$ 3.75 million Canton de Lyon house makes room for more than 2 dozen cars
This Oakland County mansion was built by a car collector and its garages can hold 30 cars.
In fact, this statement is a little stretch. Twenty-four cars can park on heated garage floors here, but car lifts almost double that number. The owner used car elevators; now he has sold everything except one.
The same lavish spirit drove the design throughout the house. The wine cellar is magnificent; the theater is theatrical. The living room ceiling is one of a kind.
The tiling work in a bathroom on the first floor makes it a destination in its own right.
The owners planned most of this home themselves and missed almost no chance to flourish. Look above you in most of the main rooms and you will see a special ceiling, often very spectacular.
This is the 18th house that Bob and Jean Walrich have built together. They own a large commercial outsourcing company and are philanthropists in the Metro Detroit area.
“We wanted this to be our last hurray,” said Bob Walrich.
Hooray indeed, few outlets are crossed. From the balcony of the games room, two giraffes overlook the living room. They are close to life size and suggest a mother giraffe and a year old. Jean Walrich found them in Florida.
The courtyard is also special. It is landscaped with a stone waterfall that flows into a 40 foot stone stream. A curved Asian walkway crosses the stream and leads to the massive stone fireplace behind.
The couple designed this house as a special gift for their grandchildren – five daughters and a boy. The waterfall and the bridge are an attraction.
Another is the theater – a house-wide suite with the flair of the Cecil B. DeMille era. Its entrance is showy; his commercial carpet represents boxes of popcorn. His lights are Frank Lloyd Wright-ish. There is a Coke machine and a candy stand.
Inside, eight large leather seats have cup holders. Above the seats, a large round planetarium shows the night sky as it really is in the canton of Lyon.
Behind the screen is a real stage, where children can put on their shows.
The bedrooms also pay special attention to children. Adults have two owner suites on the first floor. The second floor has three more bedrooms with full bathrooms. It also has two meeting rooms where groups, probably children, can get away from it all.
One is large enough for a gang and has a kitchenette. The other is part of a two-room suite that seems intended for sleepovers. It has a bedroom with two built-in single beds, a bathroom for two and a small living room.
Besides the theater, the lower finished walkout level features a bistro and bar. A round bench seats about eight people, and a craftsman’s handsome wooden bar is nearby. It also has a full kitchen, similar to the main kitchen, and a large family room with fireplace.
Wrought iron plays a big role in this house. Bob Walrich didn’t want the long hallway upstairs to be confined.
Thus each spot passes over a room on the first floor, it is cut to make a wrought iron balcony. It is through the living room, dining room, playroom, foyer and library. The same wrought iron runs down the curved staircase and around the outside balcony.
Of course, this wrought iron had to be special. It’s all in the chic French bombshell style, which has a chubby curve at its bottom.
Other assets here include the land, which is 9 acres, and a large office and guest suite in one of the garages.
It turns out that this hurray won’t be final. The grandchildren go on with their lives and this house is too big for two people. The Walrichs move into a more standard size house. They will be satisfied with 2,900 square feet.
The collector’s house
Or: 58415 Ten Mile Road, Canton of Lyon
How: $ 3.75 million
Thermal baths: 7 full, 1 half
Square feet: 8,728 in the two main floors, 13,962 finished throughout the house.
Main characteristics: Large 9 acre collector’s home, garage for dozens of cars. Extravagant decoration, many interior balconies, fun places like the cinema, bistro and bar, children’s meeting rooms, outdoor waterfall and stream.
Contact: Kathy Walls, 517-304-4443, and Dylan Tent, 248-990-0356, both Signature Sotheby’s International.
A note on the photos
In order to limit our staff’s exposure to the coronavirus, the Detroit Free Press is temporarily suspending its practice of using our photographers to capture images for House Envy and instead uses photographs prepared by realtors, with photographers’ credit. We thank the Realtors for assisting in this effort.