ARCHITECT - Albert Kahn, Detroit

Built: 1906


Edward Chandler Walker, Hiram Walker's second son, moved into his elegant Edwardian mansion in 1906. The name Willistead is a memorial to his older brother, Willis, who died in 1886.

This imposing residence was designed by Albert Kahn during his early period of major domestic architecture. The imported woodwork was carved by Bohemian artisans and Scottish stonemasons cut the stone quarried at Amherstburg. Leaded glass windows, a heavy oak door, and clay-tile roof suggest the attention to interior detail.

The attendant Gate House and Coach House combine with the landscape to demonstrate a unity of design. Mrs. Walker was widowed in 1915 and, having no heirs, donated the 15 1/2 acre estate to the people of Walkerville in 1921.

Before restoration in 1978-1981, Willistead Manor served as Town Council chambers, public library and the Art Gallery of Windsor. It is now owned by the City of Windsor and hosts special events.

The Hon. Paul Martin, Sr. Garden is a recent enhancement of the property. The stone and iron fence which surrounds the property was designed by architects Stahl Kinsey & Chapman in 1914. A walk through the Willistead Park leads to Richmond Street (formerly Huron Street) and two more houses of interest. Edgewood, 1857 Richmond (c. 1914-1916), was designed by Albert Kahn for Col. and Mrs. Brewster, the sister and brother-in-law of Mrs. E. C. Walker.

It was later owned by Wallace Campbell, President, Ford Motor Co. of Canada. The Peter Dewar house, 1941 Richmond , was designed by Windsor architect David John Cameron in 1923. Turning southward on Devonshire Road past Walkerville Collegiate, designed by James Pennington and John Boyde in 1922, a number of interesting, architecturally distinctive houses may be seen.

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