Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe Farms and the Roaring 20’s – Part 2: Popular Architectural Styles.
The 1920’s in Grosse Pointe Farms (GPF) were a time of change, prosperity, and architectural transformation. It was a golden era for the area in terms of the prominent architects who were being asked to commission homes in the community.
Their work was becoming just as important as the families who were hiring them and Grosse Pointe Farms ‘dream team’ of designers (featuring Robert O. Derrick, Hugh T. Keyes, H.H. Micou and J. Ivan Dise (to name but a few) were beginning to transform the look and feel of the community.
The Victorian homes of the late 1800’s (with the fluted wooden columns, the large bay windows and the horseshoe arches) and the vernacular houses of the early twentieth century were giving way to some of the finest examples of Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, French Eclectic, and Italian Renaissance architecture in the country.
Probably the most popular style in and around Grosse Pointe Farms in the 1920’s was Colonial Revival Homes. Colonial Revival homes are typically two stories, have a symmetrical front facade with an accented doorway, and evenly spaced windows on either side often in pairs or threes. Many homes borrow features from colonial period houses of the early 19th century and some of the best examples of this style can still be found around Grosse Pointe Farms today –
- 23, 27 Beverly Road (1923 R.O Derrick)
- 75 Kenwood (1926 R.O Derrick)
- 168 Moran
The other style that proved to be just as important as the Colonial Revival in GPF is Tudor Revival Homes. Built in the early 1900’s through to the early 30’s Tudor Revival homes ranged from elaborate mansions to modest suburban properties. Within GPF they fall into three general categories – public buildings (schools and churches), stone houses (based loosely on the design of late medieval English manor houses) and homes based on the picturesque character of late medieval cottages and country homes.
The main characteristics of a Tudor Revival home are steeply pitched roofs with multiple gables, tall, narrow casement windows (which were often set in groups of three), stucco siding and distinctive stone detailing. Some of the best examples of Tudor Revival homes that can still be found around Grosse Pointe Farms are –
- 53, 110 (Robert O. Derrick), 118, 215, 219 Cloverly Road
- 78 Lakeshore Drive (1928 H.T. Keyes)
- 242 Lewiston Road
- 60 (1927 C. Giles), 109 (1929 G.D. Mason) 110 (1927 R.A. Colder), 130 (1926 J.I. Dise) 138 (1929 R. Carey) Kenwood Road.
- 257 Ridge Road (1928 Albert Kahn)
- 72 Touraine Road (1928 H.H. Micou).
Another style that has many great examples in Grosse Pointe Farms is French Eclectic. This charming style took hold and became popular in the 1920’s and continued through the 1940’s. French Eclectic homes generally feature steeply pitched, hipped roofs that are often flared at the eaves. Constructed of brick, with covered porches (with a lot of detail) these homes usually feature massive chimneys and small-hipped roof dormers. One popular example is Richard Elementary School, while a much simpler example is Cottage Hospital (St John).
Houses located in the Farms that display many of the typical features of this style can be located at –
- 69, 93 Cloverly Road
- 90, 100 Kenwood Road
- 44 Provencal Road.
Finally, we couldn’t talk about this significant architectural period without mentioning the Italian Renaissance. GPF has a small collection of high quality examples of this style of architecture. A classic example is located at 44 Beverly Road, which displays all the characteristics you would expect from a Renaissance Style Home.
The most interesting example is located at 221 Lewiston, which was designed by Hugh.T. Keyes in 1924 and while it is relatively unusual for period style houses of its type in Grosse Pointe Farms it is truly stunning.
The roaring 20’s… a Golden Era of Architectural significance in Grosse Pointe Farms thanks to the prominent architects and their varied designs that feature so wonderfully in the community today – we hope you enjoy locating the many building we have mentioned.
Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2015 Higbie Maxon Agney
If you have a home or building you would like us to profile please contact Darby Moran – Darby@higbiemaxon.com – we will try and feature the property.
(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).