History Next Door

History Next Door
A series of house histories and videos in which Society member John Marshall shares the story of some of the historic houses found in Bloomfield Township and the City of Bloomfield Hills.

The series was featured originally on BCTV and in the Bloomfield Township eNewsletter.

 

Adams Castle – 1927
One of the most recognizable houses in Bloomfield Township is Adams Castle set back to the west of Adams Road just North of Big Beaver Rd. In 1924 prominent Detroit commercial realtor, Harry A. Stormfeltz, purchased a narrow parcel of approximately 12 acre that ran from Adams Road to Kensington Rd. On this he and wife, Myrtilla, built a 12,000 sq. foot estate house designed by architect Richard Marr, completing it in 1927.  Continue reading…

Strandcrest – 1924
In 1924 Carl A. Strand purchased a 14.3 acre strip parcel that extended from Adams Road the main branch of the Rouge River that passes a few hundred yards to the west. He built a stately frame house on the hill on the property as well as a large garage and several other out buildings. A photograph of the house was feature in the 1928 issue of Oakland Highways the annual report of the Road Commission for Oakland County.  Continue reading…

Thornbrook – 1921
In the 1920s many estate were built on strip lots of about 10 – 15 acres that ran between Adams Rd. and the main branch of the Rouge River. One of these is Thornbrook the house built in 1921 by Dr. George E. Phillips, executive director of Herman Keifer Hospital in Detroit and his wife, Genevieve, as a “summer home”. (His other residence was in Detroit near the Hospital.) There were several outbuildings including a stables, barn, guest cottage and workers house on this 13 acre parcel.  Continue reading…

Eastover – 1910
One of the oldest and grandest houses along Kensington Road just north of Big Beaver is Eastover. It was built in 1910 by Traveler’s Insurance executive Walter Thompson. Walter and his wife Marjorie (Calkins) had three children: Barbara, John and Jane. Jane, the youngest, was born the year after the house was built.  In addition to the grand house on a hill midway between Adams Road and Kensington Road the Thompsons built stables and a studio for Marjorie to practice her painting.  Continue reading…

Mary Fay House – 1925
In 1924 Developer Judson Bradway platted the large initial portion of his Bloomfield Village Subdivision which is between Maple Rd. and Quarton Rd. and Cranbrook Rd. and Lahser Rd. The 3rd or 4th house built in the subdivision is located on Lot No. 11 near the south west corner of the intersection of Quarton Rd. and Cranbrook Rd. The colonial style house was designed by architects J. Ivan Dice and Clair W. Ditchy, who designed many homes in the area.  Continue reading…

Highgate – 1913
From the 1870 until 1911 the Tibbals Family owned and operated a narrow 12 acre farm site along the south side on Lone Pine Rd. running west from Woodward Ave. In 1911 the farm was platted into twelve 1 acre residential lots and today this area is the location of many fine Bloomfield Homes. One of the earliest and finest houses built is the one constructed for Frank H. Whelden (1867- ) in 1913-14 on two 1.0 acre lots.  Continue reading…

Roosevelt House – 1915
In 1915 developer Judson Bradway platted the large Bloomfield Estates subdivision north of Big Beaver Road. One of the first homes built in the subdivision is on the southwest corner of the intersection of Charing Cross Road and Kensington Road on 4 acres overlooking the former Grand Trunk railroad commuter parking lot. The English Tudor house was designed by architect Marcus R. Burrowes who designed the Cranbrook Greek Theater, Birmingham City Hall and the Baldwin library. A detailed landscape plan was done by T. Glenn Phillips and implemented in 1924.  Continue reading…

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