“He was always positive.”Today, positive memories and David’s designs linger in every corner of the house, including the garage.That’s where the event “Rub-a-Dub” famously was born.
The 17,500-square-foot mansion on 15.5 wooded acres where she and her late husband, David, raised their five children and graciously hosted lawmakers, leaders, performers, family members, friends and even total strangers, is up for sale after 42 years.
One reads, “With best wishes and gratitude for your friendship over the years.”Cherished Causes The Hermelins were good friends to many individuals and organizations over the years; opening their home to support so many causes it’s difficult to recount them all. Carl Levin speaking to a group from the Jewish Federation’s Young Adult Division, a 1988 gathering featuring actor Elliot Gould that raised more than ,000 for Shaarey Zedek’s Sisterhood, a 2001 performance by Itzhak Perlman to benefit the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a 1990 tennis exhibition by Israeli youths, a 1978 visit from a dean of Haifa University, a 1986 parlor meeting with an Israeli biophysicist who helped treat victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the list goes on.
Searches of the DJN Foundation’s Davidson archive turn up a 1992 mention of U. One evening when six senators were visiting, Doreen says her son Brian, then about 10, was letting a friend on a bicycle pull him on a skateboard.
Ultimately, the family did move and David, a larger-than-life real estate developer, philanthropist and entrepreneur who served as U. ambassador to Norway, had endless ideas.“He loved projects,” Doreen says. Every time he wanted to build something — he’d do it.”When they first bought the house, they had to convert space upstairs into bedrooms to accommodate their five children; they also added a staircase near the center of the house.
Their first addition, appropriately called “the big room,” is a large, open meeting space with a bar and floor-to-ceiling picture windows that flood the room with natural light.
But the first big event was a fundraiser that took place before Bill Clinton was even a presidential candidate.“We had the whole place decked out with red, white and blue decorations,” Doreen recalls. A March 1996 article found in the Detroit Jewish News Foundation’s William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, written by Danny Raskin, describes the party this way: “The president came to the Bingham Farms home of David and Doreen Hermelin last week surrounded by Secret Service men and Buddy, the Secret Service dog.