Regular readers of our blog will know that we have recently been focusing our attention on the superb homes on Provencal. So far we have profiled – Number 41, Number 234 the residences designed by Raymond Carey and the homes created by Robert O. Derrick.
This week we continue with our exploration with a review of the work by another prolific Grosse Pointe architect – Hugh T. Keyes.
A noted early 20th century architect, Keyes was a prolific designer of fine homes in the Grosse Pointes and was arguably one of the most diverse architects to ply his trade in the community.
His work centered on creating grand estates for the industrialists of Metropolitan Detroit (clients included Ford, Hudson-Tannahill, Bugas and Mennen) and he is considered to be one of the most versatile architects of the period.
Born in Trenton, MI in 1888, Keyes studied architecture at Harvard University and worked under architect C. Howard Crane. After graduating he quickly became an associate of Albert Kahn working on Kahn’s “signature project” the Detroit Athletic Club.
He was also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy during World War 1. He then spent time in Europe, traveling in England, France, Italy and Switzerland gathering inspiration for his work.
After serving with the Navy during World War 1, Keyes returned to Michigan. He briefly worked at Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, before opening his own Detroit office in 1921. His style was wonderfully diverse and ranged from Tudor Revival (highly popular in the early 20th Century metropolitan area) to rustic Swiss chalets.
Throughout out his career Keyes built many significant houses in Grosse Pointe with the majority located in the Farms, including three homes on Provencal:
- 34 Provencal – 1912 – 8,162 sq ft
- 260 Provencal – 1927
- 344 Provencal – 1929 – 8,496 sq ft