How A Wrecked Fraternity House Became Author Ron Tanner's Dream Home

For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2012
Contact: Lorenzo Butler
816.701.3669
How A Wrecked Fraternity House Became Author Ron Tanner's Dream Home

Many of us have dreamed of taking a run-down wreck of a house and restoring it to its former greatness.

But Ron Tanner knows the ins and outs of renovation like few others. A decade ago he and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Jill took on a condemned former fraternity house in Baltimore. Though neither had renovation experience, they turned the garbage-strewn disaster area into a showpiece of Victorian architecture.

Tanner will discuss that epic struggle as chronicled in his book From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story on Thursday July 26, 2012 at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
There were plenty of reasons why Ron and Jill shouldn't have taken on the job. They had been dating only six months, and friends and family warned that they would surely lose their shirts and their love in the bargain.

But Jill wanted the house and Ron wanted Jill. That's where the "love story" comes in.

In his presentation Tanner will offer home renovation tips gleaned from his experiences. Such as:  

  • Five things the Victorians didn't know about building houses
  • When might an old house not be worth the work?
  • How historic does my house have to be? Tips on blending styles and staying true to your house's history.
  • Ten tips for renovating couples: How to stay together when your house is torn apart.

Ron Tanner is the author of the short story collection A Bed of Nails (winner of the G.S. Sharat Chandra Award and the Towson Prize for Literature), Nana Gragg's Long Journey Home: A Story of Love and Loyalty, and Kiss Me, Stranger: An Illustrated Novel. His work has beenpublished in the Iowa Review, West Branch, and The Quarterly. He is an historic preservationist and a licensed home inspector.

Co-sponsored by the Historic Kansas City Foundation.   
Admission is free. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. RSVP online or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.