5 extraordinary historic Michigan homes you need to visit

February 19, 2021

Ever see a gorgeous home and wish you could peek inside? You can with these 15 gorgeous, historic, architecturally significant houses — ranging from a pint-sized Frank Lloyd Wright gem to the sprawling mansion of an early Detroit auto-industry widow.

MLive file photo | Emily Zoladz

Honolulu House

In the mid-1800’s, Michigan Supreme Court justice Abner Pratt briefly served as a U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Hawaii; when he returned to his home in Marshall, Mich., he set to work designing a home reminiscent of a Hawaiian palace, complete with an enormous front porch and an interior splashed with tropical murals. The unusual home is now a museum and headquarters for the Marshall Historical Society. Tour info here.


The Whitney

Nineteenth-century lumber baron David Whitney Jr. was once the richest man in Detroit—when adjusted for inflation, this 1894-built home would have cost more than $9 million today. This rose-colored granite mansion has 52 rooms, Tiffany stained-glass windows, oak and mahogany woodwork, and a grand hall entrance with a gorgeous bronze balustraded staircase (see inside here). Today the mansion is home to the Whitney restaurant, which offers “Champagne tours” of the home.


Courtesy Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn designed this Grosse Pointe Shores mansion for Edsel Ford (son of auto titan Henry Ford) and Eleanor Ford, Edsel’s wife. The Lake St. Clair manse, finished in 1927, was modeled after English Cotswold cottages (see inside here) and set on a gorgeous piece of property landscaped by prominent American landscape architect Jens Jensen. Tour info here.


MLive file photo

Turner-Dodge House

When this Classic Revival-style home (more photos here) was built in 1858 for James and Marion Turner, two of the Capitol City’s first residents, it was the largest building in Lansing — until, of course, the Capitol was finished 20 years later. Tours available through the city’s parks and rec department.


Photo via Wikimedia Commons | Andrew Jameson

The Hoatson House

Thomas H. Hoatson made his fortune with an Arizona-based mining company, but he chose to build his grand estate on the Keweenaw Peninsula, where he’d graduated high school and briefly worked in the mines of Calumet. His exquisite four-story, 13,000-square-foot Classic Revival home was finished in 1907 and included details like hand-painted murals, elephant-leather walls, a 1,200-square-foot wraparound tile porch, and other luxuries. It is now the Laurium Manor Inn. See website for tour details.

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Information Provided by: https://www.mlive.com/entertainment/2016/08/15_extraordinary_historic_michigan_homes.html