Discover Detroit’s most interesting dwellings. Inside some, former celebrity families once lived in ultra decadence. In others, inventor’s dreams were brought to life.
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
On the shores of Lake St. Clair, this English Cotswolds-style mansion was designed by Albert Kahn and fitted with paneling and fireplaces brought from English manor homes. Constructed in 1926 and the home of Henry Ford’s son and his wife, the home is open today for visitors to wander its 87 acres of sumptuous gardens or tour its inner workings. (M)
Meadow Brook Hall
Recently designated a National Historic Landmark, Meadow Brook Hall was the home of philanthropist Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband, built with money left to her after her first husband (co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company) died in 1920. Visitors can tour the 110-room, 88,000 square foot Tudor-revival home and relive the splendor of a bygone era. (O)
Cranbrook House and Saarinen House, Bloomfield Hills
Cranbrook founders George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps enjoyed life in what is now the oldest of the Detroit-area’s historic manors. Designed by noted architect Albert Kahn, the first floor is open for tours while the second floor houses the offices of Cranbrook educational community staff. Also on the grounds and available for tours is the art deco masterpiece, a home and studio designed by and for Finnish-American designer and Cranbrook’s first resident architect, Eliel Saarinen. (O)
Dymaxion House, Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn
Architect R. Buckminster Fuller had a vision — to build strong, light, and cost-effective housing, which also happened to be round and made of aluminum. While his Dymaxion House garnered interest, it was never produced. Henry Ford Museum staff spent eight years restoring the last remaining prototype, and now you can behold the splendor of Fuller’s shiny, orb-like, ultramodern home. (DW)
Greenfield Village, Dearborn
Wander city, country and farm homes from near and as far away as England. Henry Ford’s childhood home is featured here among the 83 historic structures you can wander and experience, as is a recreation of Thomas Edison’s lab. (DW)
Motown Museum, Detroit
Tour the home and recording studio of the man who founded the Motown sound, the late Berry Gordy, where artists like Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and the Supremes recorded their iconic sounds in Studio A. (DD)
Detroit Public Library
Visit the Detroit Public Library’s main branch, a stunning Italian Renaissance limestone and marble structure, and read up on prominent Detroiters. The Burton Historical Collection contains original documents and personal papers (some 30,000 volumes, 40,000 pamphlets and 500,000 unpublished papers) of prominent citizens of Detroit and Michigan. Wander up to the third floor’s Adam Strohm Hall to see spectacular murals and stained glass. (DD)
Walk, eat and live history in historic Eastern Market. Constructed in the 1850s, the six-acre open-air market is one of the oldest (and largest) in the country. Open year-round on Saturdays and additional days in summer, you can shop, eat and mingle with neighbors and visitors from far and wide. (DD)
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Detroit
The Piquette Avenue plant is the home and the birthplace of the Ford Model T. Today, the plant is lovingly restored and is the oldest auto plant open to the public. See Henry Ford’s office as it stood in 1908 as well as a collection of Ford’s early cars. (DD)
Historic Fort Wayne
A committed group of fans and historians are currently working to preserve the buildings and stories behind Historic Fort Wayne, built in the 1840s. On summer weekends you can visit and wander the grounds, the tunnels and garrisons beneath the star fort, and learn about the many uses of the fort over its 150-plus year history. (DD)
Inarguably a fixture in many historic metro-area homes and businesses, Pewabic Pottery’s signature style and glazes are inextricably tied to Detroit architecture. Tour the studio, workshop and gift shop, and take home a piece of this 100-plus year history. (DD)
Players Club of Detroit
Gentlemen’s theater clubs (think Monty Python) may not garner much visibility, but one is alive and well and operating in Detroit. Get a behind-the-scenes look on a tour of the spectacular Playhouse (both a federal- and state-designated historic site) on Jefferson Avenue, built in 1925 and designed by Player member and architect William Kapp. (DD)
"Visit Detroit, I love this city! Go to any of the sporting events and festivals. There is always something to do in The D!" – Guy
Book a dinner cruise or go for a late-night moonlight party aboard the Detroit Princess. The five-story riverboat is back in action for the season.
Fall is in full swing and that means Detroit Red Wings hockey at The Joe. No ticket? Cobo Joe's is a surefire hot spot on game days.
Watch Discover the D TV to learn all about the hidden gems and history that our city has to offer.