For a look at how the other half (actually, the other one percent) lives, turn the wheel north to Bloomfield Hills. Long the suburb of choice for CEOs, Big Three bigwigs, and other members of the city’s power brokers, it ranks as the state’s richest town as well as the second-wealthiest in the country.
Past and present residents have included Detroit Piston captain Isaiah Thomas and the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. Unlike Grosse Pointe , which still struggles with the remains of its WASPish heritage, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white in Bloomfield Hills. Money is the great equalizer.
If Grosse Pointe epitomizes “old money,” Bloomfield Hills attracts its newer, shinier counterpart. Huge houses are spread throughout its rolling hills—a geographic anomaly in southeastern Michigan. Most are late 20th century, although older models can be found clustered around Cranbrook , former home of newspaper magnate George Booth, who founded the Detroit News.
Drive the winding lanes and you’ll find Old Tudor, Georgian, and other 1920s-era mansions. One notable exception is the house at 5045 Pon Valley Road, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1951.