Light Up the Cabin

Light Up the Cabin
July 8, 2019 paperlesslion

People for Palmer Park hosts its third “Light Up the Cabin” Garden Party on Sunday. Held in the Frank Lloyd Wright Turkel Home to benefit the historic Log Cabin Farm in Detroit’s Palmer Park, the “Mid-Century Modern – Log Cabin Connection” fundraiser will be held Aug. 11 from 4-7 p.m.

Details from the organizers:

People for Palmer Park will hold its fifth annual “Light Up the Cabin” Garden Party fundraiser and silent auction on Sunday, August 11 from 4-7 pm in the famed Frank Lloyd Wright Turkel home, just north of Detroit’s Palmer Park, on land that was once the Log Cabin Farm of U.S. Senator Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie Merrill Palmer in the late 1880s.

The event includes a tour through a portion of this intriguing Wright-designed home, 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. Tickets for this late summer celebration can be purchased at logcabinparty2019.  or by calling 313-891-2514.

Both of these highly unique Detroit homes were victims of severe neglect — the Turkel home was foreclosed when current owners Norm Silk and Dale Morgan purchased it in 2006 and embarked on an extensive multi-year restoration, which included the creation of a garden where only weeds and four original trees stood. The Palmer Park Log Cabin was also on the verge of ruin after being padlocked and boarded closed by the City of Detroit for decades, with only raccoons and other critters as its inhabitants.

Since 2012, People for Palmer Park has passionately raised awareness and funds to restore the historic cabin, built in 1885 by legendary architects George Mason & Zacharia Rice for the Palmers. 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 with its rustic logs on the exterior and Victorian-design interior replete with leaded stained glass windows on both floors, large pocket doors, extensive woodwork, and a “modern” indoor bathroom with running water on the interior.

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.

Upgrading the electricity, restoring light fixtures and installing new period-similar lights are projects underway, as well as restoring the pocket doors. Continuing the restoration of the Victorian-style interior (woodwork, plaster, staircase, interior doors) and the kitchen (with Mrs. Palmer’s original Detroit Jewel Stove) are some of the next goals.

The vision is for the Log Cabin to be a community gathering place for the arts and music, history, education, classes, and celebrations from People for Palmer Park’s annual Log Cabin Day and WinterFest, to weddings. Closed for most of the past 40-plus years, People for Palmer Park (PFPP) has championed the restoration of this historic structure, recently restoring all the stained glass windows and its massive Dutch-style front door; the City of Detroit has stabilized the exterior with a rebuilt foundation, porch and cedar roof. PFPP has built a community garden, organizes recreational programs in the park, including a Tennis Academy for all ages, yoga, t’ai chi, biking and walking group, and works with the community and city to clean and beautify the 296-acre park and miles of wooded trails.

Palmer Park, located just west of Woodward Ave. between Six and Seven Mile Roads, is comprised of lawns and historic woodlands, playgrounds, Community Gardens, 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 partner with the City of Detroit.

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