Alger House, photo 1981
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Alger, Russell A., Jr, House
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms - Wayne County
Other Names The Moorings
Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association Building
Property Type stucco house
Historic Use DOMESTIC
Current Use SOCIAL
Style Italian Renaissance
Late Victorian
Architect/Builder CHARLES ADAM PLATT
Significant Person Russell A. Alger, Jr.
Narrative Description The Russell A. and Annette Henry Alger, Jr. House is a stone trimmed, stuccoed Italian Renaissance style mansion located amidst 4.5 acres oflandscaped grounds on the shore of Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, a suburban Detroit community. Built in 1910, the house is situated on one of the highest pieces of ground on the Michigan shoreline of Lake St. Clair. Architect Charles A. Platt took full advantage of the site, designing the house with major room orientations towards the lake and integrating the house with garden and landscape features which overlook and lead to the lake. Two stories on the street side, the house opens to three stories facing the lake. The main section of the house is a rectangular block with symmetrically designed street and lakeside facades and is topped with a low pitched, tiled hip roof. The house and grounds retain their original appearance and are now used as a community cultural center.
Statement of Significance The Russell A. and Annette Henry Alger, Jr. House is significant as a major work of the nationally prominent architect, Charles Adam Platt of New York. Though Platt, renowned for his design of large country estates, designed a series of estates in the Grosse Pointe area, this is considered his most important commission. Designed in the Italian Renaissance style, the Alger House displays Platt's ability to integrate the house with its setting and gardens. The estate was the home of Russell A. Alger, Jr., the millionaire son of General Russell A. Alger, a Civil War hero, Detroit lumberman, Michigan Governor from 1884 to 1887, U.S. Senator from 1902 to 1907, and President McKinley's Secretary of War. Russell A. Alger, Jr. was one of the founders of the Packard Motor Car Company in 1903, and served as its vice president for many years. The junior Alger had the house built in 1910 and resided there until his death on January 26, 1930. In 1949 the Alger family donated the estate to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Fund, now the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association, for use as a community cultural center.
Marker Name Russell A. Alger House "The Moorings"
Marker Text RUSSELL A. ALGER HOUSE "THE MOORINGS" Russell A. Alger, Jr., (1873-1930) son of Michigan's Governor Russell Alger, built this Italian Renaissance-style mansion in 1910. Alger was one of the founders of the Packard Motor Car Company. Charles A. Platt of New York designed this elaborate structure, and Ellen Shipman of New York landscaped the grounds. The home, situated on Lake St. Clair, was referred to as "The Moorings." Alger lived here until his death in 1930. From 1936 to 1948, the house was used by the Detroit Institute of Arts as a branch museum. In 1949 it was deeded to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association in memory of those who served and died in our nation's wars and for facilitating the educational, cultural and civic needs of the community.
Period of Significance 1910-1949
Significant Date(s) 1910
Registry Type(s) 08/11/1983 Marker erected
07/08/1982 National Register listed
02/18/1982 State Register listed
Site ID# P25299