Raymond Carey was a prominent architect in Grosse Pointe Farms, designing many luxurious homes during the era of substantial growth in the community. His name however is probably alien to many people.
Raymond Marwood-Elton Carey was born in England in 1883, he grew up in Bath surrounded by some of the finest examples of Georgian Architecture in the world, most of which still exist today. These Eighteenth Century architectural works of art made a huge impression on Carey and during his career he would design some of Grosse Pointe’s finest Georgian Homes.
Carey graduated from the University of Bath, it is not clear when he left the country; he arrived in Detroit at the beginning of the 20th Century. The city would be his home for just a few years, and in 1909 he created what is arguably his finest Georgian masterpiece, the John M. Dwyer House, located at 372 Lakeland.
After completing the home for Mr. Dwyer, Carey relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he would marry Dorothy Heubach. In 1910 Carey formed a partnership with John Woodman, which lasted until 1917. His next move was to establish a firm with prominent Winnipeg architect George Northwood, however the partnership lasted barely four years and by the mid-1920’s Carey had returned to Detroit.
During his second stint in the city Carey’s work began to become extremely sought after and he became a key figure in creating Georgian style homes. His work helped transform the architectural scene in Grosse Pointe Farms, through the golden era for Georgian design. Within 20 years he had created at least 12 homes (that we know of) along with the Cottage Hospital Nurse’s House, in 1929, located at 150 Ridge Road, Grosse Pointe Farms.
It quickly became apparent that Carey was one of the better architects at designing large homes, his work here included:
372 Lakeland (12,000 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe
73 Moran, Grosse Pointe Farms.
It is believed the house on Moran was Carey’s home
39 Beverly Road (3,800 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
338 Provencal (10,304 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
234 Provencal (8,122 sq ft) –Grosse Pointe Farms
138 Kenwood Road (7,700 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
Described as one of the grand homes of the Grosse Pointes, 138 Kenwood Road was commissioned by Walter O.Briggs (a former owner of the Detroit Tigers) as a wedding gift for his daughter Elizabeth.
390 Provencal (10,000 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
270 Voltaire Place (8,435 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
194 Provencal (12,185 sq ft) – Grosse Pointe Farms
Built for George M. Holley (former chairman of the Holley Carburetor Company of Detroit), this home has particularly handsome details including Corinthian pilasters, and a columned entrance flanked by two large curved bow windows. It is a fantastic example of Georgian architecture and at 12,185 sq ft it is one of the largest homes in Grosse Pointe.
Raymond Carey resided in Grosse Pointe until just after World War II, he returned to England and began practicing on the Isle of Man. He died in 1975 aged 92.
The Englishman in Grosse Pointe has left us with some superb examples of Georgian homes. He is yet another fine example of a designer who helped transform the architectural scene in Grosse Pointe, but as with so many architects his work has never received the credit is deserves.
We will be continuing the series with a look at one of Raymond Carey’s most outstanding projects – 372 Lakeland – next week.
Written by Katie Doelle
© 2015 Higbie Maxon Agney
* Many images in this post came from: detroityes.com, a wonderful resource of information for the Metro area.
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).