the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 012-013
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Architecture, Domestic -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Township

Bloomfield Township (Mich.)

Couzens, James, 1872-1936

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


TWO GOVERNORS, SENATORS, A CABINET MEMBER In 1846, the Michigan State Legislature decided to look into a new location for the state capitol. Thomas McGraw, Bloomfield Township's representative, put forward Bloomfield Center as an excellent place to locate the capitol. He was asked rather sarcastically to describe the place he so highly recommended, and all he could come up with was 'It's three-fourths of a mile north of Morris' Mill' While he was laughed down and his suggestion turned down, some atmosphere of potential political prominence must have been present in his proposal, because in the last fifty years Bloomfield has been the home of many people who have wielded great power in state, national and international affairs. Former Governor Murray D. ('Pat') Van Wagoner, who served in 1941 and 1942, has lived in the Township for the last twenty years. Former Governor George Romney makes his home in Bloomfield Hills. He was president of American Motors Company in the 1954-62 period and served several times as Governor in the years from 1963 to 1969. In 1969 President Richard M. Nixon appointed him to the cabinet post of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Among the names of Senators and Representatives from this area, two stand out --Senator Philip A. Hart and Senator James S. Couzens. While he was in office, Senator Couzens bought his estate Wabeek and used it as a summer residence until in 1924 work was begun on a mansion. Albert Kahn was the architect, and no effort was spared on the construction or the detail. Marble was imported from all over the world so that each fireplace is a different type, and for the intricate woodcarvings, three master cabinet makers were brought from Germany and Switzerland for three years to do the finish work.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 012-013 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 012-013 part 2

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