Cranbrook House and Gardens, Bloomfield Hills, MI

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From the Cranbrook Gardens Homepage

Cranbrook House and Gardens stands as a centerpiece of Cranbrook’s 319-acre National Historic Landmark campus. From May through October, visitors can experience the grandeur of both the House and the Gardens with guided and self-guided tours. Stroll in gardens bursting with colors of annual and perennial flowers. More than 40 acres of gardens are available for exploration between May and October. For those interested in an indoor experience, visit Cranbrook House-the oldest manor home in metropolitan Detroit. Built in 1908 by Cranbrook's founders, the house is filled with tine art, tapestries, furniture and history.

Designed by noted Detroit architect Albert Kahn in 1908, the English Arts and Crafts-style home of Cranbrook founders George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth is the oldest surviving manor home in metro Detroit. The Booths commissioned the finest artisans, craftsmen and studios of the period to furnish the house with handcrafted furniture, tapestries, tiles, stained and leaded glass, and other works of fine and decorative art.

Originally designed by George Booth, the 40 acres of gardens that surround Cranbrook House entice visitors to savor the serenity of the spring and summer months. From the symmetry of the Sunken Garden to the scent of the herbaceous garden to the casual beauty of the bog garden, there is something to capture everyone’s interest. Sculpture, fountains and architectural fragments enhance the setting with spacious lawns, specimen trees, and a lake stretching out beyond the fieldstone walls.

The composer Leonard Bernstein resided at Cranbrook House in April 1946, composing scores on the Cranbrook House Steinway concert grand piano.

A Brief History of Architect Albert Kahn

Albert Kahn, sometimes called the "Architect of Detroit, was also responsible for designing an incredible number of buildings including private residences, apartments complexes, factories/plants, commercial buildings, University buildings, banks, and mausoleums. As of 2006, Kahn had approximately 60 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

By 1938, Kahn's firm was responsible for 20 percent of all architect-designed factories in the U.S. Kahn's firm's Moscow office built 521 factories between 1930 and 1932. Albert Kahn worked on more than 1,000 commissions from Henry Ford and hundreds for other automakers. Kahn designed the Packard Motor Car Company's factory (1907), the Ford Motor Company's Highland Park plant (1909), the massive half-mile-long Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan (1917), and George N. Pierce Plant in Buffalo, New York (1906).

Between 1917 and 1929, he designed the headquarters for all three major daily newspapers in Detroit. Kahn also designed many of the classic buildings at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. These include the Burton Memorial Tower, Hill Auditorium, the Hatcher Graduate Library, and William L. Clements Library.

Kahn designed the Bob-Lo Island Dance Hall (said to be second largest dance hall in 1903), the Belle Isle Aquarium and Conservatory (1904), the Belle Isle Casino (1907), the Palms Apartments (1093) and Garden Court Apartments (1915) on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, the Detroit Athletic Club (1915), First National Building (1922), Detroit Police Headquarters (1923), S. S. Kresge World Headquarters (1927), and the Dearborn Inn (1931) (world's first airport hotel).

Kahn's firm designed a large number of the army airfield and naval bases for the United States government during World War I. By World War II, Kahn's 600-person office was involved in making Detroit the Arsenal of Democracy. Among others, the office designed the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, and the Willow Run Bomber Plant.

Kahn was also responsible for designing the beautiful and homes and mansions in Detroit's Indian Village, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, the William Livingstone House (1892–93), in Brush Park, Detroit, his personal residence, the Albert Kahn House (1906) in Brush Park, Detroit, Michigan , and the Willistead Manor in Walkerville, Ontario, to name a few.

Final Comments on the Cranbrook House and Gardens

Cranbrook House and Gardens is my favorite place to walk in metro Detroit. There is beauty and peacefulness everywhere from the wooded trails to the ponds, streams, various gardens, the historical house, other Cranbrook buildings, sculptures, fountains, flowers, Greek-style amphitheater, and the deer, ducks and geese that wander around. It's never crowded and while you're there, you may also want to visit the Cranbrook Science Institute or Cranbrook Art Institute.

Video of Cranbrook House and Gardens: Tour

Park Contact Information

380 Lone Pine Road
PO Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
Phone Number: (248) 645-3147
Approximate Size: 40 (Acres)
Vehicle Permit Required: No
Nominal admission fee possible depending time of day/year. More info

Related Web Sites

Cranbrook Institute of Science

Cranbrook Art Musuem

History Cranbrook

Nice YouTube video of the Gardens