HISTORY & ELEGANCE
Built in 1889 - THE BAGLEY MANSION IS one of Detroit’s oldest surviving French Renaissance Revival style structures
Built as private residence John N. Bagley - son of Governor John J. Bagley who made is fortune in the Tabaco industry and later became Governor of Michigan
Bagley also served on the Detroit Common Council from 1860 to 1861, and was a member of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners from 1865 to 1872. Bagley helped to organize the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Company and served as its president from 1867–1872. During that time, he was also chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1868–1870.
Bagley served as Governor of Michigan between 1873 and 1877. He encouraged the establishment of a state commission to regulate railroads, dealt with the matter of juvenile delinquency, and led the effort to establish the state Board of Health and the state Fish Commission. Bagley, a Unitarian, was an enthusiastic supporter of prohibition and passed the liquor-tax law.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Building in 1985
The French Renaissance Revival style house has some similar application of materials of H. H. Richardsonian Romanesque. It has a massive gable roof and a tower with conical roof. The entrance is set into a round arch and the roof dormer features a bay window. The façade contains multiple surface and window treatment, including sculptural elements by Julius Melchers around the entrance.
Julius Melchers (1829–1908)
The façade, multiple surface and window treatment, of the BAGLEY MANSION have sculptural elements by Julius Melchers.
The sculptor had an art studio in Detroit, with one of his students being the famous architect Albert Khan, whom he taught how to draw!
He also served as Vice President of Stroh Brewing Company, after his daughter married into the Stroh family.
Julius T. Melchers was Detroit's first sculptor. Bela Hubbard (1814–1896), a lumber baron and real estate mogul, commissioned Julius T. Melchers to carve the "larger than life" sandstone statues of Detroit's four French pioneers, Fr. Jacques Marquette, Sieur de LaSalle, Antoine Cadillac, and Fr. Gabriel Richard installed in 1874 on the old Detroit City Hall (1871). When the old Detroit City Hall was demolished in 1961 the statues were saved and moved to the campus of Wayne State University.