Mission statement: The Lathrup Village Historical Society is a charitable, nonprofit organization interested in the preservation of the history of the City of Lathrup Village. The Society collects, organizes, preserves and restores material about Lathrup Village. The Society is not affiliated with the city of Lathrup Village.

Our history: The Society was formed in 1992 after a group of residents tried unsuccessfully to save the Town Hall, the Southfield Rd. business headquarters of city founder Louise Lathrup Kelley, from demolition. Since then, the Society has acquired and preserved the business and personal records of the family, which were found in the town hall vault prior to demolition and in the House-in-the-Woods after it burned. These include family records, blueprints, photos and business materials. The Society receives no governmental financial support.

President: Robin Roberts

Vice President: Mike Griffin

Secretary: Annette Kingsbury

Treasurer: Dawn Hall

Historian: Marilu Reznik

Member-at-large: Angelica McBroom

Member-at-large: Chris Hayslett

Membership chair: Dawn Orebaugh

Meetings: Meetings have been mostly virtual during the Covid pandemic and have been on an irregular basis since we have been without an office.

Our general mailing address is 28221 Lathrup Blvd., Lathrup Village, MI 48076.

Membership: Annually $20 individual, $25 family, $50 patron, $75 business. Send membership checks and donations to Becky Curtiss, 27415 Goldengate Dr. W., Lathup Village, MI 48076.

Historic house plaques: Cost is $275 for members, $295 for non-members, including tax and shipping. Two styles are available. To order, contact Robin Roberts at 248-514-3842.

About Lathrup Village

Much of the city of Lathrup Village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The historic district includes approximately 1,200 properties, primarily residential, that reflect characteristic housing styles from the first half of the 20th Century. These include Colonial Revival, Tudor and ranch houses. The district is also considered significant due to its planning and its pioneering developer, Louise Lathrup Kelley. “As a woman acting as developer starting in the 1920s, she was essentially alone, however her dogged persistence and insistence on quality resulted in a unique community that was the summation of her career.” (Source: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office)

Louise Lathrup Kelley (1893-1963) was an American businesswoman and land developer who planned and developed what is now the city of Lathrup Village, Michigan. In 1923, Louise and her mother Annie began buying land in a then-rural area of Southfield Township in Oakland County, Michigan, north of Detroit. The area was thought to be strategically located because of its elevation, centrality, roads and transportation.

In 1924, Louise built herself a 10,000-square-foot home on a 6.5-acre tract, which became known as the House in the Woods. The first house in Louise Lathrup’s California Bungalow Subdivisions was built in 1925 on a street named Bungalow. Development slowed during the Great Depression, picked up in 1937 and accelerated after World War II.

In 1953, Lathrup Village became a 1.5-square-mile city. It is situated east and west of Southfield Rd. and north and south of the I-696 expressway. The first city offices were located in the House in the Woods, where they remained until 1962. The house was destroyed by fire in 2009.