Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Provencal, The Modern Marvels

This week we conclude our exploration of the homes on Provencal. Over the series we have learned just what a unique, private and special street this is, and still there is so much more to learn.

The homes on Provencal evoke a classic feel – grand designs created in classic architectural styles by some of Detroit’s leading architects. The majority of the homes we have featured thus far were completed prior to 1941 – completed during the golden years of the architectural transformation that Grosse Pointe Farms witnessed during the 1920’s.

However, post 1950 the development of Provencal has not stood still. Several of the grand homes that had been built in the 1920’s were demolished to make way for newer homes, while leading architects and contractors quickly snapped up the available lots to build modern homes for their clientele.

We use the word ‘modern’ in a loose sense. Just because a home was designed in 1950, does it need to resemble a typical home found in that era?

Where Provencal is concerned many of the latter homes, which were added to the community were designed with a sense of tradition. The respective architects have done themselves, their clients and their designs justice in terms of accommodating their new builds with the established style(s) of the existing homes.

It is the ‘modern’ homes that we turn our attention to. Lets start with a project by Milton L. Grigg, the man who brought a little bit of Thomas Jefferson to Grosse Pointe in the shape of 320 Provencal – built in 1956.

320 Provencal – Courtesy of Grosse Pointe Historical Society

Custom designed and built by Grigg, best known for his work in the field of historic preservation, it is an authentic reproduction of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the primary plantation near Charlottesville Virginia built in 1772. Based on research found at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, the two-story house is 4,513 sq ft, with 4 bedrooms, a maid’s room and a bathhouse. The entrance to the home boasts a magnificent portico with four columns, believed to be a two thirds sized copy of the north portico found at Monticello. It is reported the front doors are mahogany, containing 480 pieces. You can read the full story of this home by clicking here.

Built in 1957 388 Provencal is a 5,032 sq ft brick colonial home built by Hilary Micou – a prolific builder of homes in Grosse Pointe with over 30 homes to his name. 

388 Provencal

Also built by Micou, 180 Provencal is a magnificent 10,854 sq ft Georgian Colonial home built in 1958. It is reminiscent of many of the grand homes built in the 1920’s, and features all the exquisite exterior details you would expect to find on a home of this grandeur.

180 Provencal

Keeping with the theme of Micou brick built Colonial homes, 324 Provencal was built in 1964. The 6,825 sq ft house features five bedrooms, six full baths, library, family room, and an elevator. Many of the ceilings are 10ft high. The exterior features a superb bay window on the front elevation, and wonderful brick detailing – evocative of the style from the 1920’s.

324 Provencal – Courtesy of realtor.com

Built in 1966 360 Provencal is designed with a French architectural approach. Micou created, and once again built the home to a very classic specification. The interior of this 3,917 sq ft brick home features a paneled library (19’ x 15’), a large living room (28’ x 15’) with a detailed natural fireplace, along with pegged hardwood flooring in the foyer, library, living room and dining room. As with so many of the residences on Provencal the grounds are beautifully landscaped and overlook the Country Club of Detroit.

360 Provencal

We have thoroughly enjoyed researching the many superb homes on Provencal. It is a unique street with an eclectic mix of the old and the new. And whether the homes were built in the 1920’s or constructed in the 1960’s we can certainly conclude all the homes are beautifully formed and play their part in shaping the history of this wonderful road.

 

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).