Detroit is notable around the world for being the birthplace of the automobile. As such, there are a few attractions in and around the city that you will want to check out if you are into the world of cars. You can learn about them by visiting this post. For those of you who are hungry for more things to do in Detroit, Michigan though, you will want to consider checking out three beautiful mansions around the area.
The three mansions were owned by members of the prominent Ford and Dodge auto-making families. Today, they are all accessible to the public to visit.
Fair Lane is located on Fair Lane Drive in Dearborn which neighbors Detroit to the west. It was the estate of Henry Ford and his wife, Clara. Henry was responsible for inventing the world’s first automobile in 1908 with the Ford Model T. The mansion within the estate is built of limestone. It is designed to resemble an English castle. It bears some influence from the prairie architectural style.
The mansion contains 56 rooms in total. It served as the gathering place for all of Henry and Clara’s grandchildren to be entertain. Every time they gathered at the mansion, a suite of rooms were reserved for them. In addition to the mansion itself, the estate housed many other things. It housed an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, a skating house, and a hall for dancing and the playing of music.
There were also cottages for estate staff, a pony barn, a greenhouse for Clara’s gardens, and a hydro-electric powerhouse and dam. Henry housed a laboratory inside a private garage where he continued to experiment with ideas. The beautiful grounds of the estate is noted for its vast gardens and landscaping designed by famed landscape architect Jens Jensen.
The scenic Rouge River navigates its way along the edge of the estate. Fair Lane can be visited free of charge.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is located on Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores which is located to the northeast of Detroit. It sits on the shores of scenic Lake St. Clair. This mansion was the home of Edsel Ford and his wife, Eleanor. Edsel is the son of Henry Ford. The mansion is inspired by village cottages from the scenic English region known as the Cotswolds.
The exterior walls of the mansion is constructed of sandstone. The mansion’s exterior is further beautified by moss of ivy grown across it. The traditional slate roof of the mansion feature stone shingles that decreases in size as they reach the peak.
A few of the interior features of the mansion include kitchen counters made of sterling silver, Art Deco-style rooms, and a secret photographic darkroom tucked away behind Edsel’s office. The mansion is renowned for its many paintings hung on walls in rooms like the Drawing Room, the Morning Room, and the Modern Room.
Jens Jensen, the famed landscape architect responsible for designing the grounds of Fair Lane, also beautified the grounds of this mansion with gardens and other landscaping features. The grounds also features a man-made lagoon and a swimming pool. Along with the mansion, there is a powerhouse and a gate house. The gate house is often mistaken for the mansion itself.
An eight-car garage that features a turntable for rotating cars, is also found on the mansion grounds. The price for the grounds pass is $5 for adults and children aged from 6 to 12. Those who are under the age of 6 will receive free passes. You can visit here to get your grounds passes for the mansion.
Meadow Brook Hall
Meadow Brook Hall is located on Estate Drive in Rochester, a suburb around 35 minutes drive north of Detroit via Interstate 75. It was the home of Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband Alfred Wilson. Matilda was the heiress to the Dodge automaker fortune. The mansion is designed in the Tudor Revival architectural style. The mansion features a whopping 110 rooms.
This makes this mansion the fourth largest historic mansion museum in the United States. The mansion is renowned for its stonework. It houses numerous paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Rosa Bonheur, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough. The mansion also features Tiffany glass, Stickley furniture, Meissen porcelain, and Rockwood pottery.
The mansion is the centerpiece of the sprawling country estate. The country estate also feature numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, and several residences. The serene grounds of the estate is decorated with formal gardens. The estate is filled with lore that offers an insight into local history. You will be able to explore the family archives and check out the original furnishings.
There are also opportunities to have picnics and play games on the lawn onsite if you would like. You don’t want to miss out on the estate’s garages either because they house a nice collection of vintage Dodge cars. The admission fees are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children aged 6 to 12. There is free admission for those under the age of 6.
These are the beautiful mansions that you will want to visit for additional things to do in Detroit, Michigan. If the allure of visiting these mansions capture your attention, may I suggest that you feast your eyes on a few similar posts to this one?
The vibrant city of Wilmington, Delaware is renowned for its gorgeous du Pont mansions. Nashville also has its share of beautiful mansions. Those of you who are into plantations will want to visit a few just outside New Orleans.
Should you need a place to stay overnight at during your time in Detroit, I am happy to help you out with this. Here are the two hotels I would suggest for you.
DoubleTree by Hilton Detroit-Dearborn
This hotel is located just northwest of the interchange of M 153 and M 39 (Southfield Freeway) in Dearborn. This hotel houses an onsite restaurant called grille39. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel. A fitness center is also available for you to use.
WiFi is featured in all the hotel’s rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $118 to $179. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.
DoubleTree by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby
This hotel is located on West Lafayette Boulevard in bustling downtown Detroit. It occupies the restored historic Fort Shelby building. Motor City Kitchen is the onsite restaurant while Round Bar is the onsite bar. The hotel houses a fitness center for your workout needs. All of the rooms and suites at the hotel feature WiFi, mini refrigerators, and microwaves.
The average rate for a standard room range from $151 to $310. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.
What are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit these three mansions when you are in the area? Feel free to leave a comment below.