Media preview for the historic Palmer Park Log Cabin in Detroit, Michigan, which was designed by famed architects George D. Mason and Zacharia Rice for Senator Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie Merrill Palmer in 1885. They donated it to the city of the Detroit in the last 1800s with land to create a public park. In the mid-1970s, the historic cabin (used as a museum) was closed and most furnishings were donated to the Detroit Historic Society and stored at Historic Fort Wayne. In 2012, the nonprofit People for Palmer Park (PFPP) initiated work to clean and restore the cabin. In June 2017, the original stained glass windows were restore by PFPP, and the city of Detroit rebuilt the foundation, porch, and other exterior portions of the cabin, as well as restored the cedar shake roof. — PHOTO: Barbara Barefield

People for Palmer Park will hold its third annual “Light Up the Cabin” Garden Party benefit on Sunday, Sept. 10 from 3-6 pm in a spectacular Tudor mansion overlooking the private Detroit Golf Club, directly across from Detroit’s Palmer Park.

The event includes a tour through a portion of this intriguing historic mansion, as well as an open wine bar, freshly prepared local cuisine, and a silent auction featuring hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, artwork, gift certificates to restaurants, hotels, theatre, concerts and more.

Jazz vocalist Kathy Kosins will paint live for the auction and jazz guitarist A. Spencer Barefield will be our DJ playing his favorite music. Tickets for this late summer celebration can be purchased at

Funds will help People for Palmer Park (PFPP) restore the historic Palmer Park Log Cabin and revitalize Palmer Park, a treasured nature and recreation center for more than a century.

The Palmer Park Log Cabin, built for Senator Thomas and Lizzie Merrill Palmer in 1885, was designed by legendary architects George Mason & Zacharia Rice. It is a rare Detroit landmark, thought to be the only existing Log Cabin in the city and one of the more unique in the country. Restoring lights, electricity, chimneys and the Victorian-style interior (woodwork, plaster, staircase, pocket doors) are the next goals. Closed for most of the past 40-plus years, People for Palmer Park has championed the restoration of this historic structure, recently restoring all the stained glass windows; the city of Detroit has stabilized the exterior with a rebuilt foundation, porch and cedar roof. The vision is for the Log Cabin to be a community gathering place for the arts and music, history, education, classes, and celebrations from PFPP annual Log Cabin Day to weddings.

When the Log Cabin was built, Mason and Rice mentored a teen named Albert Kahn, who would later design famed structures throughout Michigan, including the Detroit Golf Club. Kahn also designed the People’s Outfitters Department Store in downtown Detroit for the Wineman family, founders of this retail chain, which was one of the country’s largest in the 1920s. The Wineman family also owned property in the Golf Club community — once part of the Palmer farm and estate — and built the home where the Garden Party will be held.

Palmer Park, located just west of Woodward Ave. between Six and Seven Mile Roads, is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, splash park, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances and its lighthouse, along with the Detroit Mounted Police. PFPP is a volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, started in 2011. It is the adopt-a-park organization that works closely with the City of Detroit on all events and activities in Palmer Park.

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