From Our Editors
When George and Ellen Booth purchased their massive, 174-acre fixer-upper in Bloomfield Hills in 1904, they'd already amassed an extensive fortune. Given the world-historic purview of their shared business—newspaper publishing—and their already famous philanthropic efforts, it's fair to say that the Booth's may have had an inkling of what their rundown farm would come to mean to Detroit.
Named after the rural English town from which the Booth family hailed, the Cranbrook estate, after a few years of renovations, became a sort of pastoral bastion and escape from the concrete landscape of Detroit, where the Booths had built and run their publishing company. After the Cranbrook house had been built and the farm had been tamed and crafted into lush hillsides and serene lakes, the Booths moved their family and business to Cranbrook full time and began focusing their efforts toward sharing the estate with public. In 1922 the Booths established six public institutions out of Cranbrook: the Brookside School for children, the Christ Church Cranbrook, the Cranbrook School for boys, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Cranbrook Institute of Science, and the and Kingswood School for girls.
Today the estate stands as the oldest historic manor in the Detroit-metro area, its English Tudor house, 40 acres of gardens, and tropical greenhouse all open for tours. Throughout the year, the house and gardens host an array of events and activities including yoga, garden walks, plant sales, and art exhibitions. Cranbrook also remains dedicated to enriching the community outside of its acreage, offering a graduate academy of art, a modern and contemporary art museum, the Center for Collections and Research, the Institute of Science, and pre-k-through-12 independent college preparatory schools all through the Cranbrook Educational Community.
During the holidays, the Cranbrook House fully embraces the spirit of the season with family-friendly holiday-themed events, including visits with Santa Claus and festive displays of classic and contemporary trees and trains. Guests can also shop for holiday gifts and Cranbrook momentos at the gift shop.