Designed by Charles Platt as a year-round residence for Russell A. Alger, Jr., one of the founders of Packard Motor Car Company, and his wife Marion, the stone-trimmed stucco Italian Renaissance mansion was built in 1910 on the highest point of land overlooking Lake St. Clair and named the Moorings. The 4.5 -acre gardens were the collaborative work of Platt and landscape architect Ellen Shipman, who became involved in the project in 1919.
A pair of stone lions flanks the entrance to the circular brick courtyard with fountain pool. Set into the sloping site, the residence’s formal, symmetrical front façade is two-story, however, the lakeside façade is three, with a wisteria-covered arbor framing views from the house. Platt’s formal architectural features offered structure and contrast to Shipman’s exuberant planting design. The formal garden at the side of the house included wide herbaceous borders with extravagant displays of roses, lilacs, delphinium, columbine, monkshood, and Japanese anemone, anchored by evergreen specimens. Extending from the house, the lawns led to a grand stone staircase descending to a lake terrace, no longer extant.
The Moorings was listed on the National Register in 1982. Now the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association, it is used as a cultural center for the community.