Animal House to Our House: A Love Story

Author and home renovator Ron Tanner will be at the library on Wednesday, July 25 at 6:30 pm. He lives in Baltimore and is currently on a national tour to discuss his book and his experience turning a condemned property into a home suitable for him and his family.

Eleven years ago, Ron and his then-girlfriend, Jill, did the impossible. They bought condemned property — a big Baltimore Victorian brownstone and vowed to bring it back to its original glory. The house had been home to Baltimore’s most notorious fraternity for a decade and now, wrecked and abandoned, it was filled with garbage. As if that weren’t daunting enough: Ron and Jill had been dating for only six months and they knew nothing about fixing up old houses. Friends, family, and concerned onlookers told them not to do it they would surely lose their shirts and their love in the bargain.

A story for inspiration-seekers, old house lovers, DIYers, and American dreamers, From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story shows how Ron and Jill learned the hard way — about love and life and saving precious things from ruin. But learn they did: in 2003, they got married in the house. In 2008 This Old House magazine featured their work and then the article went viral online, becoming one of TOH’s most popular postings ever.

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