Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Hidden Homes on Lake Shore

Over the past couple of weeks we have focused on the grand Lake Shore estates’, exploring the home of Mrs. Henry Stephens, and the five superb buildings constructed in Grosse Pointe Shores by legendary architect Albert Kahn.

This week we stay in Grosse Pointe Shores to bring you some of the hidden homes on the Lake.

As you drive along Jefferson and approach the Ford house you will have noticed the long driveways, and possibly caught a glimpse of the superb homes that line this part of the lake. The construction of these homes spans many years, yet many of these homes remain a mystery, concealed by the beautiful landscaped gardens that hide their full glory.

The smallest of the Grosse Pointe communities, Grosse Pointe Shores has developed rapidly throughout its history. Arthur M. Woodford, in the book, The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, explains the residents of the community, in 1911 under the leadership of Detroit Businessman George Osius, voted to establish a more manageable form of local government, the Village of Grosse Pointe Shores.

Grosse Pointe Shores in 1915 – courtesy of the Library of Congress

It is this particular era we focus on, as we highlight several magnificent homes that were constructed on the lake between 1900 and 1918. All of these homes still exist today, enjoying a secluded existence along the lake. Lets begin with number 844.

844 Lake Shore: 3,150 sq ft – completed in 1909 – designed by John C. Stahl

844 Lake Shore

John C. Stahl designed this house, one of only a few residences in Grosse Pointe by this architect. Stahl, a German American, was born in Detroit, 1874. After graduating from Central High School (Wayne State University) in 1903 he worked in architectural offices during the day and studied building and design at night school. Stahl had a very successful career, he established the firm of Stahl and Kinsey, and designed several churches in Detroit – during his career he was acknowledged as one of the most skilled church and school architects in the state. He was also known to be an admirer of fine woods and incorporated exquisite detailing into many of his homes, including several he created in the Indian Village Historic District between 1912 and 1916.

850 Lake Shore: 4,028 sq ft – completed in 1915

850 Lake Shore

858 Lake Shore: 3,420 sq ft – completed in 1900

858 Lake Shore

880 Lake Shore: 8,403 sq ft – completed in 1910 – designed by Albert Kahn

880 Lake Shore – Courtesy of the The Legacy of Albert Kahn, by Albert Kahn

Designed by the legendary architect Albert Kahn, this Italian Renaissance inspired residence is a striking 8,403 sq ft home. C. Goodloe Edgar, president of Edgar Sugar House, dealers in sugar and molasses, commissioned it. As the photo below demonstrates the rear elevation is filled with an abundance of windows, archways and terraces, providing a perfect view of the lake.

888 Lake Shore: 4,437 sq ft – completed in 1904

888 Lake Shore

900 Lake Shore: 6,029 sq ft – The original home on this lot was completed in 1913 – possibly designed by Pohlman & Ropes.

900 Lake Shore

936 Lake Shore: 10,928 sq ft – completed in 1917

936 Lake Shore – front elevation

936 Lake Shore – rear elevation

Possibly one of the largest homes on the lake constructed during this era. 936 Lake Shore features a large library, living room and sunroom on the first floor, along with an elevator, and a full length 85’ terrace at the rear of the home. The second floor includes an additional sunroom, 4 bedrooms, along with two additional bedrooms for maids. The third floor was immense, and was home to the 23’ x 50’ sq ft ballroom, while the basement contained both a wine and fruit cellar.

936 Lake Shore – 1st floor

936 Lake Shore – 2nd and 3rd floors

970 Lake Shore: 6,744 sq ft – completed in 1918 – designed by Roland C. Gies.

970 Lake Shore

Gies was a prominent and successful architect in Detroit. After graduating from the Detroit College (University of Detroit), Gies was associated with the firms of Albert Kahn, and Donaldson & Meier. In 1905 he set up his own architectural firm, specializing in residential projects, and to a lesser degree some commercial buildings in Detroit. Source: The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 4.

His other projects in Grosse Pointe include two homes on Balfour – numbers 1123 (built in 1924) and 1004 (built in 1921). He was also responsible for designing Bon Secours Hospital (built in 1941) – located 468 Cadieux. This building has since undergone major alterations.

970 Lake Shore is situated on a 2-acre lot and is currently for sale – please call us to schedule a tour.

These wonderful homes on Lake Shore are some of the oldest in the Grosse Pointe communities. We hope our introduction to these residences has offered you a glimpse into some of these magnificent secluded gems from a bygone era.

 

Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2017 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle

 

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).