Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Cottage Hospital Nurses’ Residence

Last week we explored several of the sublime houses on Ridge Road, Grosse Pointe Farms. This week, we stay on Ridge Road and visit the Cottage Hospital Nurses Residence – now home to the Services for Older Citizens (SOC).

The building, located at 158 Ridge Road, was originally built for the newly constructed Cottage Hospital as a nurse’s residence. Cottage Hospital (now the Henry Ford Medical Center) was built in 1928 and was designed by the renowned firm of Stratton and Snyder.

Cottage Hospital – Courtesy of The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores By Arthur M. Woodford

The nurses’ residence, a separate building from the hospital, was the brainchild of Helen Hall Newberry Joy – daughter of Helen Handy Newberry and John Stoughton Newberry, and wife of Henry Bourne Joy. Ms. Newberry donated the funds so the dormitory could be built for the 20 nurses who would reside there at any one time. A grand opening took place in June 1930, and the residence became known as Newberry House.

The superb 10,000 sq ft three-story residence is a superb Georgian Colonial style design. Its symmetrical design, intricate brickwork, and perfect proportions is down to the creative skills of architect Raymond Carey.

Cottage Hospital Nurses Residence

Raymond Carey was a prominent architect in Grosse Pointe Farms, designing many luxurious homes during the era of substantial growth in the community.

Raymond Marwood-Elton Carey was born in England in 1883; he grew up in Bath surrounded by some of the finest examples of Georgian Architecture in the world, most of which still exist today. These Eighteenth Century architectural works of art made a huge impression on Carey and during his career he would design some of Grosse Pointe’s finest Georgian Homes.

Having graduated from the University of Bath, he arrived in Detroit at the beginning of the 20th Century. The city would be his home for just a few years. In 1909 he created what is arguably his finest Georgian masterpiece, the John M. Dwyer House, located at 372 Lakeland.

Shortly after completing the Dwyer House Carey relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. However, by the mid-1920’s Carey had returned to Detroit. During his second stint in the city Carey’s work began to become extremely sought after and he became a key figure in creating Georgian style homes. His work helped transform the architectural scene in Grosse Pointe Farms, through the golden era for Georgian design. Within 20 years he had created at least 12 homes (that we know of). You can read the full story of Raymond Carey by clicking here.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Sublime Homes On Ridge Road

Having recently explored the early 20th century cottages on St Clair Avenue, this week we focus on the imposing 1920’s constructions on Ridge Road.

Ridge Road, in Grosse Pointe Farms, is one of the communities more distinctive streets, running through the heart of the Farms.

Based on research by the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, we understand, in 1885, most of the land between Ridge and Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Farms, was a heavily wooded swamp that extended several miles north and south. The land near Ridge was also used for farming purposes. The nuns at the Grosse Pointe Academy (known as the Sacred Heart Academy in that era) owned the land from the convent, via Kenwood, all the way to Ridge Road, and used much of it for farming.

Fast forward 30 years and the 1920’s in Grosse Pointe Farms were a time of change, prosperity, and architectural transformation. It was a golden era for the area in terms of growth.

The following homes are a handful of properties we have selected to feature. Many noted architects who had a substantial reputation, both locally and in some cases nationally, were commissioned to design them.

Number 175 – Burrowes and Eurich – 1922
The duo of Marcus Burrowes and Frank Eurich created their firm in 1920, and together they designed around 10 homes in Grosse Pointe. During this era Burrowes was widely known throughout southeast Michigan for his English Tudor Revival Style homes, however his 6,0101 sq ft house on Ridge was more in keeping with a stately Georgian Colonial approach. It features superb architectural detailing inside and out.

175 Ridge Road

Number 174 – Robert O’Derrick – 1923
Designed by one of the most prominent architects in Grosse Pointe, this 4,018 sq ft displays one of the most popular architectural styles in Grosse Pointe Farms during this era – a large, symmetrical brick built Colonial home.

174 Ridge Road – Courtesy of

This was O’Derrick’s signature style. He designed over 25 homes throughout the Grosse Pointe communities, along with the ‘Little Club’ and the Grosse Pointe Farms water filtration and pumping station. You can read his full story here.

Number 166 – D. Allen Wright – 1927
D. Allen Wright designed at least 15 houses (that we know of) in Grosse Pointe. Many of these residences are large French inspired homes, which include this house 4,945 sq ft house on Ridge.

166 Ridge Road

Wright’s designs, between 1926 and 1930, were based on French architectural styles, typically French Normandy and Provencal. The French Normandy country house was the primary inspiration for the American Norman style. It began to become popular shortly after the First World War when French chateaus were a model of inspiration. Typical traits of this approach include a round stone tower toped by a conical cone-shaped roof, a steeply pitched roof, stone façade, an arched opening to the main entrance, tall narrow chimneys along with an asymmetrical configuration to the home.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to St Clair Avenue – Part 2

Last week we explored several homes on St. Clair Avenue, Part 1 – the early cottages that were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century.

This week we continue our exploration of more homes on the street, along with sharing a brief history of one of Grosse Pointe’s oldest schools.

The homes we have chosen to profile this week continue with the them of the first post – in that they were built between 1900 – 1916, and display characteristics of Colonial, Craftsman and Victorian architectural styles.

However, lets start with one of Grosse Pointe’s oldest schools – located at 389-399 St. Clair Avenue. The Cadieux School – now referred to as the Grosse Pointe Schools Administrative Buildings – was built in 1905-1906, by the renowned architectural firm of Stratton and Baldwin. Based on research by Grosse Pointe Historical Society, the school was named the Cadieux School after the Cadieux family who resided in the Village. Francis Cadieux served as the District No. 1 School Inspector for 33 years.

It was the second school building to be built around this era for the Grosse Pointe School’s (District #1). The original two-story building was home to eight classrooms, and around 240 pupils. In 1916-18, a north building, 399 St Clair, was added for the school to increase its capacity. By 1924 the two buildings catered for students of all ages, from kindergarten through to twelfth grade.

Over the years the buildings have undergone numerous updates and renovations. Between 2002-2003 the buildings underwent major changes, which included fully connecting the two sections. Source: Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

Of the handful of schools built in this era only two original buildings remain – the Cook School on Mack and the Cadieux School on St. Clair.

It wasn’t just the school that was being constructed at the turn of the twentieth century; more homes were also being built. Prior to 1905 five of the oldest homes on the street had been completed – numbers 475, 469, 569 were built in 1901, while 479 and 547 were constructed in 1903.

469 St Clair Avenue – Courtesy of

547 St Clair Avenue – Courtesy of

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to St Clair Avenue – Part 1

There are so many wonderful and interesting streets in Grosse Pointe, we have already shared the stories of several of them – Vendome, Kenwood, Middlesex, Harbor Hill and Bishop to name but a few.

This week we turn our attention to the first block of St Clair Avenue, in Grosse Pointe City. Whilst many of the properties found in Grosse Pointe during this era were ‘turn of the century’ summer cottages’ located on the lake, the homes on St Clair were created to be year round residences.

As you journey up St Clair, from Jefferson, you will notice the design of many of these homes are unique to this road. The majority were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, and a number of the residences were created as workers cottages. Very few streets in Grosse Pointes demonstrate this architectural style, and what makes this road even more special is that many of the homes are still the original creations from this era.

With so many homes to explore we will start with a number of homes on the first block – off Jefferson – before investigating more next week.

St Clair Ave, in the late 1800’s, was one of the routes used by the streetcars of the Grosse Pointe Electric Railway. The original line ran from East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit to Cadillac to Mack, along Mack to St. Clair Avenue. It was instrumental in the development of Grosse Pointe during his era, providing a vital connection to Detroit. By 1898 a new service, the Detroit, Lake Shore, and Mount Clemens Railway, known as the Interurban, ran down Grosse Pointe Blvd to Provincial, and ultimately onto Mount Clemens. Source: Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

Many of the homes on St Clair are constructed from wood, and designed in either an early Colonial approach, Victorian or are loosely based on the craftsman style. Most of the residences are around 2,000 sq ft. The Craftsmen style great influenced small house design at the beginning of the twentieth century, providing an overall effect that has been described as natural, warm, and livable.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Work of Harold Beckett and William Akitt

Having recently focused on the modernist work of Alexander Girard we turn our attention to the more traditional styling’s from the firm of Harold C. Beckett and William R. Akitt.

The firm of Beckitt and Akitt practiced in Detroit from 1920 until 1934. The firm primarily specialized in designing large residences in Michigan, including Metro Detroit, and at least six homes in Grosse Pointe.

Harold Beckett was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1890. Having moved to Toronto in 1910 he worked as an assistant at the architectural firm of Wickson and Gregg. In 1912 Beckett moved to New York City to study architecture at Columbia University, graduating in 1915. After serving in Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during WW1 Beckett relocated to Windsor, Ontario. From there he commuted daily to Detroit, and established a firm, in 1920, with local Detroit based architect William Akitt. Together they designed many wonderful Tudor Revival inspired projects. This included the grand H. F Harper mansion in Lansing, 1929. The 35-room home is Lansing’s biggest mansion. Around the same time, they completed a superb residence in Jackson, MI for C. M. Day, along with completing a substantial parish house, which was added to the Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran Church, located at 2411 Iroquois Avenue Detroit. It is believed the cost to design and build the parish house cost close to $100,000 (around $1.4 million today).

Harper Mansion – Image courtesy of –

Day Mansion – Image courtesy of Pinterest

Between 1939-42 Beckett had his own practice in Detroit. He then briefly joined Detroit’s largest architectural firm of that era – Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, before returning to Windsor, Ontario to establish his own practice until his retirement in 1962.

The firms’ work in Grosse Pointe centered on the late 1920’s. They created some wonderful residences, in a myriad of architectural styles, across several of the Grosse Pointe communities. The architectural style of the homes they designed here – Mediterranean, Colonial and English Tudor – were extremely popular throughout Grosse Pointe during this era, and their work fitted seamlessly into the quickly expanding communities.

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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.



Continuing with Tradition

The more things change…the more things stay the same. As the world around us constantly evolves Higbie Maxon Agney understands the importance of continuing with tradition.

Jaime Rae TurnbullWe would like to announce Jaime Rae (Agney) Turnbull’s transition to a leadership role within the company. Under Kay Agney’s mentorship Jaime Rae is working closely with her mother on marketing, as well as recruiting new agents. Jaime Rae will also share management duties with Kay, her primary goal being to expand the business to reach more clients throughout southeast Michigan, as well as resort locations.

Jaime Rae is a very successful selling agent in her own right, selling luxury properties throughout Michigan as well as exotic locations worldwide.

Under the leadership of Kay Agney, Jaime Rae Turnbull and the team of associates, Higbie Maxon Agney remains in good hands, driving the company forward, while continuing to maintain the traditional values that remained so dear to Hugo S. Higbie – integrity, heritage and lifestyle.



Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – A Floating Mansion – The Delphine

Given our proximity to Lake St. Clair, we thought it was about time we took to the water and introduced you to a floating mansion, the Delphine.


Courtesy of Grosse Pointe Historical Society

With the increased popularity of the ‘tiny home’ and the desire to downsize to around 200 sq ft, it is a poignant reminder of how times have changed. Back in 1921 the world’s largest private yacht was being completed at the Great Lakes Engineering Works, and at 267-feet long downsizing was the last thing on the mind of its new owner – Horace Dodge.*

The commission of the Delphine was the last in a long line of yachts owned by Dodge.

Prior to the launch of the Delphine he had owned a number of vessels, with many being requisitioned by the US Navy at some point in their history.

Horace Dodge’s fleet:

  • The Hornet (1) – co-owned with John Dodge – 40-feet long steam launch
  • The Hornet (2) – 1905 – co-owned with John Dodge – 96-feet long day yacht
  • The Hornet II – 1910 – co-owned with John Dodge – 99-feet long multipurpose vessel
  • Nokomis – 1913 – co-owned with John Dodge – 180-feet long cruising yacht – requisitioned by the US Navy in 1916
  • Delphine – 1914 – owned by Horace Dodge – 45-feet long launch used to commute to downtown Detroit.
  • Nokomis II – 1917 – co-owned with John Dodge – 243-feet long cruising yacht – requisitioned by the US Navy before completion.
  • Caroline – 1917 – owned by Horace Dodge, and purchased from Edward Ford, Ohio – 187-feet long – in 1919 the yacht was renamed the Delphine.
  • Anna D. – 1920 – owned by Horace Dodge – 53-feet long cruiser
  • Delphine II – 1920 – commissioned by Horace Dodge – 267-feet long private yacht

The Delphine II

Horace_Elgin_DodgeDodge commissioned his spectacular private yacht in 1920. It was designed by H.J. Gielow of New York, and built at the Great Lake Engineering Works, a shipyard in River Rouge, which Dodge would regularly visit to monitor its progress. Sadly however, Horace Dodge would not live to see the completion of the Delphine, he died on December 10, 1920.

With the yacht still under construction, Dodge’s wife Anna oversaw its completion, which finally concluded on April 2, 1921. The yacht, the largest private yacht in the world was launched to a fanfare of music and saluting whistles. It had cost over $2m to build, which is roughly $26 million today.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Bishop Road – Pure Style – Part 2.

We recently told the story of the first block of Bishop Road; it’s early development, and the history of house numbers 1014 and 1015.

With many of the homes reading like a who’s who of talented architects who designed them, and wealthy families who commissioned them, we continue the story with house numbers 1007 and 1008.

The Homes

1007 Bishop Road
Designed in 1923 by architects Maul and Lentz, the house is located on one of the largest lots on Bishop Road (if not Grosse Pointe Park) and was built for Michael J. Murphy, chairman of the Murphy Chair Company in Detroit.


The English Tudor Manor is set on 1½ acres. At 9,000 sq ft it is one of the largest homes on the block. This impressive home is three stories tall, the first floor includes an expansive living room (21’ x 32’ sq ft), a large dining room (12’ x 29’ sq ft) a huge kitchen (15’ x 22’ sq ft), a library (14’ x 22’ sq ft) and a games room (13’ x 20’ sq ft). Each of these rooms also features a fireplace; there are eight in total in the home. The second floor features 5 family bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and a further 4 smaller bedrooms located in the servants’ wing. There is an additional maids room located on the 3rd floor. The house is particularly unique in that an elevator was installed at the time of the build to assist Eliza, Murphy’s wife who was sick, avoid having to climb the stairs – it is located in the black marble foyer.

photo 1 copy

photo 2 copy

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