Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Rivard – Part 1

As with so many of the streets in Grosse Pointe, there is a rich, and checkered past. Many of the streets we have come to take for granted date back hundreds of years, and represent far more than just a street name.

Some of the older road names in Grosse Pointe are Rivard, Renaud, Vernier, Grand Marais, Provencal and Beaufait (to name but a few), which, you may have noticed, have a distinctly French theme to them.

During the eighteenth century the French occupied much of the farmland that was so important to the Grosse Pointe area. During this era it is believed the area was heavily wooded and swampy, however it proved to be a great area for farming. Many of the early farms generally had around 300 feet of water frontage, ran one – two miles inland, and were owned by some very familiar names (as mentioned above), that we now recognize.

One of the earliest French farmers to settle in the Grosse Pointe region was the Rivard Family. Having taken ownership of a ribbon farm in 1762 the Rivard’s were a prominent family in the community.

Shortly after moving to the area Jean Baptiste Rivard married a young woman of German descent and together they had 13 children. After the death of Jean Baptiste in 1805, two of his sons (Charles and Francois) managed the land, which was ultimately sold by Farncois’s son around 1852. According to research in the book Tonnanour – ‘The sale of the land coincided with the end of the French ribbon farm system. During this period, Wayne County began to divide into sections and the township of Grosse Pointe became independent in 1848’.

Today the Rivard name remains very prominent in the community and the street is home to many grand residences. Over the next couple of weeks we will be presenting some of these homes, starting with the earliest – constructed between 1918 and 1922.

Number 482 was completed in 1918, having been designed by the prominent firm of Stratton and Snyder. The 3,200 sq ft home is designed in a colonial architectural style with a clapboard exterior, and steeply pitched roof.

William Buck Stratton and Dalton J. V Snyder worked together between 1918-1925, and created several homes in Grosse Pointe including: 4 Woodland Place, 365 University Place, 341 Lakeland and 15366 Windmill Pointe.

482 Rivard

482 Rivard

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Top Producers of 2016!

Higbie Maxon Agney congratulates the Top Producers of 2016!

Jaime Rae Turnbull, Libby Follis, Dennis Andrus, Michelle Agosta, Darlene D’Amico and Heather Adragna Ulku!












2015 Annual Report – Grosse Pointe Real Estate

Higbie Maxon Agney is pleased to offer our 2015 Grosse Pointe Real Estate Annual Report – Within this report you will find information on average sale prices, sales volume, real estate trends, and much more.

HMA_report2015 was an extraordinary year for real estate in the community. The last twelve months recorded over $277million in residential sales alone; the largest number of homes sold in the past 5 years – 870; and the year culminated with the highest average price since 2011 – $318,803 – an increase of 48% over the last five years. The past year was also the best year in a decade for million dollar sales– 20 luxury homes sold at $1 million or greater.

Please click on the image to the left to access the full report.

Our goal is to give you an accurate and complete picture of the 2015 Grosse Pointe housing market. All of the graphs were produced internally for Higbie Maxon Agney using MiRealsource and Realcomp II, LTD multiple listing services.

Higbie Maxon Agney is the only brokerage in Grosse Pointe that tracks every single home sale in both multiple listing systems and seeks out and removes inconsistencies in the raw data. We are confident these are the best statistics currently available on the Grosse Pointe housing market, and we hope that you will find the contents of this report readable and useful!

We cannot predict what will happen in 2016 however, we can use this information to help our clients make informed and educated real estate decisions in the coming year.

We look forward to assisting you with any real estate needs you may have in the coming year.



Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Diverse work of Crombie and Stanton – 340 Lakeland

When Charles Crombie and Henry F. Stanton formed their Detroit based architectural firm in 1914, they created a firm with a very eclectic portfolio. Not only did they design one of the largest homes in Grosse Pointe City, they also claimed third place in a national competition for the design of a low-cost brick house with 4-6 rooms.

The award winning small brick home on Woodward Ave, Detroit, was contained within a rectangle measuring no more than 28 x 30 ft. and its success resulted with their work being featured in a book entitled ‘500 Small Houses of the Twenties’, which was published in 1923.


Courtesy of books.google.com ‘500 Small Houses of the Twenties’

It is incredible to think that given their success with smaller homes, two years later, in 1925, they turned their attention to the other end of the scale designing the 9,500 sq ft residence at 340 Lakeland.

340 Lakeland

Built in 1925 on a large 1.14 Acre lot the stunning English manor house is a brick construction, with slate roof, and 3 stunning interlocking brick chimneys on the front elevation. The front of the 3-storey home also features a magnificent bay window and a wonderfully detailed front entrance with five rows of brick set within a step formation leading to the front door. The back of the property includes 5 big brick archways, creating an enclosed walkway. The level of craftsmanship of the brickwork on this home demonstrates a mastery of the skill.

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The outstanding craftsmanship was ever present inside. The home contains 8 bedrooms, 5 of which feature a fireplace, with an additional 3 large fireplaces in the rooms on the first floor. The large windows result in huge amounts of light flooding each room, thus emphasizing the magnificent architectural detailing which included a dragon holding a compass in its talons on the textured ceiling in the living room. Additional carved features were also present in the crown molding, with the living room also home to the homes grandest fireplace – built from cut stone the fireplace runs from floor to ceiling, and features a beautiful herringbone pattern, made of brick, in the hearth.


Courtesy of Trulia.com

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Welcome to 355 Lincoln, Grosse Pointe City.

Probably one of Grosse Pointes most beautiful homes, 355 Lincoln has a storied history and is looking for a hero to return it to its former glory.


The 8,733 sq ft English manor was built in 1913 and it is one of Grosse Pointe City’s largest and oldest homes. This is a rare gem with sunning woodwork, decorative carved limestone, plaster and multiple grand fireplaces. The house has many graceful rooms and features include a superb library with an 18’ barrel shaped ceiling with a choir loft leading to a balcony, and a ballroom sized living room.


The garden was one of the first in Michigan to be designed by nationally renowned landscape architect Ellen Shipman. Originally from New York Shipman was also responsible for the wonderful gardens at Rose Terrace, 99 Lothrop, and Lake Terrace.

Despite needing significant restoration and renovation, the next owner of 355 Lincoln will have the opportunity to save what is arguably one of the most beautiful and unique homes in the Grosse Pointe’s.

Please click here to view the complete range of photo’s of this extraordinary home.


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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – the John M. Dwyer house – 372 Lakeland.

Last week we introduced you to English architect Raymond Carey and his magnificent Georgian Homes around Grosse Pointe. One house in particular, 372 Lakeland caused quite the debate. There was a discussion that Carey might not have been the architect after all and the design of the home should be attributed to George Hunt Ingraham, an architect from Boston who worked in Detroit for a few years.

372 lakeland


372 Lakeland_1

We took our story to the wonderful team at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society to see if they could shed further light on the designer of the home. Despite their extensive files and many photo’s we could not get a definitive answer as to Carey’s involvement. But this did prove one thing, which is how lucky we are to have such a superb Historical Society here in Grosse Pointe, and without them we wouldn’t have gotten this far with our story of 372 Lakeland, a house that has a very interesting tale to tell.

The house located at 372 Lakeland was built for John M. Dwyer in 1909. At just under 12,000 Square feet, it is one of the largest homes in Grosse Pointe, and one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the community.

photo 1

Photo courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society

Back in the mid 19th century Detroit was the stove capital of the world. The city had four large stove manufactures producing more than ten percent of the stoves sold around the world at the time. The Dwyer brothers, Jeremiah and James, founded three of the four companies. John M. Dwyer, son of Jeremiah and nephew of James, was the vice president of the Peninsula Stove Company.

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Grosse Pointe Open Houses for Sunday, June, 7, 2015 2-4 p.m.

HMA has two open houses this weekend- Sunday, June, 7, 2015, 2-4 p.m.

Michelle Agosta will be holding open 1035 Yorkshire, Grosse Pointe Park

Beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 3 car garage colonial in Grosse Pointe Park on a great street.  Home has large rooms for entertaining with an open floor plan feeling.  Kitchen is newer with granite counters and breakfast bar.  Large master bedroom suite and walk in closet.  House is situated on a large lot that provides privacy and plenty of space for outdoor play. Plenty of grass plus a very large deck.  This home is move in ready and just waiting for its next owners! This 3,200 sq. ft. home is listed for $479,000.



For more detail visit: http://ow.ly/NV8h6



Drew Wrosch will be holding open 1485 Fairholme, Grosse Pointe Woods

Beautiful well maintained and updated Cape Cod style home on a quite family friendly street.  NEW kitchen with bamboo flooring and maple cabinets. NEW roof. Replacement windows. 3 fireplaces. Spacious master suite w/walk-in closet, fireplace, full bath. Central A/C AND attic fan. NEWER furnace. Fabulous enclosed walk-through breezeway w/fireplace. Large basement w/wet bar. Grosse Pointe schools and steps away from Sweeney Park! This 1,813 sq. ft. home is listed for $225,000.



For more detail visit: http://ow.ly/NV9i7


We look forward to seeing you!

For a full list of this weekend’s Open House’s visit: http://ow.ly/CWuaf


Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – 315 Washington, aka the Ralph Harmon Booth House.

Marcus Burrowes was a versatile artist, designing residential, public and municipal buildings in and near Detroit. Born in 1874 he had a long and very distinguished career working with the crème de la crème of architectural talent in Detroit in the early 20th Century, including: Albert Kahn, William B Stratton, Frank C. Baldwin and George Booth.

MBurrowesIn 1914 Burrowes set up his own practice with a colleague named Dalton Wells. This was followed in 1920 by a second close association when Burrowes joined forces with Frank Eurich (a graduate from Cornell University). During this era (the 1920’s and 30’s) his work on English Style revival buildings was widely known throughout Southeast Michigan, a style he also brought to the Grosse Pointe communities as part of the eight buildings (that we know of) he designed here, with all but one still standing today.

One of Burrowes greatest achievements was the Ralph Harmon Booth house, located at 315 Washington, Grosse Pointe City. The 22-room, 11,500 sq ft home was built in 1924 for Ralph Harmon Booth, president of Booth newspapers and major arts patron in Detroit (brother of George Gough Booth), his wife Mary and their two children.

Ralph Booth was the U.S Minister to Denmark and was appointed first president of Detroit’s newly formed Arts Commission. Aside from being responsible for influencing the City of Detroit to construct the Detroit Institute of Arts (in 1922-1927) he also donated huge amounts of art and funding to the organization.

No expense was spared in building, what has been described, as one of one of the most superb homes in the state of Michigan. The design is a mix of Tudor, Early English Renaissance style and is spectacular inside and out – a reflection of Booths immersion in the world of arts and Burrowes talent as a designer.

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