Plaster repair work, part of the first phase of the restoration plan, has begun.

Lake Orion, MI – February 2017 – The William E. Scripps Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Now, ten years later, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, Guest House begins a multi-year restoration project to maintain the historic integrity and functionality of the 28,000 square-foot Norman Revival mansion.

Preliminary Phase One work, which began just before the winter weather settled, included interior plaster repairs in several of the bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways and in the chapel (originally the mansion’s great room). Phase One continues with other immediate structural and/or safety concerns. Restoration phases to follow will include water damage repair and repairs to electrical systems, external structural items (including the patio) and windows. The cost of the entire three-year restoration project is estimated between $1.8 to $2.2 million.

William E. Scripps was the son of the founder of The Detroit News. A newspaperman, environmentalist and entrepreneur, William started the nation’s first commercial radio station, Detroit’s WWJ. The house was built from 1926 to 1927 at a cost of $2.8 million and celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year. When Mr. Scripps died in 1952, his widow sold the estate to a group of investors. Guest House founder Austin Ripley knew that the mansion and its surrounding grounds offered an ideal site for recovery: serene and private countryside with rolling hills, wooded areas, ponds and streams. He purchased a portion of the estate; and on Pentecost Sunday in 1956, Guest House opened in the Scripps Mansion with 20 beds. Today, the mansion is a core part of Guest House’s history, as well as home to our alumni and aftercare programs and special events.

“For Guest House to maintain the historic mansion, it must first be maintainable. In other words, it must have structural integrity,” explained Guest House President and CEO

The horse medallion was completely recreated in the plaster work.

Robert Koval. “That work can only be done by contractors skilled in restoration work that accurately reflects the form, features and character of the mansion as it originally appeared.”

Philanthropy plays a critical role in the care, upkeep and restoration of the historic home. If you are interested in being a part of this important conservation effort and wish to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Guest House Vice President of Development Erika Walker at or 248-393-8933.

Guest House, Inc., included in the Official Catholic Directory, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, licensed and CARF accredited health care provider and specializes in addiction treatment for Catholic clergy and religious, since 1956. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, comprised of 17 individuals including lay people and religious from throughout the United States.