Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Three Mile Drive – An Eclectic Mix: Part 2

Having explored several homes on Three Mile drive last week, we continue our journey with the review of eight further homes. The creation of these homes span several generations – from one of the earliest to appear on the street, number 805 (in 1917) to one of the newer homes to be constructed, number 1011 (in 1954).

Despite the obvious age gap, the architects that were responsible were prominent designers in their respective era’s. Given that the change in architectural style altered significantly from the early 20th century through to mid century, it is a testament to the skill of these men that none of these homes look out of place on a street that has such an eclectic mix of homes.

So lets begin with one of the older homes on Three Mile Drive, number 805, designed in 1917 by Charles Kotting. Born in Holland in 1865 Mr. Kotting worked on both commercial buildings and residential projects throughout Metro Detroit. He created several stunning large homes in Grosse Pointe between 1905 and 1930. This classically designed 4,710 sq ft Tudor Revival home has exquisite detailing on the front elevation, and has many superb characteristics associated with this architectural style including the half timbering, brick and white stucco finish, along with the smaller windows on the upper floor. It certainly makes an impressive statement at the beginning of the road.

805 Three Mile Dr.

George D. Mason. An architectural superstar, renowned Detroit historian Clarence M. Burton once wrote, quite simply George DeWitt Mason was “the dean of Detroit architects”. With a career spanning over 50 years George D. Mason created many historic buildings in and around the city, including several homes in Grosse Pointe, 9 of which (that we know of) are still standing. Here on Three Mile Mason created number 1175 for Frank E. Fisher in 1925. This substantial 8,166 sq ft house is designed in the English Cottage style, which was very popular in Grosse Pointe during this era.

Image courtesy of: www.detroit.lib.mi.us/featuredcollection/burton-historical-collection

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Three Mile Drive – An Eclectic Mix: Part 1

Continuing with our series of blog posts profiling the homes on a specific street, this week we venture up Three Mile Drive and bring you the first of two blog posts on the eclectic mix of homes featuring everything from ballrooms to bomb shelters.

Arguably one of Grosse Pointes most prominent streets, Three-Mile Drive features a mix of large residences created by some of Detroit’s more accomplished architects. These designer’s contributed to creating a number of homes in Grosse Pointe at a time when the community was firmly establishing itself as one of the more prestigious neighborhoods in South Eastern Michigan.

The houses on Three Mile Drive are a mix of grand, unique and classically designed homes, encompassing Tudor, Spanish Villa, Georgian and Colonial architectural styles. Predominantly many of the homes were built during the 1920’s – a period when many of Detroit’s leading businessmen were selecting to build grand homes in Grosse Pointe.

The homes we are about to review represent a mere handful of special homes on this road. There are many more we would like to review, some of which will be covered in Part 2 of this blog post, while others we will review at a later date.

We begin our review of Three Mile Drive with a look at the work of Robert Calder, and his design of number 823, built in 1955. Calder designed many homes in Grosse Pointe primarily during the 1940’s and 1950’s, including one of the newer homes on Three Mile. This residence is a large 4,609 sq ft brick asymmetrical Colonial Home. In a listing from 1982 the home is believed to have a large 17’ x 27’ sq ft living room, four bedrooms, maids quarters, and a bomb shelter in the basement.

823 Three Mile Dr

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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 – An Elegant Tudor Home – 1005 Three-Mile Drive

Having covered many of the superb Tudor homes in the community designed by some of the leading architects who were adept at creating the charm associated with this style – William B. Stratton and Richard H. Marr for example, we turn our attention to 1005 Three Mile Drive, designed by Alvin Earnest. Harley.

Located on one of Grosse Pointes most prominent streets Three-Mile Drive, this elegant home was built for Edward Evans in 1925.

At the time of completion the 4,800 sq ft residence was located on a 50,000 sq ft ‘park like’ lot. The rather impressive exterior is a combination of stone, brick and wood – common traits of the Tudor style.

On entering the property through the solid oak front door, the foyer features an ornate tile ceiling and stone floor with Pewabic tile inserts. Many of the ceilings on the first floor – reception hall, living room and the library – display sculptured bas-relief designs; the floors are solid oak plank, while the walls are textured plaster.

The grand main reception hall is 25’ x 16’ sq ft, the substantial living room is 26’ x 17’ sq ft and includes to bay windows at either end – another classic feature of the Tudor style.

Also on the first floor is a superb 16’ x 10’ sun porch, with a stone floor and Pewbic tile inserts, said to mirror the style of the inserts used in the foyer. The large kitchen (17’ x 13’) is fitted with black walnut cabinets. When the house was built a butler’s pantry (14’ x 7’) connected the kitchen to the dining room, this has since been converted to a sewing room/kitchen-office area. The image below shows the floor plan of the first floor.

Floor Plan – First Floor

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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.

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 – An Exploration – Part 4: Bedford Road

Continuing with our review of individual streets in Grosse Pointe, we proceed in our exploration of Grosse Pointe Park and the intriguing street of Bedford.

Many of the houses in the Park were built prior to World War II, created for high-flying executives looking to relocate their families to Grosse Pointe. By the 1940’s the Park had an abundance of architecturally significant homes, located on many prestigious streets, including: Bishop, Kensington, Yorkshire, Edgemont Park, Three Mile Drive, Berkshire, Balfour, Middlesex, Westchester and Bedford (to name but a few).

Bedford has many interesting houses for us to profile including a number of homes created by several noted designers including: John C. Stahl, J. Ivan Dise, Robert Calder, Walter Mast, and William Kuni.

While these designers might not be household names, these architects made a difference to the architectural scene in Metro Detroit. They worked diligently throughout the area, creating houses that left a mark on the communities they touched.

John C. Stahl designed two homes on Bedford – 1006 and 729. Stahl (in collaboration with Donald L. Kinsey) designed 1006 Bedford in 1919 for one of Detroit’s most prominent realtors, John H. Tigchon and his family. The home was one of only a few homes in Grosse Pointe to be designed by the architectural firm of John C. Stahl and Donald L. Kinsey. Very little is known about Donald Kinsey, however John C. Stahl was recognized as one of the most skilled church and school architects in the state.


1006 Bedford

This Colonial style 4,000 sq ft home is constructed from brick with a slate roof. It has a classic oversized entrance associated with this architectural style, which is flanked by a row of two columns either side of the door, supporting a roof above the entrance. At the time of completion the house was featured in an edition of Michigan Architect and Engineer as depicted by the black and white image below. You can read the full story of this home by clicking here.


1006 Bedford – Courtesy of Michigan Architect and Engineer

House number 729 was completed in 1938. It is a 4,205 sq ft English Tudor style brick home that features a cathedral ceiling in the great room, along with beautiful natural woodwork throughout. At some point the home was expanded. We believe the expansion, in part, featured an update to the second floor – the master bedroom was altered to be equivalent in size to the living room (18’ x 24’sq ft) and a large master bath (11’ x 14’ sq ft) was also added.


729 Bedford

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Grosse Pointe Open Houses for this weekend – Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2-4 p.m.

HMA has an open house this weekend — Sunday, October 23, 2016 2-4 p.m.:

Liana Schissel will be holding open 1100 Devonshire, Grosse Pointe Park

Spectacular Move-In ready 4000+ sq. ft Colonial on a large corner lot with an oversized attached garage.  Come and enjoy the expansive center entryway, large dining room, and stunning details throughout this show stopper home.  Tastefully remodeled kitchen (2014) with large butcher block island, newer appliances and a beautiful butler’s pantry complete with secret storage drawers and a gardener’s sink. Refinished hardwood floors and completely new interior paint (2014).  Three fireplaces – Living Room, Master Bedroom and Library. The master bedroom has a large walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom. Beautiful lushly landscaped English garden with a lovely private outdoor patio.  The finished basement has a rec room with laundry, bonus back room, 2 walk in closets for storage as well a half bath.



For more detail visit:  http://ow.ly/cK1x305mNrh


We look forward to seeing you!


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




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 – An Exploration – Part 3: Westchester 2nd block

Having previewed the myriad of architectural styles on display on the 1st block of Westchester we continue our journey down the street as we explore the 2nd block – between Fairfax and Exeter.

Many residences on the first block were created during the golden era of the 1920’s, however the homes on the second block span several decades. Primarily the 1920’s through to 1940, the broader range of influences come from numerous different movements and eras – there is the Art Deco styled modern home at number 766, the excellent example of a classic Georgian Colonial home, number 895, the Tudor inspired home of 718 and the French Provincial style of house number 705.

So lets begin with one of the older homes on the block, house number 705. Designed in the French Provincial style the 3,306 sq ft house was built in 1921. Constructed of brick, like many homes from this era, the design demonstrates several distinctive characteristics of this style, including the tall second story windows that are arched at the top, a steep roof with a tall rectangular slender chimney along with wrought iron detailing.



House number 899, a 2,300 sq ft English inspired residence, was designed by renowned architect Richard H. Marr in 1923. Marr created numerous Tudor Revival and English country manor inspired residences throughout Grosse Pointe including 740 Whittier, 1009 Three Mild Drive and 905 Balfour (to name but a few). Richard Marr was known as the “Architect of the Midwest Millionaires”, creating upper end homes for some of Detroit’s wealthiest families.

This home is currently for sale; you can view the full listing by clicking here.



Image courtesy of mirealsource

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – An Exploration – Part 2: Westchester 1st block

Continuing with our exploration of individual streets in Grosse Pointe, we now turn our attention to Grosse Park and the sunny street of Westchester with its eclectic mix of homes.

Having recently previewed the houses on several prominent roads in Grosse Pointe Farms and the first block of Roslyn Road in Grosse Pointe Shores, we thought it was time to start exploring the Park.

Many of the houses in the Park were built prior to World War II. Built for high-flying executives looking to relocate their families to Grosse Pointe, the requirement for a grand home close to Lake St. Clair began to attract many noted architects. While some of these architects were based in Detroit, others came from further afield and were of national prominence.

With its collection of large, architecturally significant homes, the Park has plenty of prestigious streets, including: Windmill Pointe Drive, Bishop, Kensington, Yorkshire, Edgemont Park, Three Mile Drive, Berkshire, Balfour, Middlesex, Devonshire and Westchester (to name but a few).

Westchester has a superb range of architectural styles, so much so we will be previewing the 1st and 2nd blocks as two separate posts. In this first post we will be introducing you to the excellent example of a Dutch Colonial home, number 947, the clinker bricks of 960 and the rare Spanish style of number 940.

So lets begin with our adventure on the 1st block – between Jefferson and Fairfax. Many of the homes on this block were created during the golden era of the 1920’s. There is a myriad of architectural styles on display along with a wonderful collection of attractive details.

Two of the older homes on the street are numbers 947 and 961 – both homes were built in 1922. House number 947 is arguably one of the finest examples of a Dutch Colonial Revival home in all of the Grosse Pointe Communities. The Gambrel roof is its most distinguishing feature along with the decorative doorway, and multiple windows. This home is 2,324 sq ft and is an excellent example of the varied architectural styles that can be found on this road.


947 Westchester

947 Westchester 2

947 Westchester

House number 961 has been described as colonial style with Italian influences. Also built in 1922 this 2,916 sq ft home features an excellent example of a porte-cochère. Traditionally, this structure provided a covered place for vehicles to stop thus allowing passengers to be protected from the weather as they entered the home. It also allowed a vehicle to pass from the street to an interior courtyard. It was a feature of many 18th and 19th century mansions and public buildings in Europe.


961 Westchester

961 Westchester

961 Westchester

961 Westchester arch

961 Westchester – porte-cochère.

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