25 Essential Facts You Did Not Know About Bob Vila

1. Robert Joseph “Bob” Vila (born June 20, 1946) is an American home improvement television show host known for This Old House (1979 1989), Bob Vila’s Home Again (1990 2005), and Bob Vila (2005 2007).

2. Vila, native of Miami, Florida, growing up his father built the family home by hand.

3. Vila was hired as the host of This Old House in 1979 after receiving the “Heritage House of 1978” award by Better Homes and Gardens, for his restoration of a Victorian Italianate house in Newton, Massachusetts. On This Old House, Vila appeared with carpenter Norm Abram as they, and others, renovated houses.

4. In 1989 he left the show following a disagreement arising from his involvement with outside commercial endorsements for New Jersey-based Rickel, He was replaced by Steve Thomas.

5. After leaving This Old House, Vila became a commercial spokesman for Sears, and beginning in 1990 he hosted Bob Vila’s Home Again (known from 2005 on as Bob Vila), a weekly syndicated home-improvement program.

6. The series ran for 16 seasons in syndication before it was canceled by distributor CBS Television Distribution due to declining ratings; the series remains in reruns. Vila also appeared on various episodes of the situation comedy Home Improvement as himself, where main character and cable TV host Tim Taylor (played by Tim Allen) saw him as a rival and went to great lengths to try to beat Vila at things, which he never succeeded in doing.

7. Vila also made a cameo in the 1993 comedy spoof Hot Shots!

8. Vila has written 10 books, including a five-book series titled Bob Vila’s Guide to Historic Homes of America.

9. He can also be seen on the Home Shopping Network, selling a range of tools under his own brand.

10. Bob Vila’s less widely known productions include Guide to Historic Homes of America (1996), In Search of Palladio, (1996) for A&E, and Restore America for HGTV.

11. Guide to Historic Homes of America (1996) the South, the Midwest and the West.

12. Ellwood House – built by barbed wire entrepreneur Isaac L. Ellwood in DeKalb, Illinois.

13. Cooper-Molera Adobe – early Spanish Colonial owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Monterey State Historic Park.

14. Tor House – stone house and tower overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, built by Robinson Jeffers.

15. In Search of Palladio (1996) is a three-part, six-hour study of the work and lasting influence of the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio.

16. Palladio designed various types of buildings, but the series concentrates on his domestic architecture.

17. Villa Giustinian, Roncade. – For Vila this building (not by Palladio) provides the context for Palladio’s innovative thinking – gothic battlements, portcullis and stone walls concealing a Renaissance palace and farm buildings.

18. Villa Pisani in Montagnana – a descendant of the original owners served as Vila’s guide.

19. Villa Cornaro – A suburban villa on a town street, a palatial residence which was also an on-site place of business for running a large farming enterprise.

20. Villa Emo – For Vila this is “perhaps the most dramatic farmhouse ever built”.

21. Northern Ireland: Castle Ward – overlooking Strangford Lough with both Palladian and Gothic facades and interiors.

22. Hudson Valley, New York: Boscobel House Museum – purchased in 1955 for thirty-five dollars.

23. In Indiana Vila looks at University of Notre Dame architectural school “where Palladio and classical architecture are taken seriously indeed”, Vitruvian House

24. Restore America consists of 50 one-hour segments which explore historic preservation and building restoration in each of the fifty U.S. states.

25. Anticipating the turn of the 3rd millennium, it was first broadcast on HGTV between July 4, 1999 and July 4, 2000.

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