Weird Homes Tour hosts first ever Detroit tour

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Organizers call this 1963 home on the tour "untouched and untamed."

Five years ago, David and Chelle Neff saw a home in Austin, Texas that looked like the Alamo and like most curious people, they wanted to see inside it. 

They checked to see if the home was featured on any tours, but it wasn't. So the Neffs did the next best thing: the created a tour of "weird homes."

Weird is in the eye of the beholder, but in the case of the Weird Homes Tour, it means interesting, eclectic and entirely unique. And now, what the Cheffs started has spread is now in five cities across the country and is coming to Detroit on Saturday.

The Weird Homes Tour - Detroit edition will feature eight to 10 one-of-a-kind, quirky houses across the city. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (see box for details).

"When moving into a new city we really look for a strong creative community which Detroit certainly has," said one of the organizers, Kevin Shaw.

This Airbnb near Eastern Market was built by two Cranbrook architectural graduate students for their thesis.

The Weird Homes Tour - Detroit edition will feature a funky mix of homes, including a Woodbridge home that belongs to an artist couple; the loft and studio of famed car designer Camilo Pardo; and a unique Airbnb near Eastern Market that was designed by two Cranbrook graduate students for their thesis statement, according to Shaw.

There's also a funky home in Allen Park and a mid-century home built in 1963 that features an entire wall of geometric mirrors.

Gary Schwartz, who lives in Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood with his wife Cathy, said they decided to put their home on Saturday's tour because their house, which they call "Casa Avery," is an expression of their move from Los Angeles to Detroit.

"We love sharing and connection with the community," said Gary in a press release. "This is just one of many ways Cathy and I do that."

The tour will also give back to the community as it does in other cities where it's held Ten percent of gross ticket sales will be donated to the United Community Housing Coalition.

Twitter: @mfeighan

Weird Homes Tour in Detroit

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 25
  • Self-guided tour; will include eight to 10 houses
  • Tickets are $30 in advance; $45 for a "full tour experience" with exclusive access to one VIP house
  • Go to