Historic Detroit

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Bishop Mansion

The Bishop Gallagher Residence, 19366 Lucerne Drive also known as 1880 Wellesley Drive, is one of the most architecturally significant properties in the Palmer Woods Historic District not to mention the largest house in Detroit by square footage.

The main house has roughly 68-rooms and was designed in the Tudor Revival-style by the Boston architectural firm of McGinnis and Walsh. Construction began by the Fisher Brothers in 1925 and didn’t finish until 1928. It features a symmetrical façade with an arched entrance portico with a balustraded balconet above.

The residence has massive two-story bay windows flanking the entry with cut stone details that contrast the red brick of the exterior walls, these details are carried out throughout the entire property. The front Foyer is flanked with arcaded parlors, a Formal Dining Room and Ballroom that are diagonally-oriented along the lateral wings of the first floor. The interior throughout is oak, tile, plaster, stone and masonry.

Many of the materials for the home were shipped over from Europe, including marble pillars from Sicily and wood from the Black Forest in Germany. Many carved wood mantels, pillars, and staircase newel posts and caps are thought to have been hand created by European artisans. The residence also holds one of the largest collections of Pewabic glazed tile in Michigan. The interior also boasts an elevator and a chapel that plans to be reused as a movie theatre.

The mansion has served for four and a half decades as the official home of the Catholic Bishop of Detroit. Bishop Michael J. Gallagher (1866-1937) was the first to live there, hence its name, followed by Cardinals Edward Mooney (1882-1958) and John Francis Dearden (1907-1988). The house was sold to a private owner namely, John Salley of the Detroit Pistons and then back to the church briefly until a private investment firm from Californian bought the home in 2017 for a reported $2.5 Million. Currently they have taken on restoring and saving the structures ingrity for future generations to enjoy.

Mar 23, 2024: The home was listed in May 2023 for $9 Million and is currently listed in its current state for $7 million.

Last updated 24/03/2024