Palmer Woods Historical Archives

1405 Balmoral Drive

Original Owner: Alexander Sydney Ramage
Architect: Aaron H. Gould & Son
Style: Dutch Colonial
Built: 1921

This Dutch Colonial Revival style home was built in 1921 and is the only house of this type in Palmer Woods. Recognized by its distinctive bell-curved gambrel roofline, the house has 14 rooms and is 6300 SF. The original 1921 kitchen was fitted with electric equipment consisting of a Westinghouse electric stove, dishwasher, Kelvinator refrigerator, and ice machine with motor. The third floor still has the original Art Deco-style ballroom, maids’ quarters, and a bathroom. The Conservatory/Greenhouse is also original and was designed and manufactured by Lord & Burnham.

The house was originally built for Dr. Alexander Sydney Ramage and his wife Hattie (Cohen) Ramage and daughters, Virginia and Marjorie. They moved to 1405 Balmoral in February of 1922.

Soon after the death of Hattie Ramage, the house was listed for sale by Judson Bradway Company, one of the foremost realtors in Detroit at that time. JBC marketed the house as “a model home.” Many years later, this advertisement was discovered in the Detroit Library’s historic archives and was interpreted as the model home and “built on spec” for the newly developed subdivision of Palmer Woods. Palmer Woods was platted in 1915 and there were several other homes built before 1405 Balmoral. This “urban legend” circulated for decades and was recently proven to be false by the great-granddaughter of Ramage and a Detroit architectural historian, Benjamin Gravel.

In 2010, the home was used in a Lifetime movie called “Secrets in the Walls” starring Jeri Ryan. Many scenes were filmed inside the home.


Aaron H. Gould & Son

Aaron H. Gould was born in Nova Scotia and lived in Boston before settling in Detroit in 1915. Gould had a prolific career, designing municipal and commercial buildings across the nation. In 1921, his firm, Aaron H. Gould & Son, completed the home at 1405 Balmoral Drive for Alexander Sydney Ramage. This is the only […]
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Alexander Sydney Ramage

Original owner of 1405 Balmoral Drive, Dr. Ramage was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the grandson of the lord mayor of the city. He was educated at Liverpool College, Eng., Steward College, Edinburgh, and received his doctorate at Heidelberg University, Germany. He immigrated to the US in 1892. Ramage was a research chemist whose discoveries aided […]
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