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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to Woodland Place

Last year we featured two homes on Woodland Place, number 2 and number 7. This week we thought we would delve into some of the other properties on this picturesque street in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Woodland Place, once a heavily wooded area on the shores of Lake St. Clair, is a narrow street, paved with bricks, and home to eight unique residences. The majority of the homes were built in the 1920’s by a handful of noted architects. Each of these architects worked on a couple of projects on the road, which is quite remarkable given that only 6 homes were built during this era.

Number 7 was the first home to be built on Woodland Place. It was completed in 1909 as a summer home for the Hazen S. Pingree family. Hazen S. Pingree was a four-term mayor of Detroit, a successful businessman, and the 24th Governor of the State of Michigan.

7 Woodland Place

7 Woodland Place

Mrs. Pingree hired noted architect William B. Stratton, an innovative designer who has often been described as having a vigorous creative imagination with a diverse range and aptitude for switching between architectural styles. His design for 7 Woodland Place centered on the Dutch Colonial style, complete with gambrel rood and flared eaves. Renowned Michigan architect Hugh T. Keyes extensively remodeled it in 1935. You can read the full story of this home by clicking here.

William B. Stratton and Dalton Snyder designed 4 Woodland Place in 1920. The fabulous 5,450 sq ft colonial home features high-beamed ceilings, intricate detailing throughout, and six bedrooms. This was Stratton’s second project on the street having completed 7 Woodland Place eleven years earlier.

4 Woodland Place

4 Woodland Place

Stratton and Snyder worked together from 1918 – 1925, and completed several homes in Grosse Pointe, including 365 University Place, 341 Lakeland, and 15366 Windmill Pointe. You can read the full story about William B. Stratton by clicking here.

1 Woodland Place was completed in 1921 by the Detroit firm of Brown, Derrick and Preston. Robert O. Derrick, one of Grosse Pointe’s most noted architects, was admitted to the firm, as a partner, in 1921, and held the title of Vice-President.

1 Woodland Place

Dr. Walter R. Parker commissioned the home, and at 9,050 sq ft it is the largest residence on the street. It is a stunning brick home with ornate limestone detailing on the front elevation – a typical trait of Robert O. Derrick’s work.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Welcome to 7 Woodland Place

Last week we presented the striking Federalist inspired home – 2 Woodland Place – by one of Grosse Pointes most prolific architects Robert O’Derrick.

This week we stay on Woodland Place, and explore another of the streets individualistic homes – 7 Woodland Place.

Originally designed by William Buck Stratton, 7 Woodland Place is arguably one of the more unique homes found in Grosse Pointe. It was completed in 1909 as a summer home of the Hazen S. Pingree family. Hazen S. Pingree was a four-term mayor of Detroit, a successful businessman, and the 24th Governor of the State of Michigan.

Hazen S. Pingree – Courtesy of Wikipedia

Pingree was a cobbler by trade. Having moved to Detroit in 1865 he established a successful shoe making company. By 1886, it was a 1 million dollar company with 700 employees turning out a half-million shoes and boots a year. It was the second biggest shoe manufacturer in the U.S. Source: Wikipedia.

In 1872 Pingree married Frances A. Gilbert and together they had three children. Hazen S. Pingree died in 1901, and so the summer home commissioned on Woodland Place was created for his wife and children.

It was the first house to be built on this once heavily wooded area. Mrs. Pingree hired one of Detroit’s most prominent architects, at the time, William Stratton, to design her new summer residence.

Stratton was an innovative designer, and has often been described as having a vigorous creative imagination with a diverse range and aptitude for switching between architectural styles. He was constantly at the forefront of the latest trends in commercial and residential design, which allowed him to create buildings that were ahead of their time. He designed many homes in Grosse Pointe, where his approach ranged from the formal to the informal, the traditional to the free flowing. Stratton was also known for his skill at adapting his style to the desires of his client, while stretching the brief as much as possible. You can read his full story by clicking here.

His design for 7 Woodland Place centered on the Dutch Colonial style, complete with gambrel rood and flared eaves – it is not clear how big the original home was.

7 Woodland Place – Courtesy of Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

In 1935 the Pingree family hired renowned Michigan architect Hugh T. Keyes to make extensive additions to the house to convert it from a summer home to a year-round residence. Keyes had a stellar reputation for making significant alterations to existing homes, and had undertaken several such projects in Grosse Pointe.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Hugh T. Keyes Homes on Provencal

Regular readers of our blog will know that we have recently been focusing our attention on the superb homes on Provencal. So far we have profiled – Number 41, Number 234 the residences designed by Raymond Carey and the homes created by Robert O. Derrick.

This week we continue with our exploration with a review of the work by another prolific Grosse Pointe architect – Hugh T. Keyes.

Hugh T. Keyes – Courtesy of Wikepedia

A noted early 20th century architect, Keyes was a prolific designer of fine homes in the Grosse Pointes and was arguably one of the most diverse architects to ply his trade in the community.

His work centered on creating grand estates for the industrialists of Metropolitan Detroit (clients included Ford, Hudson-Tannahill, Bugas and Mennen) and he is considered to be one of the most versatile architects of the period.

Born in Trenton, MI in 1888, Keyes studied architecture at Harvard University and worked under architect C. Howard Crane. After graduating he quickly became an associate of Albert Kahn working on Kahn’s “signature project” the Detroit Athletic Club.

He was also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy during World War 1. He then spent time in Europe, traveling in England, France, Italy and Switzerland gathering inspiration for his work.

After serving with the Navy during World War 1, Keyes returned to Michigan. He briefly worked at Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, before opening his own Detroit office in 1921. His style was wonderfully diverse and ranged from Tudor Revival (highly popular in the early 20th Century metropolitan area) to rustic Swiss chalets.

Throughout out his career Keyes built many significant houses in Grosse Pointe with the majority located in the Farms, including three homes on Provencal:

  • 34 Provencal – 1912 – 8,162 sq ft
  • 260 Provencal – 1927
  • 344 Provencal – 1929 – 8,496 sq ft

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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

79 Kenwood Road

79 Kenwood

79 Kenwood Road

79 Kenwood_door

Front Door – 79 Kenwood Road

104-Kenwood

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 – 635 Lake Shore – Grosse Pointe’s Most Distinctive Home?

Hugh T. Keyes is one of Grosse Pointes most prolific designers; during the 1930’s he constructed some of the finest homes in the community. When he completed 635 Lake Shore “Woodley Green” in 1934 for then president of First National Bank of Detroit, Emory W. Clark, he created one of Grosse Pointes most distinctive homes.

For everyone who travels frequently along Lake Shore you will have noticed the superb red brick home with the large flag on the front elevation – Woodley Green.

WoodleyGreen_sm

Woodley Green – courtesy of Wikipedia

Woodley Green is considered, by many, as one of Keyes finest homes. This belief recognizes how special this house is; given the number of significant houses Keyes designed in Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills throughout his distinguished career.

HughTKeyes

HughT. Keyes – courtesy of Wikipedia

Keyes was born in Trenton, Michigan, 1888. He studied architecture at Harvard and worked in the office of Albert Kahn until World War 1. During the war he served in the Navy for two years before returning to Detroit to work for the firm of Van Leyen and Schilling. It is believed Keyes became licensed as an architect in Michigan in 1920, joining the firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls before opening his own practice in 1921.

He had a wonderful diverse repertoire ranging from the Tudor revival homes he designed in Grosse Pointe (during the 1920’s), to the French Normandy style home at 78 Lake Shore (built in 1928) through to the ranch home on Fairway Hills Dr., Franklin (in 1961), one of his final commissions before his death in 1963.

However it is the classic Georgian style (of the related Regency style) that he is most noted for, including several prime examples in Grosse Pointe he created during the 1930’s:

Woodley Green – 635 Lake Shore – built for Emory W. Clark in 1934

Hudson House114 Lothrop Rd – built for Stewart Hudson in 1937

114 Lothrop_2015

Hudson House – 114 Lothrop

Trix House – Fisher Road – built for Herbert B. Trix in 1937

TrixHouse_sm

Trix House – courtesy of Wikipedia

Joy House – 60 Renaud Rd – built for Richard P. Joy, Jr. in 1938

JoyHouse_sm

Joy House – 60 Renaud Road – courtesy of Wikipedia

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe –114 Lothrop, The elegant Regency home designed by Hugh T. Keyes.

HughTKeyesThe prolific work of Hugh T Keyes is well documented throughout Grosse Pointe. Having covered several of his homes – he designed over 20 in the community – we wanted to bring to your attention to yet one more of his wonderful creations, 114 Lothrop, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Many of Keyes designs were known for being ‘built for the ages’, and spanned many architectural styles. During the 1930’s Keyes began to focus his attention on designing Regency style reinforced-concrete homes, creating several in Grosse Pointe during this era, including:

  • Trix House – Fisher Road, 1937
  • Woodley Green – 635 Lake Shore Dr. 1934
  • Joy House – 60 Renaud Rd, 1938
  • Hudson House – 114 Lothrop Rd, 1937

The Hudson House, located at 114 Lothrop was built for decorated Canadian veteran of World War 1, Doctor J. Stewart Hudson. The 11,104 sq ft, 9-bed, 9-bath residence contains many classical Regency features, complimented by numerous additional Georgian components.

114 Lothrop_2015

Regency residences are recognized for their elegance, and refinement with many buildings featuring an impressive entryway to the front door, typically framed by two columns. Another characteristic of many regency homes is a white painted stucco façade, however in the case of 114 Lothrop Keyes chose to construct the house from red brick, incorporating a large central pediment, with a circular stone relief above the formal doorway on the façade. The design also accommodates a flat, parapet roof, while an iron fence frames the circular drive way.

114-lothrop

According to research by Thomas W. Brunk, an article from the Architectural Forum in 1937 reported “Few traditional domestic styles are more in harmony with present-day building trends than Regency. Simple and dignified, it lends itself with grace to the modifications demanded by contemporary living requirements”.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – From Across The Pond.

For the next few weeks, historical architecture of Grosse Pointe is going on the road and heading to England, home of cottages, castles, warm beer and many wonderful buildings and gardens.

HMA_England

Grosse Pointe architecture has many important ties with the United Kingdom. Several of the prominent architects that have worked in the area spent some time either training or traveling in the UK, including Albert Kahn, Hugh T. Keyes, Leonard B. Willeke and English architect Raymond Carey with his superb Georgian style homes. Together they designed at least 80 buildings in the community, with the majority of their projects still around today.

It wasn’t just the architects that made the journey across the pond, many of the grand mansions in Grosse Pointe have or had some components brought over from the United Kingdom. This includes the 600-year-old yew hedges for Roy D. Chapin and his garden at 447 Lake Shore, along with the 150-year-old boxwoods located at Rose Terrace.

The English Renaissance “castle” also known as Stonehurst – built in 1917 – featured a music room lined with oak paneling that had been removed from a stately home and reassembled at Stonehurst at a reputed cost of $100,000. The Ralph Harmon Booth home, located at 315 Washington features a 15’ high slate fireplace from an English estate along with a fireplace and walnut paneling imported from a prominent residence. We have the quaint English style cottage hidden amongst the trees – 1017 Lake Shore, and of course the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House known for its traditional Cotswold style. Many components of the home resemble the traditional rural cottages found in the Cotswold’s, in particular the customary style slate roof, which features on many homes throughout Grosse Pointe.

We hope you enjoy our stories from England, we will be featuring: a home you all know and love, a fabulous garden, and a palace fit for a king.

The series will begin tomorrow (Wednesday July 22nd) when HMA goes to Downton Abbey!

 

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2015 Higbie Maxon Agney

 

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – 22 Lee Gate Lane, aka the Hudson Tannahill House.

HughTKeyesHugh Tallman Keyes was a prolific designer of fine homes in the Grosse Pointes and was arguably one of the most diverse architects to work in the community. His work at 22 Lee Gate Lane was one of his signature projects, and, at the time, was built to contain one of the greatest private art collections in the world.

He studied architecture at Harvard University where his drawings won an honorable mention in the Intercollegiate Architecture Competition (the most important event in the collegiate architecture world), and he went onto to work with C. Howard Crane and Albert Kahn.

During his long and distinguished career Keyes built many significant houses in Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills. One of his ‘principal works’ was the Hudson Tannahill House, located at 22 Lee Gate Lane, Grosse Pointe Farms. The 5,490 sqft home was built in 1947 for Robert Hudson Tannahill, a renowned art collector in Detroit, nephew of department store king Joseph L. Hudson and a nephew of Eleanor Ford, wife of Edsel.

22 Lee Gate

Tannahill’s collection centered on 19th and 20th century artists including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Van Gogh amongst others. He began donating pieces of art to the DIA in 1926, and would go on to donate over 475 items during his lifetime. Upon his death, in 1969, the museum received an additional 557 works valued at approximately $13m.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Architect – Hugh T. Keyes.

Welcome to the work of Hugh Tallman Keyes, a noted early 20th century architect. Keyes was a prolific designer of fine homes in the Grosse Pointes and was arguably one of the most diverse architects to ply his trade in the community.

His work centered on creating grand estates for the industrialists of Metropolitan Detroit (clients included Ford, Hudson-Tannahill, Bugas and Mennen) and he is considered to be one of the most versatile architects of the period.

HughTKeyesKeyes was born in Trenton, MI in 1888. He studied architecture at Harvard University and worked under architect C. Howard Crane. After graduating he quickly became an associate of Albert Kahn working on Kahn’s “signature project” the Detroit Athletic Club.

He was also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy during World War 1. He then spent time in Europe, traveling in England, France, Italy and Switzerland gathering inspiration for his work.

After briefly working at Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, Keyes opened his own Detroit office in 1921. His style was wonderfully diverse and ranged from Tudor Revival (highly popular in the early 20th Century metropolitan area) to rustic Swiss chalets. However he was most known for Regency (mostly French) houses of white brick, Georgian/Palladian, and incorporating symmetrical bow-fronted wings and wrought iron balconies into his designs.

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Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe Farms and the Roaring 20’s – Part 2: Popular Architectural Styles.

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe Farms and the Roaring 20’s – Part 2: Popular Architectural Styles.

The 1920’s in Grosse Pointe Farms (GPF) were a time of change, prosperity, and architectural transformation. It was a golden era for the area in terms of the prominent architects who were being asked to commission homes in the community.

Their work was becoming just as important as the families who were hiring them and Grosse Pointe Farms ‘dream team’ of designers (featuring Robert O. Derrick, Hugh T. Keyes, H.H. Micou and J. Ivan Dise (to name but a few) were beginning to transform the look and feel of the community.

The Victorian homes of the late 1800’s (with the fluted wooden columns, the large bay windows and the horseshoe arches) and the vernacular houses of the early twentieth century were giving way to some of the finest examples of Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, French Eclectic, and Italian Renaissance architecture in the country.

Colonial Revival

Probably the most popular style in and around Grosse Pointe Farms in the 1920’s was Colonial Revival Homes. Colonial Revival homes are typically two stories, have a symmetrical front facade with an accented doorway, and evenly spaced windows on either side often in pairs or threes. Many homes borrow features from colonial period houses of the early 19th century and some of the best examples of this style can still be found around Grosse Pointe Farms today –

  • 23, 27 Beverly Road (1923 R.O Derrick)
  • 75 Kenwood (1926 R.O Derrick)
  • 168 Moran

 

Tudor Revival

The other style that proved to be just as important as the Colonial Revival in GPF is Tudor Revival Homes. Built in the early 1900’s through to the early 30’s Tudor Revival homes ranged from elaborate mansions to modest suburban properties. Within GPF they fall into three general categories – public buildings (schools and churches), stone houses (based loosely on the design of late medieval English manor houses) and homes based on the picturesque character of late medieval cottages and country homes.

The main characteristics of a Tudor Revival home are steeply pitched roofs with multiple gables, tall, narrow casement windows (which were often set in groups of three), stucco siding and distinctive stone detailing. Some of the best examples of Tudor Revival homes that can still be found around Grosse Pointe Farms are –

  • 53, 110 (Robert O. Derrick), 118, 215, 219 Cloverly Road
  • 78 Lakeshore Drive (1928 H.T. Keyes)
  • 242 Lewiston Road
  • 60 (1927 C. Giles), 109 (1929 G.D. Mason) 110 (1927 R.A. Colder), 130 (1926 J.I. Dise) 138 (1929 R. Carey) Kenwood Road.
  • 257  Ridge Road (1928 Albert Kahn)
  • 72  Touraine Road (1928 H.H. Micou).

 

French Eclectic

Another style that has many great examples in Grosse Pointe Farms is French Eclectic. This charming style took hold and became popular in the 1920’s and continued through the 1940’s. French Eclectic homes generally feature steeply pitched, hipped roofs that are often flared at the eaves. Constructed of brick, with covered porches (with a lot of detail) these homes usually feature massive chimneys and small-hipped roof dormers. One popular example is Richard Elementary School, while a much simpler example is Cottage Hospital (St John).

Houses located in the Farms that display many of the typical features of this style can be located at –

  • 69, 93 Cloverly Road
  • 90, 100 Kenwood Road
  • 44 Provencal Road.

Italian Renaissance

Finally, we couldn’t talk about this significant architectural period without mentioning the Italian Renaissance. GPF has a small collection of high quality examples of this style of architecture. A classic example is located at 44 Beverly Road, which displays all the characteristics you would expect from a Renaissance Style Home.

44 Beverly

The most interesting example is located at 221 Lewiston, which was designed by Hugh.T. Keyes in 1924 and while it is relatively unusual for period style houses of its type in Grosse Pointe Farms it is truly stunning.

221 Lewiston

 

The roaring 20’s… a Golden Era of Architectural significance in Grosse Pointe Farms thanks to the prominent architects and their varied designs that feature so wonderfully in the community today – we hope you enjoy locating the many building we have mentioned.

 

Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2015 Higbie Maxon Agney

 

If you have a home or building you would like us to profile please contact Darby Moran – Darby@higbiemaxon.com – we will try and feature the property.

(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).