Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Raymond Carey Homes on Provencal

Born in England in 1883 Raymond Carey was a prominent architect in Grosse Pointe Farms. He designed many luxurious homes during the 1920’s – 1930’s, an era of substantial growth in the community.

Having grown up and studied architecture in Bath, England, Carey had been surrounded by some of the finest Georgian residences in the world. This level of inspiration influenced much of Carey’s work, particularly here in Grosse Pointe.

Raymond Carey arrived in Winnipeg, Canada at the beginning of the 20th Century. By the early 1920’s Carey had relocated to Detroit. He had become a key figure in creating fine Georgian style homes, and his work had become extremely sought after.

Throughout Grosse Pointe the 1920’s were a golden era for Georgian design. Carey created at least 15 homes in the community (that we know of), including several prestigious homes on Provencal, along with the Cottage Hospital Nurse’s House, in 1929, located at 150 Ridge Road.

Carey was particularly adept to designing large homes, which is certainly evident in the homes he created on Provencal, which includes:

  • 338 Provencal – 1928 – 10,304 sq ft
  • 380 Provencal – 1929 – 6,779 sq ft
  • 234 Provencal – 1929 – 8,122 sq ft
  • 390 Provencal – 1931 – 10,000 sq ft
  • 194 Provencal 1931 – 12,185 sq ft

Lets start with the largest of his Provencal projects – number 194.

194 Provencal was built, in 1931, for Earl Holley, former chairman of the Holley Carburetor Company of Detroit. The 12,185 sq ft home has particularly handsome detailing including Corinthian pilasters; a columned entrance flanked by two large curved bow windows. It is a fantastic example of Georgian architecture and at 12,185 sq ft it is one of the largest homes in Grosse Pointe.

194 Provencal – courtesy of Detroityes.com

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Homes with International Style

International Style is an important architectural movement that began to gain popularity during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The term “International Style” first came into play via a 1932 exhibition organized by American architects Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson – ‘Modern Architecture: International Exhibition’, which declared and labeled the architecture of the early 20th century as the “International Style“. Source: Wikipedia

The International Style began to gather pace in the US at the beginning of the 1930’s. Many US cities on the East Coast began to construct skyscrapers – lead by pioneering architects in this moment such as Philip Johnson – whilst ground breaking residential projects were being created by Frank Lloyd Wright and Eliel Saarinen to name but a few.

Based on research from Wikipedia the most common characteristics of International Style buildings are said to be: rectilinear forms; light, open interior spaces, and taut plane surfaces that have been completely stripped of applied ornamentation and decoration.

Here in Grosse Pointe, during the 1930’s, several international style projects had begun to appear in the community including: 766 Westchester, 888 Pemberton (by Alden Dow), and 641 Oxford, 705 Pemberton (by Lyle Zisler).

766 Westchester

888 Pemberton

641 Oxford

705 Pemberton

Louis Rossetti, in conjunction with Raymond Giffels & Victor Vallet, created several international style homes in the community during this era, including – 10 Provencal, 780 Grand Marais, 1119 Harvard, and his own home located at 1145 Balfour (in 1945).

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Moving With The Times – 41 Provencal

In the late nineteenth century an international movement of decorative and fine arts had begun in Britain. Known as the Arts and Crafts movement it stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms whilst harnessing natural materials. The Arts and Crafts movement flourished in Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910, heavily influencing art and architecture.

The first Arts and Crafts Society in the United States was established in Boston in 1897. In 1906 a similar society was formed in Detroit, believed to be the second such organization in the United States. At the time many of the leading architects in Detroit were huge advocates of the movement including William Buck Stratton and Albert Kahn who was one of the original-founding members of the society.

Both Stratton and Kahn were huge exponents of the Arts and Crafts movement in the City, regularly employing key components of the style into their residential projects. As part of the dedication to the societies expansion Stratton helped organize the first and second annual exhibitions of arts and crafts – held at the Detroit Museum of Art in 1904 and 1905. By 1916 the organization became the first Arts and Crafts society in the US to construct its own building. Source: www.detroit1701.org

In 1906 Albert Kahn was commissioned by Lewis H. Jones to design a large mansion in Indian Village – located at 8191 East Jefferson Avenue. Lewis H. Jones was president of the Detroit Copper and Brass Rolling Mills Company, along with being an active official in many other large manufacturing projects and organizations throughout the City.

The design of the home Albert Kahn conceived for Lewis Jones was one of grandeur. It encompassed a classic Tudor Revival style along with keeping the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement throughout.

The home at its 8191 East Jefferson Avenue location –  Courtesy of detroityes.com

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Architect Charles Noble

It is always fun to profile an architect who not only created large, beautifully detailed structures, but could also turn his hand to designing elegant residences on a vastly smaller scale. For many architects who worked in Detroit during the first 30 years of the twentieth century many of them were capable of adapting to this variation in scale – including Albert Kahn, Louis Kamper and George D. Mason to name but a few.

This week we profile the work of Charles Nobel – born 1890, died in 1955. This versatile architect was very productive in the city of Detroit during the 1920’s, creating several iconic buildings.

Possibly his most famous creation was the Lee Plaza Hotel on West Grand Boulevard. Having received the commission from by Ralph T. Lee – referred to by the Detroit Free Press in 1940 as “Detroit’s most spectacular real estate operator during the 1920s” – he made more than $1 million in 10 years’ (around $15m today): Source historicdetroit.org

Lee Plaza Hotel – Courtesy of detroityes.com

Nobel began working on the Lee Plaza Hotel in 1927. It was a stunning Art Deco inspired 17-story masterpiece. Its steeply sloped roof of red Spanish tile made a dramatic impact on the Detroit skyline. It featured an abundance of beautiful decorative elements inside and out, including Italian marble in the lobby, ornamental ceilings and elaborate plasterwork.

At the time it was one of Detroit’s most elaborate apartment hotels. When the Lee Plaza Hotel opened it contained 220 luxury class apartments ranging from one to four rooms. It cost $2.5 million to build – around $35 million today: Source historicdetroit.org.

In 1931 Charles Nobel created another Iconic Art Deco building – the Kean Apartments. 16 stories high with four apartments per floor, it was one of the last of the large residential apartments built on Jefferson for many years. Nobel’s attention to detail on the buildings exterior was superb, and the intricate details second to none, as displayed by the photo below.

The Kean Apartments – Courtesy of Wikipedia

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Dodge Mansion and The Houses on Harbor Hill

Once upon a time, many years ago there was a very successful auto baron by the name of John Dodge. The Dodge family moved to Detroit in 1886, where the two young brothers John and Horace took jobs at a boiler maker plant.

In 1900 John and Horace set up their own machine shop in Detroit. During their first year in business together the brothers’ were making parts for the automobile industry. Success came very quickly. Having won a contract to build transmissions for the Olds Motor Vehicle company in 1902 they were then contracted to build engines for Henry Ford, a deal that also included a share position in the new Ford Motor Company.

By 1910 they had built a plant in Hamtramck, and John was vice president at Ford. In 1913 John left Ford and joined forces again with his brother to form ‘Dodge Brother’s’, where they developed their own line of automobiles. By October 1917 they had produced their first commercial car.

Having become extremely rich very quickly the Dodge brothers were known to live rather extravagantly. In 1906 John commissioned a large home in Arden Park (off Woodward), which was designed by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls. In 1907, shortly after marrying his third wife Matilda, he purchased 320 wooded acres near Rochester, Michigan – the first of nine farms he would buy in the area.

John Dodge – courtesy of Wikipedia

In 1918, in order to be closer to his brother Horrace, John Francis Dodge purchased a large plot of land on Lake Shore, Grosse Pointe Farms. He once again hired the prestigious firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls to design what was intended to be the largest home in the Detroit area – 110 rooms, and 24 baths. According to research from the book Tonnancour he added a three-acre peninsula to the property (jutting out into Lake St Clair), in order to dock his new 104-foot power cruiser.

After attending an auto show with his brother in New York, 1920 John tragically died of pneumonia. Matilda was understandably devastated and apparently could not decide whether she wanted to finish the vast stone house on Lake Shore. In 1925, after remarrying, Matilda and her new husband moved to the Rochester property that John had purchased in 1907. Research from the Grosse Pointe Historical Society states the new Rochester home ‘incorporated many details (windows, stonework etc) from the unfinished home on Lake Shore’. This left the home as an empty shell, with the local children having great fun playing in an around it for many years. It was finally dismantled in 1940.

Dodge Mansion – Courtesy of Tonnancour by Arthur Woodford

Shortly after the demolition, the land was sold and the plot subdivided into what is now known as Harbor Hill. During the early 1950’s this area was developed with around 20 homes.

Harbor Hill – Courtesy of Bing.com

The majority of the homes were built between 1950 – 1954 in a variety of architectural styles that included colonial, early American, English, and ranch. Noted architects including John L. Pottle and Omer C. Bouschor designed several homes.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Modern Colonial Work of Omer C. Bouschor – Part 2

Last week we covered the Tudor work of Omer C. Bouschor. During his career, this Detroit based architect created well over 29 homes in the community – more than many other architects.

The architectural style(s) that influenced Omer C. Bouschor’s homes in Grosse Pointe could be described as be defined by two very distinctive approaches. From the residences we have presented there is a distinct shift from his Tudor Revival homes of the 1930’s, through to the modern colonial homes he created between 1935 and 1954.

This week we explore the 15 modern colonial homes he created across the Grosse Pointe communities. Given that Bouschor’s 14 Tudor inspired homes (during the 1930’s) are clearly the work of a man who was adept at one particular architectural style, it is incredible to think he could so seamlessly transition into designing handsome colonial homes.

Having worked primarily in Grosse Pointe Park during the 1930’s Bouschor, in the 1940’s, began to work in the Farms and the Shores. From the list below you will see just how many superb homes he created during this period.

1935
113 Merriweather

This is one of the earlier homes to display a change in style to his modern colonial approach. Constructed from brick, with a clapboard front on the second floor, this 3,500 sq ft home is poles apart from the Tudor homes he was predominantly creating during the 1930’s, and was possibly his first project in Grosse Pointe Farms.

113-merriweather

113 Merriweather

1936
15127 Windmill Pointe Drive

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15127 Windmill Pointe Drive – Courtesy of Realtor.com

1939
759 Berkshire

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759 Berkshire

1117 Bishop

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1117 Bishop – Courtesy of Realtor.com

505 Middlesex

1940
103 Vendome

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103 Vendome

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Work of William F. Goodrich

Recently we heard about the potential plan for Grosse Pointe’s first hotel to be located in the Village. However, as many long-term Grosse Pointe’s can attest this has been an on-going discussion for a many years.

While researching this week’s blog – the work of William F. Goodrich – we discovered, in 1914, there were also plans for a hotel to be constructed in Grosse Pointe Shores – a massive summer residence with 800 rooms. To put this into perspective the Grand Hotel on Mackinac has 390 rooms. An article from Electrical World, Volume LXIII (January 3 to June 27) reports ‘plans were being prepared by architect William F. Goodrich for the construction of the summer residence, which required a power plant to be constructed in connection with the hotel’.

Many years have obviously passed since then, and while a hotel is still a possibility lets investigate what else William F. Goodrich was creating in the early twentieth century.

In 1919 William F. Goodrich created several homes in Grosse Pointe Farms. This included two residences on Lewiston – numbers 87 and 115, that were constructed for the Alexander Lewis Realty Company. 87 Lewiston – see the photo below – was featured in an article in the Detroit Free Press. The article describes the home as having ‘following simple, yet artistic lines’, with ‘the interior of the house designed to facilitate efficiency in housekeeping’.

87-lewiston_old

87 Lewiston

87-lewiston

87 Lewiston

 

Designed in the classic Regency style with a flat roof, the 4,600 sq ft brick home features some stunning details, including 9 ½ ft ceilings, a large 24’ x 16’ sq ft living room, a sizable dining room 18’ x 16’ sq ft along with four bedrooms and a nicely size 10’ x 16 sq ft sun room.

Below is a photo of house number 115 Lewiston. As you can see it is built in the same style and similar spec to its close neighbor.

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115 Lewiston

115-lewiston

115 Lewiston

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Kay Agney celebrates over 30 years in Real Estate as an ‘industry legend’ at the 21st annual Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate fall conference

Kay Agney, broker/owner of Higbie Maxon Agney (HMA), recently attended the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate annual fall conference in Aspen, Colorado for members of the prestigious network. HMA is the only regents member from Grosse Pointe Farms.

The annual conference brings together a global collection of the finest luxury real estate brokers in the world to share their knowledge and connect with fellow luxury professionals.

A highlight of this year’s event was the expert panel discussions led by prominent members of the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network. Kay was invited to be part of the panel comprised of ‘Industry Legends’ – realtors who have 30+ years experience in real estate. Members of the panel were asked to participate in a video offering an insight to their hugely successful careers by sharing – the key to their staying power, their leadership philosophy, inspiration, and what high or low point has taught them the most during their career.

Kay was honored to speak as an industry legend. Not only did she enjoy sharing what she has learned throughout her career, but also she always welcomes the opportunity to connect with the next generation of real estate innovators and fellow luxury professionals.

LRElion_JS_r1Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate – known in the industry since 1986 as the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network, a global collection of the finest luxury real estate brokers in the world, this group of more than 130,000 professionals with properties in more than 70 countries, collectively sells in excess of $190 billion of real estate annually.

Members are selected by Chairman/Publisher John Brian Losh, one of REALTOR Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate and broker of fine properties through his Seattle-based brokerage firm, Ewing & Clark, Inc.

 

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Work of Charles Kotting

Having recently featured Mr. Kotting’s work at 43 McKinley we wanted to continue with our exploration of this architect by profiling some of the other homes he created in Grosse Pointe.

Charles Kotting, born in the Holland in 1865, worked on both commercial buildings and residential projects throughout Metro Detroit. Having completed his architectural studies in Amsterdam, Kotting moved to Detroit at the age of 24. He joined the prestigious firm of Mason and Rice, where he stayed for thirteen years. In 1903 he team up with fellow architect Alphus Chittenden. During their 13 years together they created several ‘landmark’ buildings in Detroit including the Detroit Boat Club’s building on Belle Isle, the office building at the Detroit Stove Works plant, along with some very prestigious homes in Grosse Pointe.

After parting with Chittended in 1916, Mr. Kotting worked alone. It is believed during his career working in the city, having gained the reputation as an incredibly skilled designer, Charles Kotting created over 100 structures in Metro Detroit. From the book ‘The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 3’ (by Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, and Gordon K. Miller), Charles Kotting is ‘recognized as an architect of pronounced skill and ability, one whose designs combine in most attractive form, utility, convenience and beauty’.

Here in Grosse Pointe Charles Kotting created several stunning homes, which include (amongst others) the following –

Projects with Alphus Chittenden:

43 McKinley – built in 1905 (for Dr. Ernest T. Tappey)

This classic English style residence is constructed from brick, and features a heavy slate roof with copper gutters and downspouts, Built in 1905, the 8,500 sq ft residence was possibly one of the larger homes constructed in the Farms during this era. You can read the full story of this home by clicking here.

43-mckinley_old2

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35 McKinley – built in 1909 (for David Gray)

The 7,000 sq ft residence is constructed from double brick walls, and finished with stucco. It has many superb features and characteristics from two designers who were accustomed to creating elegant homes. You can read more about this home by clicking here.

35-mckinley-old_2

35-mckinley_new

16900 East Jefferson – built in 1913 (for Frank W. Hubbard).

frank-w-hubbard

Courtesy of: The Buildings of Detroit – William Hawkins Ferry

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