Brandon S
  • Male
  • Bay City, MI
  • United States
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Tell us about yourself:
I have has a passion for architecture and old houses ever since I was a small child. I love to restore Victorian homes that have seen better days. Its a labor of love. I have worked with communities in my area that are dealing with urban blight, and vacant stripped out houses for many years. There are more options then demolition and I point those out. Open lots dont create neighborhoods, they create areas for crime.
Tell us about your old-house experiences and dreams:
I have worked with the neighborhood renewal teams out of Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw to name a few to stop the demolition of properties that could be rehabbed or salvaged. I specialize in the reuse of materials that would end up in landfills. Its all about being able to savage from one area to complete another. I would love for people to understand that a wrecking ball is a last resort.

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Comment Wall (11 comments)

At 10:13pm on May 9, 2011, Martin said…

Hello. I have been working on trying to put my Sorg pictures on Flickr, but haven't had the time lately. I am surprised that you can to Middletown all the way from Michigan.. not too many ppl seem to want to come to this town anymore, which is a shame since it has a lot of cool old houses.


Once I get the pictures up I will let you know. I have tons of them.

At 8:15am on May 17, 2011, Martin said…
Did you ever get to check out the Sorg house?? I haven't been in there since the winter. Hopefully it isn't getting worse.
At 8:00pm on May 19, 2011, Martin said…

LOL I took so many pictures of the place that my camera died too!!!! Yes, when I was there over the winter there was water damage. The sitting room on the 2nd floor (the one with the very dark woodwork) had the worst of it unfortunately at that time. The water damage thing isn't new. The family who bought it back in the 1930s basically did as little as possible to the place.

I only got to see half of the duplex house. The only thing that really tied that house to the Sorg was the fireplace with the dragons on it. I think it was an existing house that was incorporated into the Sorg estate when the main house was built on something like 5 lots or more.There was exisiting houses there before he built his main house.

South Main does have some cool houses. I wanted to get one there but I couldn't afford it at the time. I live in Yankee road, which is on the opposite side of South Main and runs parallel to it. I would suggest you stay away from 8th Ave as much as possible.


I think my wife saw you when you were at the house. Did you have a silver SUV? She takes the road next to the Sorg to her VA appointment, which was on the 11th.


You and I need to put our pictures on flickr lol. I am sure we have a ton of good ones to share.. Keep in touch and keep me updated! By the way, the main water line to the Sorg is leaking. My mother in law was looking into buying the place, and she requested the utility bills to see how much things cost. I can go into more detail if you want. Just send me a message.



At 12:49am on May 20, 2011, Martin said…


Here is a link to my snapfish album of the sorg. I guess for it to work, you have to stay logged in to share it with others. Anyway, enjoy! :)


At 6:51am on June 4, 2011, Martin said…
I couldn't before, but I can now. You got some really nice pictures!!! Better than a lot of mine. Did you ever decide to buy it? I would love to see the place restored.
At 2:11pm on June 4, 2011, Martin said…

You may be a bit disappointed with the area. They killed the old downtown back in the 70s when they enclosed the street to make it a mall... then tore it all back out in the 80s-90s. It really did the old part of town in..ever since it has kind of declined, but people are trying to bring it back to the level it should be. There is just no money anywhere. I have only lived in Middletown full time since Oct of 2010. But I have done TONS of research on the past, talked to ppl, etc etc. If you ever go to most ppl on there just bitch n complain about everything. Most would like to see all old houses being torn down. They do not represent the majority of folks here, esp in the older area of town.

Let me know when you plan on coming down. If you want more information on the town, I can maybe help out.



At 3:02pm on June 4, 2011, Martin said…

I feel exactly the same way as you. I tried to join up with the Historical Society when we walked though the nice houses on Main street in December (they have a home tour every 2 yrs) but I guess they kind of blew my wife and I off.. We are 2 houses away from the end of the actual historic district. I would love to get our house on the national register sometime. I have been doing all kinds of research on it. On Yankee road, where our house is, there are a ton of nicer houses from where Yankee meets main down to just past our house. Unfortunately around the 8th street area, there are a lot of drug problems. It isn't uncommon for cities to build new stuff away from the old stuff, and then dump their problems into the old area of town, despite the nice old housing stock. So far everyone has been really nice to us and hasn't bothered us at all. I feel quite safe here actually, compared to where I lived in Southern California. If I had the cash I would totally buy the Sorg up and restore it. It deserves it that is for sure. Keep me up to date. I would love to help you out with the community stuff. You would get a lot of support from this area. It isn't only South Main, but Yankee road, vandervere road, Central Ave (and the highlands district). Franklin has some cool old houses along the river. My wife and I were trying to get a house there, but they wanted too much and needed a lot more work.

But I hope for the best. Middletown NEEDS more people who love old houses. Tearing them down, especially without getting the good stuff out, it just a damn waste. There is a lot other people could use to fix up their houses, not to mention the old hardware is worth a fortune!!

At 9:57pm on June 24, 2011, Martin said…

Yeah I heard that from Todd. The same thing happened to my wife and I when we were trying to get a house before we bought the house we have now. I don't even want to think about that place being messed with. It will need a TON of work though.. and I hope that they do not put in replacement windows (I can't stand that!!). I am sorry that you didn't get it. I was really hoping that an old house lover would end up with it and restore it to its former glory. Keep in touch and I will keep an eye on the place to see if anything good comes out of it.


If you ever find another cool old house let me know!!! I'd love to see pictures :)

At 10:23pm on June 24, 2011, Martin said…

Middletown isn't even ready for me lol. Too many people here, who actually grew up here, would rather see the old part of town die since they live on the newer side of town. I would think that 200K would be MORE THAN FAIR. The family that owns the place has been known as being money hungry. You saw how they took care of the was better than the rest of the places they own around town if that tells you anything. I really hope that they restore the place right... but it is hard to say.


There are some REALLY nice houses in Kentucky. I still look at other old houses to  get ideas for my own. If I come across any do you want me to give you a heads up? Any state inparticular? I don't mind helping any old house lover out :)

At 11:02pm on June 24, 2011, Martin said…

WOW that house is cool! Honestly, I think the Sorg would look a lot better done up, but that house is still pretty cool.

I didn't put an offer in on the Sorg. There would be no way I could afford redoing a house that big. I think a house that was 6000 sq feet would be about our limit. I just ment that 200K would have been a fair offer for the seller to at least consider due to the damage. I am surprised that they didn't even want your offer.. but as we stated, they are money hungry.


There is a Sorgish looking house in Oakwood that I have seen on There are a lot of cool old houses in Coldwater Michigan too. I wouldn't mind living there if I could find a job. That is the kind of bad thing about old houses.. they are either in really bad areas, or in areas that are really nice, but there is no work in the area. I will keep a look out for you. If I ever get tired of Middletown, I would like to get another old house somewhere else.

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