Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Provencal, The Private Street

Provencal Road in Grosse Pointe Farms is in every sense of the word ‘private’. A private street, with private homes, and with so little information available the history of many of the houses remains private.

Over the past few weeks we have gathered as much information as we could possibly find on this unique street. We know one home was moved from Indian Village to its current location on the first block of Provencal, and then there is the large Tudor residence reminiscent of an English Country Estate. We have found five homes created by English architect Raymond Carey, the four homes created by prominent local architect Robert O. Derrick, along with the three houses by distinguished designer Hugh T. Keyes.

This week we explore six homes on this private street that were designed by a selection of prominent architects’ between 1926 and 1941. The majority of the residences were created by noted Detroit based artists, while one home was the work of a nationally recognized designer John Russell Pope – one of only two of his projects found in the community.

Lets start with 44 Provencal. Commissioned by William C. Rooney in 1926, the 3,636 sq ft traditional Colonial brick house was created by J. Ivan Dise and Clair William Ditchy – one of three collaborative projects in Grosse Pointe by the Detroit based architects.

44 Provencal

Built in 1927 330 Provencal was designed by Henry F. Stanton – a diverse designer, faculty member of University of Michigan and master of exquisite brickwork.

330 Provencal

The large 8,625 sq ft brick property displays many of the typical characteristics often found in Stanton’s work – detailed brickwork, massive brick chimneys, an elaborate front entrance – in this instance carved limestone scrolls – along with a steep slate roof. (You can view more of his Grosse Pointe projects by clicking here).

Limestone scrolls – Courtesy of realtor.com

The interior features extensive woodwork, including a wood paneled library, heavy beams and paneling above the fireplace in the living room, along with a superb main staircase and large main hall framed with wide, carved oak trim and arches.

Extensive Woodwork – Courtesy of realtor.com

The home also features an abundance of decorative plaster trim, six fireplaces (four on the first floor, and two on the second), along with a 1,300 sq ft carriage house over the three-car garage.

Built in 1928 300 Provencal is a classic symmetrical 7,832 sq ft Georgian home. It was designed by nationally recognized architect John Russell Pope, one of only two homes in the community by this talented architect. During his career Pope designed a series of private houses along with several renowned projects in Washington D.C such as the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art and the House of Temple.

300 Provencal – Courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society

242 Provencal is a striking Colonial home. Recognized artist Charles A. Platt – designer of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, and 99 Lothrop – created the house in 1934 for Mrs. Russell Alger. It was demolished in the 2000’s.

242 Provencal – Courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society

Built in 1937 372 Provencal was created by the prominent Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls. It is an imposing 7,154 sq ft Tudor residence, constructed of brick with exquisite limestone trim around the doors and windows. The house displays all the characteristics related with this architectural approach including the traditional timbers associated with the Tudor style, which have then been filled with stucco between each timber.

As with so many homes on Provencal the house (in 1984) underwent extensive renovations that included the installation of a wine cellar with the capacity to hold 4,800 bottles of wine.

372 Provencal – Courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society

226 Provencal is a striking brick residence designed by Frank A. Miles. John L. Booth commissioned it in 1941

226 Provencal – Courtesy of the detroityes.com

The homes on Provencal are in every sense of the word ‘private’. The street has some truly remarkable residences – if you have an interesting story you would like to share we would love to hear from you.

We will be concluding our exploration of the magnificent homes on Provencal next week.

 

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).