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Magnificent Diversity: Palmer Woods Holiday Home Tour Soirée

Palmer Woods Tour, Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6 - 11:30 p.m.

DETROIT: Magnificent diversity. A great holiday journey through Detroit history and architectural styles, plus a great party. That's what guests to Detroit's historic Palmer Woods neighborhood will experience at the  2012 Palmer Woods Tour~Soirée on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6-11:30 PM

The tour features one of the first homes built in our historic neighborhood—a classic Arts & Crafts stunner from 1919 (famed lawyer Clarence Darrow stayed here when he worked on the Ossian Sweet trial)—and four others from the 1920s through the 1990s. It also includes a guided tour through each home with shuttle to the homes; and a Soirée party with gourmet hors d'oeuvres, sweets and desserts; wine tasting from Ferndale's Western Market; and live jazz from guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, pianist Bill Meyer and bassist Ibrahim Jones.

“Party Central” for the Soirée is a soaring 6,680-square-foot Contemporary. Built in 1995, it is one of the newest homes in Palmer Woods. Travel back in time as you visit our Georgian Colonial, French Chateau, and English Cottage. They are all spectacular in unique ways. 

Another highlight will be the French Chateau Designer Showcase Home, with exquisite furnishings and holiday accessories by Elegance by Design in Ferndale. The home, attributed to Albert Kahn, has never been seen publicly before, and much of its magnificent original features have been preserved. We expect this to be one of the highlights of the Home Tour. 

Tickets, $75, can be purchased online at www.palmerwoods.org, at Blossoms Birlmingham, 33866 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham, or by calling 313-891-2514. All tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. 

Since 1990, the Palmer Woods Home Tour has been a holiday tradition to showcase history and architectural splendors in our neighborhood, and elegant examples of beauty, warmth and historic preservation. Docents will guide you through art and antique collections, fabulous furnishings and outstanding design, as you ­explore each home’s charm and decor. We pay tribute to the homeowners who lovingly care for, protect, renovate, and add personal touches to their homes. We thank them for graciously opening their doors to you this evening.

Over the years, Palmer Woods has featured numerous homes, some designed by nationally and even globally-renowned architects. This year’s homes were designed by architects Fuller Claflin and Leonard B. Willeke, Lewis C. Miller, and one we believe might be an Albert Kahn-design. We invite you to visualize how they might have envisioned the neighborhood in their day. Their attention to minute details is astonishing. Look for special plaster moldings and reliefs, intricately carved wood, Pewabic tile, an exquisite gold and silver leaf-gilded ceiling, and ornamental glass work. 

The Palmer Woods Association (PWA), with the help of numerous supporters and volunteers, presents this tour to strengthen our neighborhood and Detroit’s image, and showcase Palmer Woods as a wonderful place to live and visit. Our ultimate desire is to further enrich the quality of life in the community and culture in our city. Each year, a portion of the proceeds from our home tour is donated to a local charity that serves the needs of our larger Detroit community. 

For those who cannot join us for the Home Tour, Palmer Woods launches it 6th season of Palmer Woods Music in Homes on Saturday, December 29, 8 pm, with the Ursula Walker-Buddy Budson Quintet. The concerts of jazz, classical and world music continue each month, each in a historic mansion or cool home in Palmer Woods. Tickets and details at palmerwoods.org

Palmer Woods Home Tour~Soirée and Palmer Woods Music in Homes is presented by the Palmer Woods Association in collaboration with the Creative Arts Collective. Sponsors include Barefield DesignWorks, Blossoms Birmingham, Be Well Medical Center, City Living Detroit, DMC Sinai-Grace, and WRCJ-FM.

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