GPHS Moorings Newsletters - page 217

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The GPHS will celebrate its 60th anniversary in
grand style at a party to be held in the Georgian
mansion on Lakeshore Rd. built by auto magnate
Harry Jewett and presently owned by Robert
and Victoria Liggett. Like the Society, the house
has undergone changes and renovations and
has emerged a proud emblem of our wonderful
community.
The 7,500-square foot white clapboard house
sits on more than two acres with a panoramic
view of Lake St. Clair. Built in 1909, it was
designed by Walter McFarlane, the architect of
Ridgemont, David C. Whitney’s Lakeshore home
(now demolished).
The home follows the Georgian style with grand Palladian windows, numerous fireplaces and beautiful mold-
ings. After World War I, a large living room, often called the ballroom, was added behind what is now the
library. This spacious, bright room features a magnificent crystal chandelier. With features like a ballroom-
sized living room, a morning room and solarium with wonderful views of the lake, seven bedrooms, and a
third-floor attic playroom, the home is one of Grosse Pointe’s most gracious and historic.
But it wasn’t always such a showpiece.
“The house was falling apart when we saw it, but we fell in love with it,” said Bob Liggett, who bought the
home in 1989. “We called it the Havesham House (after the decaying mansion in Dickens’ classic novel
Great Expectations
). It was sad, but elegant amid the
debris. We took it on as a case and made it our own.”
The Liggetts took about 10 years to renovate just about
every aspect of the house. The house was completely
stripped to bare wood and repainted, new copper gut-
ters and downspouts replaced the original, the front
entrance porch and patio have been restored, and new
wrought iron was installed. The home was insulated for
the first time in the fall of 1992, just after a modern
kitchen was completed. The Liggetts also added up-to-
date wiring for computers and a state-of-the-art enter-
tainment-media center in the basement.
continued on page 6
Grosse Pointe
Historical Society
established 1945
Celebrating 60 Years!
SPRING 2005
Vol. 22, No.1
Save The Date
Grosse Pointe Historical Society
60th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, June 17, 2005 7:00 p.m.
Strolling Dinner
Entertainment by Rennie Kaufmann
Limited Tickets Available
Call (313) 884-7010 for information.
Former Jewett Mansion to Host Society’s
60th Anniversary Celebration
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