Last week we began a two-part story of the history of the Junior League of Detroit’s (JLD) Designers’ Show House (DSH). The event, which began in 1976, has been held in 25 different houses, raised over $5million, and has welcomed over 280,000 guests.

This week we conclude the history of the event as we look at the homes from 2000 through 2024. The journey has now come to an end after 48 years, with 315 Lakeland, its final destination. 

The Designers’ Show Houses: 2000 – 2024.

2000 – 15410 Windmill Pointe
15410 Windmill Pointe is an English inspired manor house designed by Alfred Hopkins & Associates. It was completed, in 1924, for William Harris, an investment banker, a significant authority in zoology, and father of stage actress, Julie Harris.

The 9,500 sq ft property is filled with exquisite details – rainspouts are capped off with carvings of clipper ships, while hand carved gargoyles keep an eye over the archways. The elaborate entrance, features an inset carving of a shield crowned with the sun with the word Immotus, meaning “unmovable”.

The architect Alfred Hopkins was a New York based designer who specialized in creating distinctive country estates for wealthy Americans and was known for the architectural details he incorporated into the design of his homes. Hopkins work in Grosse Pointe was limited, aside from creating 15410 Windmill Pointe it appears the only other home he designed in the community was 355 Lincoln in 1923.

2002 – 41 Provencal
In 1906 Albert Kahn was commissioned by Lewis Jones to design a large mansion in Indian Village. It was in a beautiful location, however, by the late 1920’s Jefferson had transitioned into a busy commercial street. The peace and quiet enjoyed by the family had gone.

In 1929, the family decided to move to the now firmly established community of Grosse Pointe Farms. Not wanting to leave their beloved home behind they took it with them, all 8,300 sq ft and 18 rooms of it – relocating to 41 Provencal Road. Aside from a structural change that was made to the roof, which was raised to expand the third floor, and enlarging the library to incorporate a service hallway, it is believed the majority of the homes exterior remained unchanged.

2004 – 114 Lothrop
114 Lothrop is a grand Regency home designed by Hugh T. Keyes in 1937, for decorated Canadian World War 1 veteran, Doctor J. Stewart Hudson. It reportedly cost $250,000 to build the house (around $4.8m dollars today).

Measuring 10,600 sq ft it is one of Keyes larger homes in Grosse Pointe. The house is filled with fine architectural details - Many of the rooms have beautiful arched doorways, and large decorative fireplaces. The fireplace in the living room was designed by Hugh T. Keyes himself.

Mrs. Hudson hired landscape architect F. Bruce Winkworth to design the garden. Winkworth worked in collaboration with renowned local architect Leonard B. Willeke on several projects in Grosse Pointe, including creating an elaborate rose garden and terrace with a fountain at 315 Washington Road and adapting an antique wellhead into a large circular fountain at 114 Lothrop. Image courtesy of:

2006 – 330 Lincoln
Completed, in 1911, 330 Lincoln is an early Colonial inspired home designed by George Graves for Cameron Waterman, a lawyer, and inventor of the outboard motor. The classically designed symmetrical home was increased in size several years later with the addition of a two-story Tudor inspired extension at the rear of the home.

George Graves was by no means a prolific architect in Grosse Pointe, which makes his work on at 330 Lincoln even more special. Aside from his work at 330 Lincoln it appears he worked on at least six other residential projects in Grosse Pointe.


2008 – 15637 Windmill Pointe
Completed in 1940, 15637 Windmill Pointe was one of the larger residences to be constructed on Windmill Pointe during this decade. Dr. Baumgarten, an anesthesiologist, commissioned Omer Bouschor to create this large southern inspired colonial home that is located on the corner of a three-street intersection. It features a grand portico on the front elevation, complete with six tall columns, and a distinctive wrought iron balcony on the roofline.

During his career, Boushor, created well over 29 homes in the community. During the 1930’s he was heavily influenced by the Tudor revival approach, which lead him to create around 14 Tudor style homes in Grosse Pointe. On Windmill Pointe he created at least six houses.

2010 - 78 Lake Shore
Hugh T. Keyes designed 78 Lake Shore, a French Normandy inspired home, in 1928, for Charles and Marion Dwyer. When the house was completed, it was the first house in the area to be wired for a telephone, along with housing a circuit board in the garage for the neighborhood phones. The interior featured 150-year-old fireplace mantels, a sweeping staircase, curved hallways, and an unusual circular floor plan.

2012 – 22 Webber Place
The second time the DSH was held at this location (the first time was in 1994). It was designed by prominent local architect Leonard B. Willeke in 1927, for Oscar Webber, General Manager of Hudson’s Department Store.

The original address of 22 Webber Place was 619 Lake Shore Rd. It is reported Oscar Webber began planning a house with Willeke in 1921. The property was originally going to be built at the foot of Whittier, however Webber decided against the location and purchased land on Lake Shore Road.

Ground was broken in the summer of 1925. It is reported Webber retained complete control of the final design, with much redrawing and additional costs before the final plans were approved. During the summer of 1927, Oscar Webber, his wife Marjorie, their daughter, his father-in-law and staff moved into the 10,300 sq ft mansion. Upon completion it had cost the Webber family a reported $476,079 (around $7.3 today) to build and was beyond opulent. As part of the commission Willeke also wanted to retain control of the landscape design, yet despite his talent in this field Webber hired nationally renowned designer, Ellen Biddle Shipman to create the garden.

2014 – 1007 Bishop
The 8,000 sq ft Tudor mansion is set on 1.5 acres. Completed, in 1921, it was designed by Walter Maul and Walter Lentz for Michael Murphy, president of the Murphy Chair Company in Detroit. The three-story residence is one of the largest homes on the block. The house has a distinctive style, the steeply pitched rooflines dominate the design, while the patterned brick work and decorative chimneys add to its charm.

2016 – 15500 Windmill Pointe
At 5,256 sq ft home this is the smallest show house of them all. The architectural firm of Benjamin and Straight designed the home in 1927 for American aircraft designer and Head of Engineering at Packard Motor Car Company, Colonel Jesse G. Vincent.

Not only does it have a memorable exterior, but the interior is also fascinating – the living room has a sizable stone fireplace and a partially paneled balcony. One of the key features of the second floor is the semi-circular shaped sitting room, with its conical roof, while the third floor was once the location of a large ballroom.

When the home was built the spacious garden featured a heated greenhouse, 3 ponds which drained into the lake, fruit trees and a rather beautiful copper elephant that dispensed water into a fountain. However, the key feature to the garden, and of the home, is the canal that runs from Lake St. Clair to the door that opens to a dry dock - located in the basement underneath the living room. Sadly, the house was demolished in the spring of 2024.

2018 – 607 West Boston Boulevard
The first DSH to be held in Detroit, at the former home of Charles Fisher, co-founder of the Fisher Body Company. Mr. Fisher commissioned George D. Mason to design a grand English-Tudor style manor home for himself and his family in the affluent neighborhood of Boston Edison. In 1922, Charles and Sarah Fisher moved into their new 16,000 sq ft mansion.

The home is entered through magnificent doors made of iron and glass with bronze accents. Once inside the interior of the house was exquisite. Beautiful woodwork was a feature throughout the home – including a carved mahogany organ containing 840 pipes, and a finely carved English walnut stairway, featuring lions. The fireplace in the library was imported from Europe and has a carved mantel depicting the four seasons, while the living room has black walnut paneled walls. The house originally had six fireplaces, four vaults, unique keys for every door in the house, and seventeen staff members to keep the house in operation. Image courtesy of: JLD

2020 – 1771 Seminole
1771 Seminole, the Bingley Fales Home is a huge 15,000 sq ft property in Indian Village, completed in 1909 for Bingley Russel Fales and his wife Alice. When the couple were married, Mr. Fales was the assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County. He then became a prominent businessman.

The Fales residence is a Georgian Revival style home designed by Chittenden and Kotting. The interior featured many elaborate details such as mahogany fireplaces, a wood paneled dining room, a stunning plaster relief ceiling in the library, and pewabic tile. Sadly, the Fales family would only reside in the home for a few of years. Mr. Fales passed in 1913, and his wife Alice then moved with their two young children to California. At this point the house was purchased by John Hudson Poole and was significantly expanded to double the size of the house. Over the years 1771 Seminole has been the setting for tragedy, expansion, renovation, and has witnessed great moments in the history of the country and the city of Detroit. Image courtesy of: JLD

2022 – 205 Lake Shore
205 Lake Shore is a 6,000 sq ft residence built for the McCormack family in 1988. Prior to that the land was the location of 191 Lake Shore, a spectacular residence designed by George D. Mason in 1926. The 8.5-acre estate named “Higbie House” was commissioned by Harley Green Higbie and his wife Dorothy Scherer. Higbie House was demolished in 1988, the land was subdivided and is now the location of 205 Lake Shore. Image courtesy of:

2024 – 315 Lakeland
315 Lakeland was designed by the “dean of Detroit architects” George D. Mason. Completed in 1929, for Dr, James Milton Robb, the 7,274 sq ft Tudor style home was filled with wonderful architectural details such as carved reliefs, an ornately carved stairway, high ceilings, and a stunning three-paneled stained-glass window at the front of the home.

Dr. Robb, born in 1884 in Ontario, relocated to Detroit to attend medical school at the Detroit College of Medicine (now Wayne State University School of Medicine). Having graduated in 1908, and then completing an internship and residency, he focused on Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology. He spent several years studying in Europe, before returning to Detroit in 1913, where he joined the faculty of the Detroit Medical College. It is reported he played a key role in the development of the iron lung. Image courtesy of: Detroit Public Library, digital collection.

The Designers Show House has been a 48-year journey filled with many adventures, a lot of hard work, and significant achievements that have helped change the lives of 100’s of families in Detroit. It will be missed.


*Photos courtesy of the Higbie Maxon Agney archives unless stated.
** Research, information, and data sources are deemed reliable, but accuracy cannot be fully guaranteed.


Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2024 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle



If you have a home, building or street you would like us to profile please contact Higbie Maxon Agney – - we will try and feature the property.

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