Last week we explored the various projects of noted Detroit architect Roland C. Gies. He designed at least 5 homes (that we know of) in Grosse Pointe, and the original Bon Secours hospital.
We now turn our attention to one of Grosse Pointes most prolific architects Robert O’Derrick and his work at 2 Woodland Place, Grosse Pointe City.
Having designed over 25 homes throughout the Grosse Pointe Communities, Derrick was also responsible for two prominent school buildings, the ‘Little Club’, along with the Grosse Pointe Farms water filtration and pumping station.
Alongside Albert Kahn, Hugh T. Keyes, Marcus Burrowes, and J. Ivan Dise, Derrick was pivotal in changing the face of the architectural scene within the community during the 1920’s. The most prominent period of Derrick’s work in Grosse Pointe occurred during 1923 to 1931, and crossed several architectural styles.
Derrick’s work was extremely formal in its approach, and displayed superb attention to detail. The majority of his commissions were large residences for renowned businessmen. He was also a big fan of English stately homes. Having travelled to England in 1927 to study English Domestic Architecture, Derrick returned to the United States and created several wonderful Georgian inspired masterpieces on Vendome, Grosse Pointe Farms – 211, 168 and 70. However, it is his work at 2 Woodland Place that we are going to explore.
2 Woodland Place was completed in 1928 for Frank Woodman Eddy – a prominent businessman in Detroit who had made his fortune from chemical and rubber manufacturing. Mr. Eddy was also the first president of the Detroit Athletic Club in 1887.