THE LOG CABIN AT PALMER PARK
Log Cabin Q&A
The Palmer Park Log Cabin Restoration Campaign
The City of Detroit announced 6/24/2016 that it would begin major renovations to stabilize and restore the Palmer Park Log Cabin built by Senator Thomas and Lizzie Merrill Palmer some 130 years ago. The only Log Cabin in Detroit, it is significant from both architectural and historic perspectives. It is a treasured landmark for our community that must be preserved. This work will help to ensure that this important historic structure will survive. This was only the first phase to completely restore the Cabin, which People for Palmer Park has been working so hard to preserve.
What work still needs to be completed in the Log Cabin?
This cabin has been vacant for many, many years so there's still a lot more work ahead! Future projects include restoring the chimneys, all interior woodwork, fixing the historic pocket doors, new sidewalks and rebuilding the kitchen.
How will that happen?
The work will be done in small segments as funding becomes available. Now that the exterior of the cabin has been stabilized, we will likely begin by doing some landscape and path development around the cabin. After that, we will probably move indoors and tackle the need for permanent lighting. And after that, the kitchen. The next phase would involve restoration of interior finishes. We will end up with the restoration of the chimneys.
And who will pay for the next stage of work?
We do hope that the City will continue to collaborate and support additional work on the cabin, and PFPP will also continue to work hard raising the funds necessary to fully restore the log cabin.
What work did the City of Detroit complete at the end of 2016?
The City of Detroit hired contractors who:
People for Palmer Park began a crowdfunding campaign through Patronicity shortly after the City restoration began to raise funds to restore all of the cabin's original stained glass windows. Sevonty Restoration started work in early 2017 and the windows were completed and revealed later that summer.
In early 2018, Darren Lasko (Detroit Millwork, Inc.) completed restoration of the Dutch door to the Log Cabin. This is the original door, but it was in such bad disrepair after past break-ins. All original hardware, except a few hinges and latches, had to be replaced. Darren has lived near the park his whole life and this was a true labor of love for him.
So who do we thank for the work so far?
City of Detroit, General Services department. KEO and Associates, Inc., General Contractors, Grunwell Cashero, Historic Restoration Contractor, ME Designs, Architect of Record, Jason Fligger (porch design architect), Barry Burton (GSD Landscaper), Angie Hipps (GSD Horticulturist), Sevonty Restoration LLC, Darren Lasko (Detroit Millwork, Inc.) PFPP board members and everyone who donated to our Patronicity crowdfunding campaign!
What special celebrations do you have planned for the annual public opening of the Log Cabin?
On Saturday, June 23, 2018, PFPP presents two concerts INSIDE the Log Cabin to celebrate and preview the work completed thus far as well as raise money to continue restoration efforts. Performing will be world renowned jazz musicians A. Spencer Barefield (guitarist), Dave McMurray (saxophonist) and Ralphe Armstrong (bassist). Both events included a tour of the cabin along with a reception with wine and refreshments. We hope to bring more events such as this to the cabin in the future. Tickets available here.
When will it be open for public viewing?
PFPP's annual Log Cabin Day is Sunday, June 24, 2018 (always last Sunday in June). Each year this free family-friendly event is one of the only times people can get a peek inside the historic 130+ year-old Log Cabin. More information on Log Cabin Day on our event page.
How can I book my event, wedding or family reunion in the cabin?
There is little likelihood that there will be a functioning kitchen in the cabin for some time, so it is not yet ready for these types of public or private events.
Are there bathrooms in the cabin? What about electricity and wifi?
Sorry there's no working toilet - though we do now have limited electricity, a convenience the Palmers never dreamed of in the 1860s. We are working on a solution to provide toilets near the log cabin for special events that some day will be held there. We are also working on getting some permanent lighting in the cabin. Wifi is available only if you have it on your phone or device.
What about the stained glass windows? Are they finished? And how will they be protected from damage?
The stained glass windows on both floors have been restored and installed. Protective storm windows have also been installed to allow the beauty of the restored windows to shine through.
Will the Log Cabin still look the same as when Senator and Mrs. Palmer lived in it?
We do not expect to house the original furnishings of Senator and Mrs. Palmer on a permanent basis in the near future. Our primary goal is to get the "bones" of the home back to its original state, but interior design elements and the display of antiques are yet to be determined.
Where can I find out more about the Palmers and read up on the history of the Log Cabin?
There is a large amount of information available about the Palmers, Palmer Park and the Palmer Log Cabin available online in articles and at the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library. One great place to start is with an internet posting by Amy Elliott Bragg here.
Additional links are listed below!
How can I help?
Join a committee.
The Log Cabin falls under the Log Cabin Restoration Committee, and our safety and security committee really needs volunteers too.
Come for a work day.
There are many ways to volunteer. See them here on our Volunteer page.
Palmer Park Community House.
Donate something on our wish list.
We welcome you to donate online any time at our website or contact us to help.
If you have more questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Detroit announced plans to begin major renovations to restore the Palmer Park Log Cabin. Read the full story by clicking button below.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE PALMER PARK LOG CABIN:
• Learn more about our annual Log Cabin Day here.
• Many more historic photos of the Log Cabin at Palmer Park can be viewed here:
Detroit Public Library's Digital Collections.
• Check out this great segment from WDIV's "Live in the D" on the Palmer Park Log Cabin
(air date: 6/21/16)