earlier this year, sold for $1. 2 million last week to the couple.
“It’s a giant house, but it doesn’t feel large. It feels warm and wonderful, ” said Dillon, the vascular neurologist who’s the chief of neurology at Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital. “When you’re in the house, you just get this sense of history and belonging. ”
Dillon said he expects renovations to start posthaste, beginning with the roof.
Purdon, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at Corewell Health Beaumont Troy Hospital, said the prospect of fixing up the home was “very exciting and very terrifying. ” But her “Chateau DIY” research prepared her “to expect the worst, inch she said, “which is fantastic. ”
The previous owner, Deirdre Golden, bought the home in 2009 intending for it to house an orchestra. She estimated previously that she had spent $4. 2 million to fix up the historic house, which she said was set to be demolished before her purchase, though the city said it was never threatened with demolition and Crain’s could not independently confirm that it was. She lost the house to foreclosure, but will continue to live in it through the end of November.
Monday, Golden said the girl didn’t want to talk about the purchase. She told Crain’s earlier this year that she “rescued” the home because she didn’t want to see it destroyed.
“We need someone to see it for the special thing it is and carry on the particular tradition, ” Golden said in the spring. “We would like to see somebody have a family here. ”
Purdon said when the lady first walked in the front door, she knew the home was something special.
“Does it remind me of the Detroit Institute associated with Arts? ” she asked. “Does it remind me personally of Architectural Digest magazine with a romantic flair? ”
She described the house as “an ongoing piece of art, ” saying she expects it will always be a work in progress.
Dillon said he respects what Golden has done towards the home, which originally belonged to James Burgess Book, plus wanted to carry her efforts over the finish line. Purdon said she would like air conditioning and an updated kitchen, but otherwise respects the efforts Golden made to restore the property.
The tour that Golden gave them at the first showing, explaining the work that the girl did — tearing down an asbestos-filled addition, pulling up layers of carpet and tile to unearth mosaic floors, scrubbing paint off marble walls — made Dillon feel the responsibility to the home, this individual said.
“It wouldn’t have been the same without her there. She really put the heart into it, inches he said. “It’s just a building if it doesn’t have a story. We want to finish the story. inch
Dillon and Purdon intend to live in the home, he said, renovating this room by room. He said he expects it to cost as much as $1. 2 million more to finish the project, but thinks it will be an “adventure” for the couple. They want to restore this to its original look as much as possible, though Dillon said he’s a little intimidated by the size of the project.
“I think there’s going to be a very large learning curve, ” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. ”
Matt O’Laughlin, a Realtor with Max Broock Detroit who represented the couple, said they are continuing to negotiate with Golden over another half-acre parcel the lady continues to own, the possible purchase of historic tax credits she received for that renovation as well as a historic stove and wrought iron fence she purchased for the home. O’Laughlin said he expected the mansion to be “one of the most amazing houses in the city” when Dillon plus Purdon are done with it.
“It’s going to be a fun house for them to work on, ” he stated. “It’s a pretty awesome property, that’s for sure. ”
The particular couple originally offered $1. 5 million, but an appraisal came back at $1. 2 million and so negotiations continued, said John Apap, president of Apap Realty Group at Signature Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the lien-holder, Soaring Pine Capital. That group bought the house at auction last year for $937, 000.
Apap said the house, which had been zoned commercial and previously housed a hair salon, attorneys and other businesses, had been rezoned as a residence. He said Golden helped Dillon and Purdon see the possibilities of their purchase, even though she had lost the house.
“She loved the house and wanted to make sure there was someone to take care of this and restore it, inch Apap said. “It made the buyers feel much more comfortable. ”
Purdon said Golden was meticulous and had done a fantastic job with her work.
“I don’t think I would want to buy a historic house from anyone else, ” she said.
Faiz Simon, the managing partner of Simon Group Holdings, said the loan in order to Golden had been made seven years ago and the fund that will had originally lent her the money had closed. This individual said Golden ran out of money to complete her vision for your property, but he expects the finished home to be a “jewel” for the city of Of detroit. The company will net $1. 1 million in the sale, he said.
Apap said he sees the completed renovation as an opportunity for the entire neighborhood.
“To me, that’s the flagship, ” he said. “It can really make a difference in the long run. ”
Dillon said he feels the responsibility to the house and the city of Detroit, having purchased a piece of history.
“In a sense, it’s kind of part of the American Dream, inches he said.
Editor’s note: The original version of this report misspelled Deirdre Golden’s first name. This version is correct.