Ah Groupon. How you taunt me with your deals. Making me anxious about the expiration date and small print yet pulling me in with just one more. As a newcomer to the world of adventure, the Groupon site has become a favorite for me, allowing me to see what is out there to explore at a bargain price. Now I’ve been warned since we arrived in March not to go to Detroit, and if I did decide to go, to take someone who is familiar with the area. So what do I do? I buy a Groupon for the Whitney mansion in midtown Detroit and schlep my 90 year mother with me. So there. You go Detroit! Seriously though, you do need to be careful.
It took me awhile to decide how to approach writing about this trip. My pictures don’t do justice to the Whitney nor to the Woodward Avenue area. More so, my mother is at a point where her memory is not good, and she needs to be watched when in unfamiliar areas. So running around a large mansion and out onto the street are not picture taking options for me on this adventure. She would be mortified that I am writing this but I’m not a syndicated columnist, at least not yet, and I doubt anyone reading this is going to pick up the phone, call my mom and tell on me. She is almost 91, “healthy as a horse” but the mind is going. It’s sad to watch and be a part of, but no one said getting old would be easy. So I do the best I can, answering her questions over and over and making sure she doesn’t take a wrong turn.
The Groupon that I purchased was for a Champagne Tour and High Tea for Two at the Whitney, and it did not disappoint. Some background: The Whitney House was built by successful lumber baron David Whitney Jr., one of Michigan’s wealthiest citizens and the wealthiest man in Detroit. He was worth more than $15 million at the time of his death in 1900 — about $388 million today, when adjusted for inflation. Work began on the home in 1890. It was estimated to have cost $400,000 (about $9.5 million today) and was featured in several newspapers of the time. The Whitney mansion is 22,000 square feet and has 52 rooms (including 10 bathrooms), 218 windows, 20 fireplaces and numerous stained-glass windows crafted by Tiffany’s of New York. It was the first residential home in Detroit to have an elevator for personal use, a hydraulic number. The Whitneys spent an additional $250,000 ($6.2 million today) on decorating and furnishing the home and another $300,000 ($7.5 million today) on artwork from around the world.
Do me a favor and click on this link – I think that you’ll really enjoy the professional pictures of this grand old mansion…. Historic Photos of the Whitney mansion.
Let’s get to some of my photos…
The start of our champagne tour. Mom enjoying some bubbly at 1:00 in the afternoon. Sacrilege – but who cares, she’s 90.
Our view out onto Woodward Avenue while dining on delicious scones and tea sandwiches.
The man himself, David Whitney Jr.
Gorgeous Tiffany windows throughout…
The woodwork was absolutely magnificent – but then what would you expect from a lumber baron?
Entry way into the mansion off of Woodward Avenue. Imagine the parties!
Always attention to detail.
What a great way to spend an afternoon! The tour and tea were well worth the drive into Detroit. Woodward Avenue is full of history and is definitely a place that I need to return to in the near future. Now that I know the way.
Cheers everyone – have a fabulous week! Thanks for visiting and I’ll talk to you soon….