Adventure: Palmer Woods Home & Garden Tour

The Palmer Woods Home and Garden tour showcases Detroit’s historic Palmer Woods neighborhood, a community of around 300 homes located in the 7 Mile and Woodward Avenue area. Generously-sized lots featuring grand mansions, particularly Tudor style homes, were built in the early 20th┬ácentury, while the next phase of construction featured mid-century modern designs. These newer homes, 7 of them, and 8 gardens, including that of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, were the focal point of the 2017 tour.

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At the suggestion of my friend Susan, we got a couple tickets online and made a date to celebrate her birthday. Tickets were $25 in advance, with a discount offered for bike riders. A free shuttle picked up and dropped off throughout the neighborhood but it was a beautiful day and we decided to walk.

One of the highlights was the home of Weight Watcher’s Florine Mark. A docent told us that she was not the original owner of the home, but lived there many years and raised her family there. It was like stepping back in time to see this perfectly preserved mid-century home, down to the light fixtures and knickknacks. Amazing.

Another home was lovingly restored with fun period wallpaper and featured an unbelievable tiki bar in the lower level, resplendent with Elvis artwork. All the homes stayed true to their mid-century modern roots, even those that had additions or remodels. Several of the homeowners were present to answer questions and talk about their homes.

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The gardens were also amazing. Some of the fancier ones featured garden sculptures, multi-level designs, decks, pools or ponds and pathways. One yard had two beehives. The Frank Lloyd Wright house had a replica built of Lego® on display, along with a koi pond and beautiful patios.

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There was great pride of ownership in this community and a welcoming feeling. It’s a diverse area and we spotted a few of these signs as we strolled the streets. I really liked the themed approach to this tour, plus the knowledgeable docents, and am looking forward to seeing what is on next year’s tour.

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