History Abounds

The historic Lone Pine House in Bloomfield Hills undergoes a painstaking, artful restoration
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Photograph by David Baditoi

Taking on the challenge of restoring one of Michigan’s oldest homes, Patrick M. O’Keefe recognized early on that he wasn’t a carpenter. “I really wanted a great wine cellar, and the offices just came with it,” says O’Keefe, founder and president of O’Keefe & Associates, a financial consulting firm that specializes in turnaround management.

The 6,000-square-foot Greek Revival home, located at Woodward and Lone Pine, was completed in 1822, more than a decade before Michigan became a state. The residence was built by Dr. Ezra Parke, who was Bloomfield’s first doctor. His son, Hervey Parke, who was born in the house, co-founded the Parke-Davis Co. in Detroit in 1886, a forerunner to Pfizer Inc.

“The importance of the house in terms of Michigan’s history is almost overwhelming,” O’Keefe says. To be sure, in 1910 the home was purchased by George Gough Booth, who owned a nearby farm that later became the campus for the Cranbrook Educational Community. Booth, former publisher of The Detroit News, used the Lone Pine House as a private school before establishing Cranbrook.

In the 1920s, the residence was converted into the Lone Pine Inn, but the operators soon wanted their own building, so they commissioned the Fox & Hounds farther north on Woodward in 1929. The restaurant was recently closed. In the 1930s, the dwelling was converted back into a home, before being remodeled for offices in the 1970s.

“We cut through hallways and bathrooms to create 13 offices, a kitchen, a boardroom, and meeting rooms,” O’Keefe says. His wife, Carol O’Keefe, a director with the firm, did a great deal of the interior decorating. “I kept the furnishings simple to reflect the home as an old farmhouse,” she says.

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