Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel owners slated to buy famed Inglis House in Ann Arbor

Residents relieved after fearing the U-M landmark would be demolished

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer
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Inglis House's arrival court (Photo: City of Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR - The fate of University of Michigan's historic Inglis House is about to be sealed, pending a deal with the owners of Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel.

Residents feared the 90-year-old property would be demolished for redevelopment after it was listed for $5.9 million in May this year.

The price has since dropped to $2.9 million and caught the eyes of third-generation Grand Hotel owner Dan Musser III and his wife, Marlee Brown.


The gardener's cottage (Photo: City of Ann Arbor)

They plan on renovating the four-story home and move in next summer with their six children just in time for school to start. During the summers, they live on Mackinac Island and, until now, the rest of the year in Portland, Oregon. 

Musser has said that no demolition of structures will take place as part of the renovations.

Brown, a U-M alumna who graduated in 1988, has family in Ann Arbor, including her parents who live off Geddes Avenue and her sister.

Brown's father, Paul Brown, was a U-M regent for 24 years, and she spent nights in the Inglis House as a child when her father was invited to stay.


Bird bath in the formal garden (Photo: City of Ann Arbor)

About the Inglis House Estate

Built in 1927 by Detroit Industrialist James Inglis, the 12,000-square-foot estate sits on 9.1 acres of property right next to Nichols Arboretum. The home features twelve rooms on four levels and is surrounded by several smaller structures, including a peacock house, a gardener's cottage and a greenhouse. 

In 1951, the University of Michigan inherited the home from Inglis for use as a president's house. Throughout the years it served as a guesthouse, housing distinguished guests to the university, such as President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, Dr. Jonas Salk, and the Dalai Lama.

According to a historical account by U-M, the home had Ann Arbor's first walk-in shower, located on the fourth floor in Inglis' son Jamie's private bathroom.

Pending the current sale, half of the land will reportedly go to the new homeowners and half of the land will become the property of Nichols Arboretum.


A view of the tennis lawn (Photo: City of Ann Arbor)

All photos were taken as screenshots from the City of Ann Arbor's Inglis House Historic District Study Committee report.

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