As This Old House turns 30 years old, Boston Magazine has chronicled the history of the PBS show through photos and brief interviews with the show creators, producers, and hosts. The current This Old House website has a house project directory but very little information about the shows incarnation and history.
Russ Morash the creator is no longer involved with the show and most of the original crew and producers have moved on, but one of the keys to the success of This Old House has been the consistency with the craftsman and home experts which start and end with Norm Abram, Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, and Roger Cook. The show has only had 3 hosts which began with the venerable Bob Vila to Steve Thomas to the current host Kevin O’Connor.
This article includes some great insight from the shows beginnings when PBS used to purchase the homes outright and then sell them (the homeowner is now involved and pays for everything) and how many contractors were upset with them because they felt betrayed that This Old House was giving away trade secrets on their show. This type of thinking has passed and fortunately most contractors now enjoy working with educated clients who are involved in their projects and understand the process.
The current show has just finished their first New York city project which was a brownstone renovation in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
This Old House: An Oral History [via Boston Magazine]
disclosure: The editor of C&H and author of this post worked at This Old House for 5 years and remains a fan of the show and is pleased to see this retrospective from Boston Magazine.