The windmill outside 111 Lakeside Drive in Royal Oak was built in 1923, before the home, to provide power to the land.

The windmill outside 111 Lakeside Drive in Royal Oak was built in 1923, before the home, to provide power to the land.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


‘Windmill House’ in Royal Oak is for sale for first time since 1945

By: Mike Koury | Metro | Published December 8, 2021

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 The home at 111 Lakeside Drive in Royal Oak and its 2.87 acres of land have been put up for sale for the first time since 1945. The house was built 10 years earlier, in 1935.

The home at 111 Lakeside Drive in Royal Oak and its 2.87 acres of land have been put up for sale for the first time since 1945. The house was built 10 years earlier, in 1935.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 The Tudor-style home still contains its original woodwork and hand-carved beams in the living room and kitchen.

The Tudor-style home still contains its original woodwork and hand-carved beams in the living room and kitchen.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 The pond that sits outside the Royal Oak home was  once part of the old Red Run River in Royal Oak, which no longer exists.

The pond that sits outside the Royal Oak home was once part of the old Red Run River in Royal Oak, which no longer exists.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ROYAL OAK — A notable piece of land in Royal Oak is up for sale for the first time in more than 75 years.

Known as the “Windmill House,” the property at 111 Lakeside Drive was put on the market in October for the first time since 1945. Located between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads near Main Street, the land encompasses 2.87 acres with a Tudor-style home, a natural water source pond and the aforementioned windmill.

Originally, the land was used as a dairy farm in the 1860s. In 1923, the windmill was built to provide power to the barn on the property. The home itself was built in 1935 for U.S. Rep. George Dondero before it was sold to the Hagelstein family in 1945. The property has remained in the family since that purchase.

Also located on the land is a pond that was part of the Red Run, a river that ran through the entire city of Royal Oak before development caused the water source to disappear underground.

According to the real estate agent for the property, Mike Kramar, of Clients First Realty, the three-bedroom, four-bathroom, cottage-style Tudor maintains most of its original character and contains an open floor plan, hardwood floors, ornate hand-carved beams in the living room and kitchen, multiple fireplaces, a finished basement, and a gunite pool with a saltwater filtration system.

“I think the big selling point on it is the views of the pond and the windmill,” he said. “If you’re looking west out toward the windmill, the sun sets over the windmill and the pond. It’s just kind of a unique, interesting feature about it. It’s not a big house. It’s like 1,700 square feet, but it does have a finished basement and fireplaces. Just a lot of interesting architecture.”

The property originally was priced at $1.9 million when it went up for sale. It has since been lowered to $1.5 million. Kramar stated that there have been a few showings for the land, but there have yet to be any offers.

The land, reportedly the largest residential property in Royal Oak, certainly would seem to garner a lot of attention from prospective developers who might like to build multiple homes on the 2.87 acres.

It’s the biggest question Kramar has gotten so far from developers, but he said the property can’t be split. The Royal Oak Planning Department elaborated that a court order and deed restriction from the 1970s would keep the property from being split.

“(The land is) a prime location,” he said. “Lakeside (Drive) runs off of Main Street, so the frontage of the house is Main Street. So with that size of a lot, it’d be a developer’s dream to put five or six houses there or condos, but as it stands right now, it’s to remain as it is.”

Neither the home nor property have been given a historical designation by Royal Oak. Chris Kraska, a member of the Royal Oak Historical Study Committee, said a property owner would have to ask the committee to conduct a review for a designation. He did state that the committee, which only reviews a site and does not give the official decision, has asked to study the home and land because it thought they were significant.

The four criteria Kraska listed that a home needs for a historical designation come from federal government guidelines. The criteria are a significant contribution to United States or local history; if significant people have lived in the home; if the home has distinctive characteristics, such as its architectural style; and if it is an important part of history or prehistory.

Kraska said the windmill potentially could be enough to garner a historic status for the land.

“You could go off of the property. You wouldn’t have to go off of the house,” he said. “It could be the property, it could be the windmill, it could be part of the pond. You could go after a number of different avenues for it.”

Historic designation only would protect the outside of the home, not the inside. Kraska said he does believe that whoever purchases the land will renovate the house.

“As long as you would leave as much of it intact as you could, that would be my wish for it,” he said.

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