Detroit to spend $400K to fix up Palmer Park log cabin

The Detroit News

The city of Detroit plans to spend $400,000 to stabilize and restore the historic log cabin in Palmer Park.

A new roof, replacement of rotted logs, foundation repairs and interior cleanup work are among the projects planned starting next week for the 1887 structure, a former museum and visitors’ center that has been closed since 1979.

Once the log cabin is reopened, it will be a community center with educational programming, and will also be used as a backdrop for weddings and other events.

The city said in a news release Friday it has hired KEO & Associates, a Detroit-based minority-owned business, as contractor.

“The effort to restore this landmark for future generations of Detroiters would not have been possible if it weren’t for the dedication of the People for Palmer Park,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “They’ve volunteered countless hours cleaning and maintaining the log cabin until the city was in a position to pay for major repairs. Now that we are, we can all look forward to a grand reopening in near future.”

Palmer Park’s log cabin was the summer home for U.S. Sen. Thomas W. Palmer and his wife, Lizzie Merrill Palmer. Palmer gave the cabin and the 140 acres it sits on to the city in 1893.

The log cabin is along Lake Frances, just north of Merrill Plaisance and Third Street.

The planned renovation was announced in time for this weekend’s annual Log Cabin Day at the historic structure. The event, from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, will feature tours of the building, an ice cream social, square dancing, costumed re-enactors and talks about the history of Palmer Park and the cabin. For more information, go to

“The log cabin is the very heart of Palmer Park, said Jason Fligger of the People for Palmer Park. “Sen. Palmer greeted many friends and distinguished guests at the front door of his cabin. It is our hope that the cabin will continue to invite the community into Palmer Park for generations to come.”