This week for Walk and Click Wednesday I went back to a place I had photographed ever so briefly last fall, it is someplace that I have been longing to go back to.
The first photograph was taken just after I got there, about 5 minutes after sunrise. Yes, I have made two early golden hours in a row. The second photograph was taken about 10 minutes later. I love to see the transformation that the golden light makes to the front of the house.
Chicago inventor and businessman Dorr Felt built this house as a summer home for his wife, Agnes in 1928. Felt held numerous patents, most notably for the Comptometer, the first machine to do complex calculations.
In 1919 Felt purchased more than 750 acres of land here and named it Shore Acres Farm. The family stayed in a farmhouse on the property until this house was completed. The 12,000+ square foot mansion consists of 25 rooms, including a third-floor ballroom.
The estate had extensive gardens, orchards, cornfields, a diary, vineyards, and a small zoo that was open to the public.
Agnes Felt died two months after the house was finished, and Dorr died two years later. The Felt's daughters and grandchildren owned the estate until 1949 when they sold it to an Augustinian order of the Catholic Church.
The St. Augustine Seminary, a Catholic prep school for young men, bought the mansion and grounds. Outgrowing the carriage house, which they used for classrooms, and the mansion which they used for housing, the Seminary built a school on the ridge west of the mansion. After moving into the school in the mid 1960's, a group of cloistered nuns live in the mansion.
In the late 1970's, the State of Michigan purchased the property to use as a prison. Only a portion of the mansion was used during these years as offices. The state owned the grounds until the early 1990's when they sold it to the local township. The township bought it for $1, with the stipulation that the mansion be used for the public, not sold or used for private enterprise.
I have never been inside the mansion, although they do have occasional tours and events that the public can attend. My goal is to get inside one of these days.