Governor portfolio

The Governor’s Summer Residence, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Project: Redecoration and Historic Preservation of the Summer Residence of the Governor of the State of Michigan
Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Interior Design: Ronnie Frey, Frey Design
Project Description:

In 1902, during the heady days of Mackinac Island's flourishing resort activity, Chicago attorney Lawrence Young built his summer cottage.  Predominantly Shingle style in its overall architecture, the mansion's design also reflects the Arts & Crafts movement and hints of Federal and Carpenter Gothic styles.

The mansion was privately owned until 1944 when it was purchased by the State of Michigan. It was renovated the following year and then later opened to the public for weekly tours in 1983.

In 1995, Ronnie Frey was commissioned by First Lady Michelle Engler, wife of Governor John Engler, to restore the mansion in keeping with the historical significance of the structure and its original aesthetic. During the course of the project, Ronnie was instrumental in getting the home listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the mansion now bears this organization's significant plaque. 

Ronnie worked side by side with Peter Secchia, an Italian-American diplomat, businessman and United States Ambassador to Italy, to raise private, bipartisan funds in order to redecorate the home. The project was completed over the course of two years.  It is open for docent guided public tours on Wedesday of each week during the summer season.