It’s Show(house) Time!

by Margaret McAvoy

In recent weeks, the Junior League of Detroit has announced that it’s 2012 Designer Showhouse will be the historic Oscar Webber mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Oscar Webber was the nephew of J.L. Hudson, and the Vice President of J.L. Hudson Company, the famed Detroit department store (writer’s note:  lunch in the restaurant, seemingly atop Detroit itself, and a visit to Santa and the Toy Department was always a favorite treat!).  Designed by Leonard Willeke, the 1927-28 Tudor of 10,000+ S/F features beautiful craftsmanship in the way of hand-carved details and extensive use of locally-founded Pewabic Pottery tiles.

Today is one of two walk-through days for the trade, to assess if we’re interested in submitting a design scheme for any of the rooms.  I will snap some additional photos while there, and post later today or tomorrow.

The Junior League also offers a “Sneak-A-Peek” for the public, to view the house before design work starts.  This is both interesting and anxiety-producing, if you are a design enthusiast.  While there are plenty of good designers who produce sound installations for a showhouse, there are also plenty of not-so-good designers, who seemingly take no notice of the surroundings, history, nor, apparently, editing:  too often rooms are treated as “showrooms’, instead of a “showhouse room”.  They’re packed full of every accessory this side of the Hudson, and become not-just-a-little claustrophobic.  However, all pessimism aside, design, architectural, and history buffs alike should enjoy this house!

If you are in the Detroit area, you may view the house February 11-12th, from 11-4 each day.  Tickets are $3 each, or 2 for $5.  After design work is completed, the actual Showhouse will be open from May 5-20th.

My apologies for the format of the photos below.  I didn’t allow enough space between each, when posting, so it may be a bit difficult to view!

All images kindly via Zillow.