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.

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

15127 Windmill Pointe Drive


15127 Windmill Pointe Drive – Courtesy of Realtor.com

759 Berkshire


759 Berkshire

1117 Bishop


1117 Bishop – Courtesy of Realtor.com

505 Middlesex

103 Vendome


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


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.


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.



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.



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


Courtesy of: The Buildings of Detroit – William Hawkins Ferry

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Revealed – 43 McKinley

Arguably one of the most recognizable homes in Grosse Pointe Farms is 43 McKinley Place. For many years the house, situated on the corner of Grosse Pointe Blvd and McKinley Place, has only been visible through the ivy that covered the front and side elevations.


For those of you who regularly pass this residence you may have noticed the ivy has now gone and the home has been revealed – it is time to share the tale of this most recognizable property.


43 McKinley was designed by Alphus Chittenden and Charles Kotting for Dr. Ernest T. Tappey in 1905.

The Detroit based firm of Chittenden and Kotting was founded in1903. During their 13 years together Chittenden and Kotting created several ‘landmark’ buildings in Detroit including the Detroit Boat Club’s building on Belle Isle, and the office building of the Detroit Stove Works plant. They worked predominantly in Detroit’s elite neighborhoods’ such as Indian Village and Grosse Pointe, creating many splendid homes.

The house Chittenden and Kotting created for Dr. Tappey, a resident of Detroit for over 50 years, is a classic English style residence constructed from brick, featuring 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.


Courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society


Courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Talmadge C. Hughes and his homes on Meadow Lane

Those of you who are familiar with Grosse Pointe Farms know that throughout the community there are many dead end streets. We recently covered one such street – 30 Preston Place, the elegant former residence of Louise Webber and Edward P. Frohlich.

We would now like to turn our attention to another dead end street, Meadow Lane, and the 4 homes that were created by architect Talmadge C. Hughes on this road.


Image courtesy of: historicdetroit.org

Mr. Hughes was born in Alabama in 1887. Having completed his studies and travelling extensively he arrived in Detroit (the year of his arrival is not known) and worked for several prestigious firms in the city, including Smith, Hinchman and Grylls and Albert Kahn Associates.

It appears he had a varied career, from research in the book ‘A History of Detroit’s Palmer Park’ by Gregory C. Piazza, we understand Hughes designed several theatres in Metro Detroit, including the Emsee Theatre, Mount Clemens, while two of his designs won the Best of Year Awards – the Ryan Theatre (1949) in Warren, and the Rapids Theater (1950), in Eaton rapids Michigan.

In 1937 Hughes designed 999 Whitmore, a stunning Art Deco building which he considered to be his masterpiece. It is believed to have been one of the first cast-concrete residential structures in Detroit.


999 Whitmore – Courtesy of ‘A History of Detroit’s Palmer Park’ by Gregory C. Piazza

We also understand from Piazza’s research, when Hughes wasn’t designing, he spent a substantial part of his career serving (for many years) as secretary for the American Institute of Architects. Hughes, along with many other noted Detroit architects, was also a member of the Michigan Society of Architects and he was part of a committee tasked in creating the first edition of the Michigan Society of Architects’ handbook.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – An Elegant Home – 30 Preston Place

Nestled in the corner of Grosse Pointe Farms is a small dead end street – Preston Place.

Preston Place was originally part of Kercheval, however over the years the land was sub-divided, with the separate plots of land creating the Preston Place subdivision.

The home was the recent location for the Grosse Pointe Historical Society’s Pop-Up tour, and we would like to thank the Historical Society for contributing a large amount of their research to us for this blog post.

So lets travel back in time to 1920 – Ms. Louise Webber, niece of J.L.Hudson (of Hudson’s Department store), is living with her husband Roscoe Jackson, president of the Hudson Motor Car Company, in an Arts and Crafts style home (designed by Leonard B. Willeke) in Indian Village.

Looking to reside next to the lake in Grosse Pointe Farms, we believe, based on research from the Historical Society, Louise Webber commissioned the home during the early 1920’s.

New York architect Duncan Candler was hired to design the house. Mr. Candler was a prominent architect in Maine. He designed many large prestigious residences, including a summer residence in Seal Harbor, Maine for the Rockefellers, along with creating Skylands, the Edsel Ford estate that is now owned by Martha Stewart. He is also credited with designing the Grace Dodge Hotel in Washington D.C, opening in 1921.

It is not known, however, when Chandler completed the design for the home and it was nearly ten years later before it was actually built. Prior to its completion Louise Webber lost her husband, Mr. Jackson, when he died unexpectedly while on a trip to Europe in 1929. They believe this tragic event, coupled with the dramatic downturn in the economy; courtesy of the Great Depression resulted in the delay to the home being built until 1932 when 486 Kercheval (now known as 30 Preston Place) was finally completed.

The Grosse Pointe Historical Society (GPHS) believes Ms. Webber used the residence primarily as a springtime home, spending the rest of the year in Palm Beach, Florida and Bay Harbor, Maine.

It is a lavish property, set on 10 acres of land, in a wooded area with a view of the lake.



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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Kenwood Road – the Designers’ Collection: Part 2

After recently profiling the first block of Kenwood Road – ‘the Designers’ Collection: Part 1’ – we continue with our exploration of this roads stunning homes. Having presented the French inspired residences designed by Raymond Carey – numbers 51 and 100 – we continue this trend with a look at the work of D. Allen Wright.

D. Allen Wright. D. Allen Wright was a talented designer; he created the Headmaster’s House at Cranbrook School (in 1930), two homes on Kenwood long with two French Inspired homes on Cloverly Road. His creations on Kenwood are once again excellent examples of the French Provincial approach. House number 79 (completed in 1925) is particularly noticeable and typifies the qualities associated with this architectural style that were present during this period. The detailed brickwork around the front door is impactful. Wright also created the French inspired home – number 104 – in 1928.


79 Kenwood Road

79 Kenwood

79 Kenwood Road

79 Kenwood_door

Front Door – 79 Kenwood Road


104 Kenwood Road

104 Kenwood

104 Kenwood Road

House Number 90 – architect unknown. Also influenced by French architecture, house number 90 was built in 1926. The front façade and the roof are particularly distinctive, as is the entrance with the wrought iron above the door.

90 Kenwood

90 Kenwood Road

90 Kenwood_side

Entrance – 90 Kenwood Road

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Kenwood Road – The Designers’ Collection: Part 1

Throughout our series of blog posts we regularly focus on the history of specific homes, profile individual designers and explore interesting roads.

This week we focus on the latter with an exploration of the first block of Kenwood Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, and its designer’s collection of beautifully crafted houses.

There are many roads in Grosse Pointe that have an abundance of homes created by some of Detroit’s most prominent architects – Bishop, Cloverly, Edgemont Park and Vendome being prime examples.

Kenwood is up there with the best of them, and may even lay claim to having the largest collection of homes – on one block – by the leading architectural talent of the 1920’s. With a road of such prominence we decided to separate the story of Kenwood Road into two parts starting with the homes created by the two most active architects on the block, Robert O. Derrick and Raymond Carey. Part 2 will explore the remaining houses generated by some equally talented designer’s.

The houses on Kenwood present an array of architectural styles, from Colonial Revival, Cotswold and Tudor through to French provincial.

Like so many of these prestigious streets, the beauty is in the details. As you head from Grosse Pointe Blvd and make your way towards Kercheval, many of these homes exhibit charming features, including the intricate brickwork on the chimney of house number 60, the superb classic Tudor entrance of house number 110, the fun weather vain at house number 90 and the decorative element on the pediment of number 63.

60 Kenwood_detail 110 Kenwood_entrance   Weather Vain  63 Kenwood

We begin our exploration of Kenwood with a look at the work of Robert O.Derrick, and the four homes he created – the largest contribution of any architect on the block.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The house that Burrowes built – 34 Beverly Road

Once upon a time, not so long a go a small road in Grosse Pointe Farms was visited by several of Detroit’s leading designer’s of the early 20th century. The road, a pretty cul-de-sac, looks rather normal from the outside, but on closer inspection there are many exciting things to see.

Beverly Road is one of the few private streets in Grosse Pointe Farms, and is home to 15 houses. In 1995 something very special happened to Beverly Road – it was listed on the National Register of Historical Places. If you take a walk down the street you will view the many large-scale, wonderfully styled homes that are on display – you can read the full story of Beverly Road by clicking here.

One day, back in 1913, a rather talented architect from Detroit, Marcus Burrowes (in association with Dalton R. Wells), received a commission from Sidney Trowbridge Miller – a the managing partner at Michigan’s oldest Law Firm, Miller Canfield – to build a home for himself and his young family.

Burrowes, already known throughout southeastern Michigan for his English Revival style buildings, accepted his new project and set about creating a grand residence for his client.

At the time of completion the 10,450 sq ft home was one of the largest in Grosse Pointe Farms. Created in the English Cottage style, the house displays many typical characteristics associated with this approach, including a steeply pitched roof, a large stone chimney on the front facade, decorative half-timbering, and multiple small windows.

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