Palmer Woods Historical Archives

19410 Lucerne Drive

Original Owner: Charles Albert Lindsey
Architect: Alvin E. Harley
Style: Tudor Revival
Built: 1923

The home at 19410 Lucerne Drive was constructed in 1923 by Charles Albert Lindsey, owner of the C.A. Lindsey Company, which sold silk automotive interiors for the burgeoning luxury automobile industry. This residence was later home to Lindsay’s son-in-law, Robert Pauli Scherer, inventor of the rotary die encapsulation machine, which revolutionized the production of soft gelatin capsules used in the pharmaceutical industry.

In 1949, the home was purchased by King David Shwayder, the son the founder of the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, later known as the Samsonite Corporation.  Shwayder took over as Chief Executive Officer when his father retired in 1962.  Around that time, Shwayder signed an exclusive agreement with the Danish LEGO Group to market and distribute the plastic toy bricks for the first time in the United States and Canada.

The home features several elements typical of Tudor-style architecture: an exterior consisting of English bond brickwork with limestone accents; four-centered arches reflected in the screened porch, living room fireplace, and front door; and the original slate roof.  However, unlike many Tudor homes from the period, the interior enjoys generous yet comfortable living spaces, a gracious and open floor plan, and abundant natural light due to the several large banks of windows throughout the house.  The home also retains numerous original features, including a polished marble foyer, narrow-plank hardwood flooring, ornate plaster molding, steel casement windows, and a decorative plaster ceiling.

Beginning in March of 2013, the current owners began extensive renovations, upgrading the home with modern plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and audio/visual systems.The home was also updated with a new kitchen, master suite, and outdoor terrace. In addition, the current owners restored the plaster molding and limestone fireplace surround in the living room, which was removed in a 1960’s “modernization.” Despite the extensive improvements, the home retains the elegance and beauty of the original 1923 structure.


Alvin E. Harley

Born in Canada in 1884, Alvin Harley began his architectural career drafting in the office of Herbert Matthews in London, Ontario, where he would stay for three years. Following his apprenticeship, Harley had a desire to work as an architect in a big city. He headed for America and the booming city of Detroit, where […]
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Charles A. Lindsey

Born May 30, 1877, in Kansas, Charles Albert Lindsey worked for the majority of his career in the silk industry, first as a salesman of “ladies’ novelties” and later as a manager for Corticelli Silk, one of the world’s largest producers of silk thread imported from Japan. By the 1920s, he had pivoted to make […]
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Robert Pauli Scherer

Robert Pauli Scherer was the inventor of the rotary die press used to create soft gelatin capsules for medications and dietary supplements. Born on October 10, 1906 in Detroit, Michigan, Scherer was raised and educated in the city, and after attending Detroit’s public school system he studied at the University of Michigan, graduating with a […]
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King David Shwayder

King David Shwayder was born in 1910, the son of Jesse Shwayder, founder of the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. The business made folding card tables and furniture under the “Samson” brand, named for the Biblical character. In 1939 the company introduced a sleekly-designed new suitcase branded “Samsonite,” with a tapered shape and vulcanized fiber covering. They began […]
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