Palmer Woods Historical Archives

1880 Wellesley Drive

Original Owner: Archdiocese of Detroit
Architect: Maginnis & Walsh
Style: Tudor Revival
Built: 1924

Construction began in 1924 on a residence for Detroit’s Roman Catholic Archbishop. The preceding residence, built in 1874, was located on Washington Boulevard. This new residence, designed by the nationally known firm of Maginnis and Walsh, is the largest residence in Palmer Woods, just over 40,000 square feet. The architects, Maginnis and Walsh, opened their Boston office in 1898 and began to specialize in institutional buildings. Among their notable commissions are the chapel at Trinity College, which received an A.I.A. gold medal award, and the law building on the University of Notre Dame campus.

The Bishop’s Residence rests on a hill and is approached by a circular driveway. It is two and one-half stories in height and is composed of a center block with flanking wings. The symmetrical facade consists of a center block with flanking wings. The symmetrical facade consists of a central portico of marbleized cast stone, with flanking gables. The portico contains a round-arched doorway with a heavy, golden oak door, which is protected by an ornate metal screen. The door surround is enriched with classical moldings and flanked by Ionic columns. Simple fluted posts support a classically inspired frieze ornamented with triglyphs and mettles and further accented with a patera paired windows and a bas-relief panel, which depicts the Greek symbol for Christ, surmounted the portico. Other heraldic bas relief panels depict symbols for the office of the Bishop. The fenestration is regular and consists of multiple rectangular windows divided by stone mullions. The windows are glazed with small panes of leading glass. The projections gables of facade have cast stone bays and are capped with cast stone coping and cared crockets. The chimneys are clustered. A description of the new residence appeared on the Michigan Catholic, December 11, 1924.


Maginnis & Walsh

Maginnis & Walsh (1906-1940), was a Boston-based architectural firm known for its ecclesiastical designs. In 1898, Charles D. Maginnis and Timothy F. Walsh went into partnership with Matthew Sullivan to form Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. In 1906, Sullivan withdrew and the firm was renamed Maginnis & Walsh. In 1909, Maginnis & Walsh won the competition […]
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