This Tudor Revival residence was constructed in the mid-1920s. The Boston architectural firm of Maginnis and Walsh designed the house for the Catholic Bishop of Detroit during the tenure of Michael J. Gallagher. Its ecclesiastical origins are visible in the decorative features. The exterior medallions, stained-glass windows, the rooftop copper statue of St. Michael the Archangel battling Satan, and the carved Franciscan monks kneeling in prayer at the base of the main staircase demonstrate the house's original purpose. The interior woodwork and plastering are believed to have been crafted by European artisans. The decorative tile was manufactured by Pewabic Pottery of Detroit. The Bishop's Residence is part of the Palmer Woods National Register Historic District.
In 1924 - 1926 this house was built as the official residence of Michael J. Gallagher (1866 - 1937), the Catholic bishop of Detroit. In 1937, Detroit became an archdiocese and Edward Cardinal Mooney resided here as archbishop until he died unexpectedly in Rome in 1958. The following year John Francis Dearden, the bishop of Pittsburgh, was appointed to the See of Detroit. He retired in 1980 and lived here until his death in 1988. No longer needed as an episcopal residence, the house was sold by the archdiocese in 1989. In order to convert the house for use as a private residence, the archdiocese removed all religious objects from the house -- the papal throne, relics, the altar and the stations of the cross -- and declared the ground "profane" (no langer hallowed).