About The War Memorial
Located on the shores of Lake Saint Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, The War Memorial is a legacy-filled institution with a reenergized determination to emerge as a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality and connectivity. Situated on the grounds of the historic Alger Estate, The War Memorial serves an estimated 200,000 individuals with over 2,000 functions annually, including programs to honor veterans, engagement experiences for adults and children, community events and celebrations, and premier hospitality services. With new programming and innovative leadership, The War Memorial is a unique, dynamic and forward-thinking hub for southeast Michigan with a mission to be a patriotic, cultural, and community leader.
The spacious Italian Renaissance-style home built in 1910 for Russell A. Alger, Jr. and his family was designed by architect Charles A. Platt of New York. Ellen Biddle Shipman was the landscape architect; and the house and gardens were designed together as a unit with particular attention to the use of various ground levels to the best advantage. It was called The Moorings.
For two decades after its completion, the Moorings was the family headquarters for Alger, his wife Marion, and their children, Russell III, Fay and the daring Josephine.
After Russell Alger’s death in 1930, the family sought a way for the house to be used to improve the quality of life in the community. In 1949, it was dedicated to a twofold purpose: to serve as a perpetual memorial to the 3,500 Grosse Pointers who served and the 126 who died in World War II; and it was to serve as a continuing center for educational and charitable activities of the Grosse Pointe community. The War Memorial is unusual – some say unique – because of its dual use.
Bronzed plaques near the grand staircase preserve the names of all Grosse Pointers who served in World War II as well as the names of those who died. Smaller plaques in the entrance hall list those who served in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and in Operation Desert Storm. In addition, a meritorious service plaque honors those killed during peacetime.
Two additions have expanded the facilities of the War Memorial. The Fries Auditorium and Crystal Ballroom were dedicated in 1962, and the Center for Arts and Communications was completed in 1993.
The mission of The War Memorial is to be a patriotic, cultural, and community leader.
Our Board of Directors
J. Theodore Everingham, Chair
Col. Rolf Mammen
Edward J. Russell III
Rev. Peter Henry, Ph.D., Board Chaplain
Charles Burke, President and CEO