Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – An Elegant Tudor Home – 1005 Three-Mile Drive

Having covered many of the superb Tudor homes in the community designed by some of the leading architects who were adept at creating the charm associated with this style – William B. Stratton and Richard H. Marr for example, we turn our attention to 1005 Three Mile Drive, designed by Alvin Earnest. Harley.

Located on one of Grosse Pointes most prominent streets Three-Mile Drive, this elegant home was built for Edward Evans in 1925.

At the time of completion the 4,800 sq ft residence was located on a 50,000 sq ft ‘park like’ lot. The rather impressive exterior is a combination of stone, brick and wood – common traits of the Tudor style.

On entering the property through the solid oak front door, the foyer features an ornate tile ceiling and stone floor with Pewabic tile inserts. Many of the ceilings on the first floor – reception hall, living room and the library – display sculptured bas-relief designs; the floors are solid oak plank, while the walls are textured plaster.

The grand main reception hall is 25’ x 16’ sq ft, the substantial living room is 26’ x 17’ sq ft and includes to bay windows at either end – another classic feature of the Tudor style.

Also on the first floor is a superb 16’ x 10’ sun porch, with a stone floor and Pewbic tile inserts, said to mirror the style of the inserts used in the foyer. The large kitchen (17’ x 13’) is fitted with black walnut cabinets. When the house was built a butler’s pantry (14’ x 7’) connected the kitchen to the dining room, this has since been converted to a sewing room/kitchen-office area. The image below shows the floor plan of the first floor.

Floor Plan – First Floor

On the second floor there are five bedrooms. The master bedroom is 21’ x 17’ sq ft and connects to a master bath, while the south bedroom 16’ x 13’ features a beamed ceiling, and mahogany paneled walls.

Floor Plan – Second Floor

The third floor includes two large rooms, and in addition, we understand, there is a separate apartment containing a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and a 13’ x 10’ sq ft bedroom.

The immense 2,000 sq ft basement is separated into several rooms, including a wood paneled main room, which is the same size as the living room – 26’ x 17’ sq ft.

From our research, based on info from 1972, we understand the garden is superb. Contained within the substantial 50,000 sq ft lot is a 10’ x 20’ fishpond, flower gardens, two rock gardens, vegetable garden, an arbor walk, fruit trees, and a large area, which we believe, was formerly a tennis court. The grounds also include a sizable 33’ x 18’ two section greenhouse with full basement, along with a separate 13’ x 8’ potting shed.

This is an impressive home, both inside and out, and one can only imagine the sheer grandeur of this lot when this house was built.

The architect, Alvin E.Harley, was born in Canada in 1884. When he was 19 he joined Albert Kahn’s firm in Detroit, where he would stay for 2 years – during the latter part of his career Harley was quoted “The two years I spent with Mr. Kahn were probably my most inspirational”. Source: http://history.harleyellisdevereaux.com

Having completed his time with Kahn, Alvin Harley was employed for three years by an equally stellar architect – George Mason.

After established himself as a distinguished architect in Detroit, Harley, in 1908, formed his own architectural practice with fellow designer Norman S. Atcheson.

In 1912 Harley and Atcheson went their separate ways, with Harley setting up his own practice (today the firm of Harley Ellis Devereaux is one of the 150 largest design firms in the United States). Over the coming years Harley created many residences’ in some of Detroit’s newly established prestigious neighborhoods – Palmer Woods, Bloomfield Hills and at least 6 homes in Grosse Pointe Park – more on these over the coming weeks.

In 1921 Alvin Ernest Harley served as president of the Michigan Society of Architects (now AIA Michigan) and moved in prestigious circles with the crème-de-la-crème of architectural talent during this era.

1005 Three-Mile Drive is an elegant Tudor Home, designed by a skilled designer. It takes its place at the top table of superb examples of this architectural style in the Grosse Pointe communities.


Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2017 Higbie Maxon Agney


If you have a home, building or street 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).