Palmer Park Architecture Tour 2013

What: Tour of Historic Palmer Park Apartment District and Palmer Park presented by People for Palmer Park with the support of the City of Detroit’s Recreation Department, Palmer Park Apartments, and Shelborne Development/Malino Construction.

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (tours leave every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Log Cabin activities open at noon)
Where: Detroit Unity Temple, 17505 2nd Avenue, Detroit, 48203
Why: To celebrate and appreciate Palmer Park revival, history and architecture
Who: People interested in the rich history and renewal of this beautiful historic area
How much: Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Tour book is included in the ticket price. Advance tickets can be purchased at
What else: Find out more information at

People for Palmer Park’s

Guided Walking Architecture Tour of
Palmer Park Historic Apartment District

Saturday, October 5, 11 am – 3 pm

$15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tour booklet is included in the ticket price.

Intimate Views of Detroit’s

Great Architecture & History

Tour of Historic Apartments and Park to Showcase Revitalization of Treasures

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DETROIT: The Palmer Park Historic Register Apartment District is undergoing a dramatic rehabilitation as a steppingstone along Detroit’s path to revitalization. Nearly a dozen buildings in this historic district — some of which have been abandoned for decades —are in the process of major renovations. Explore this urban renewal firsthand and up close at the Third Annual Guided Walking Tour of Palmer Park’s Historic Apartment District.
People for Palmer Park’s guided walking tours begin at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at the Detroit Unity Temple located at 17505 Second Ave., in Detroit, where free and secure parking is available. Tour groups leave every 15 minutes. 
Home to some of Detroit’s most varied and grand architecture—including a true gem, Albert Kahn’s 1001 Covington also known as Walbri Court — Detroit’s historic Palmer Park neighborhood is experiencing an exciting renaissance.
“These are very well designed buildings, each with a unique history,” says Gregory Piazza, a former 30-year resident of several buildings in the District and founder of the tour. “After seeing these apartments, people can actually follow an architect’s work as they look around the city and the area and see how his work changed with the times,” says Piazza.
Advance tickets can be purchased at For more information about the tour, call 313-757-2751 or visit Tickets will be available at the event as well.
“One of Detroit’s greatest assets is its architecture,” Sarah James, chair of the tour explains, “and the historic Palmer Park district showcases work of some of the most prominent Detroit architects of the 20th century.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to enter newly-renovated lobby of the Palmer Lodge, an impressive 57,406-square-foot Tudor Revival and the first apartment building to be erected in the district. It is truly exciting to witness life being breathed back into a long-neglected gem of an area, and tour-goers can experience the progression of this rebirth first-hand.” 
This year’s tour features six other of the District’s building interiors: Kahn’s building at Walbri Court, lobbies and interior units of 825 and 850 Whitmore from the 1940s and ’50s, the Moorish-style lobby of the Luxor, and Art Deco-influenced Detroit Unity Temple. Docents, many dressed in period attire, will provide insights at each location.
Built between 1924 and 1964, the apartments reflect exotic architecture in the Egyptian, Spanish, Venetian, Moorish, Tudor, Mediterranean, Art Moderne, and Georgian styles. Few neighborhoods boast this kind of magnificent diversity. Because of the wide range of influences brought by having many significant Detroit architects building in a concentrated area — including Frank Weidmaier and John B. Gay, Robert West, and Isadore Lewis — the Palmer Park apartment district is a blend of numerous architectural styles and eras.
Before or after the walking tour, tour goers can enjoy festivities in Palmer Park where the Log Cabin, designed in the 1880s by Mason and Rice, is open from noon to 5 pm. Live music by “Behind the Times” and delicious local food from Food Lab vendors are on hand, with opportunities for attendees to take Segway tours through Palmer Park’s historic forest trails. Also planned is an invitational display of restored vintage and classic cars near the Log Cabin. Select vehicles show how architectural design trends influenced automotive designs during the particular eras the tour buildings were constructed.
Some of the buildings in this historic district had been vacant and in states of disrepair for decades. In recent years, developers, including Kathy Makino-Leipsitz and Mark Leipsitz of Shelborne Development/Malino Construction, have been rehabilitating many of the District’s buildings. Makino-Leipsitz and Leipsitz have bought nearly a dozen of the buildings near the park and have plans to not only fix up the apartments, but to make the District into a thriving neighborhood once more.
The apartment district and adjacent Palmer Park and historical district were once the estate of Sen. Thomas W. Palmer. In the late 1890s, he donated nearly 300 acres to the City of Detroit to be used as a public park. About a decade after his death, his dream of developing the area took off, giving rise to the significant architecture that is being rehabilitated today.
All proceeds will be used for the benefit of Detroit’s Palmer Park.
for Palmer Park, is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation, reinvention, and revitalization of
Palmer Park, for the good of all. Palmer Park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, a historic log cabin, and more. Located between 6 and 7 Mile Roads and west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, it has been a treasured nature park and recreation site for more than 100 years.
For additional info please contact Sarah James,, 313-378-6458

Here are some wonderful articles from last year’s tour:


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