Shores City Hall to celebrate significant anniversary

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 28, 2015

 This photo of Grosse Pointe Shores Village Hall, taken in 1927, includes the interurban tracks in the foreground next to a two-lane Lake Shore Road.  According to “Images of America: The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores,” the second floor was converted to apartments for public safety officers in 1929. Today, the second floor is home to Shores municipal offices.

This photo of Grosse Pointe Shores Village Hall, taken in 1927, includes the interurban tracks in the foreground next to a two-lane Lake Shore Road. According to “Images of America: The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores,” the second floor was converted to apartments for public safety officers in 1929. Today, the second floor is home to Shores municipal offices.

Photo provided by Arcadia Publishing

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GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Grosse Pointe Shores residents might recall the weekend of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the village-turned-city in 2011, but this year marks a momentous milestone for the Shores as well.

This November, the Albert Kahn-designed City Hall at 795 Lake Shore Road will celebrate its 100th birthday. In honor of the first Shores Village Council meeting — which took place Nov. 1, 1915 — the Shores will have an anniversary party, with cake, in the main lobby of City Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5, and the community is invited. Because the actual anniversary is on a Sunday, city leaders decided to host this event on a weekday instead, when city offices are open.

“We hope residents throughout that day will come and visit, because we will have a cake,” City Manager Mark Wollenweber told the Shores City Council during a meeting Oct. 20. 

“It’s not going to be a 100-year-old cake,” he added, causing the council and audience to laugh.

City Councilwoman Kay Felt was instrumental in the creation of a pictorial history of the Shores via the Shores Ambassador Committee that was published earlier this year. She said the book — “Images of America: The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores,” by local historian Arthur M. Woodford — alerted Shores officials to milestones like City Hall’s birthday.

“That’s when we came to realize the 100th anniversary of moving into this building,” Felt said.

She said copies of “The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores” will be available for purchase during the event. According to the book, after the Shores Village Charter was approved on July 17, 1911, the then-Village Council held its first meeting in the home of Village Council President George Osius, who later became the namesake for Osius Park. Until October 1912, village business took place in private homes, but the Shores then leased a house on the southwest corner of Lake Shore and Vernier roads for those purposes. The Shores purchased the current City Hall property in November 1913, and Osius recommended the construction of a hall in April 1914. Village officials then tapped Albert Kahn for the design.

In the book, Woodford wrote: “An election was called, and the proposition to construct a new village hall at a cost of $22,000 was passed in November 1914. The village council met for the first time in its new home on November 1, 1915.”

For more information, call city offices at (313) 881-6565 or visit www.gpshoresmi.gov.

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