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…

Hickory Grove Farm – 1917
In 1916 Sherman Depew purchased a 145 acre farm on the south side of Hickory Grove Road between Lahser Rd, and Telegraph Rd. Sherman is listed among the founders of the Bloomfield Open Hunt (BOH) club in 1917. Depew (1880-1924) was the nephew of Chauncey Depew (1834-192) who was an attorney for Cornelius Vanderbilt. Hazel (1881-1976) was the daughter of Hazen Pingree, Mayor of Detroit (1889-1897) and Governor of Michigan (1897-1901).  Continue reading…

L.A Young House – 1917
In 1914 one of the earliest subdivisions platted in Bloomfield Township was created by Herbert and Elizabeth Broughton the South West corner of the intersection of Quarton Rd. and Wing Lake Rd. adjoining the north shore of Wing Lake. The Broughton’s Park Subdivision contained 29 lots. In 1916, the Broughtons sold five (5) lots to E.W. & Allice McGookin. The original portions of the house may well have been built by the McGookins in 1917, as noted in the township assessor’s field sheets.  Continue reading…

Raymond Bower House – 1929
In 1927 Edward Butler had a grand scheme to create an English Style (residential) village in Bloomfield Center on E. Long Lake Road just to the east of the newly built Fox & Hounds Inn. He platted a subdivision of 48 small lots. Builder Frank Couzens (son of US Senator from Michigan, James Couzens) purchased several of the lots. He built a lovely English cottage designed by prominent Detroit area architect, J. Ivan Dice and sold it to Max Stringer in 1929.  Continue reading…

Griswold House- 1939
Lone Pine Road Estates along the south side of Lone Pine Rd. between Lahser Rd. and the Township Library was platted in 1925 containing 111 residential building lots. About 1938 the Griswolds, Arthur and Bessie, purchased Lot No. 18, on the corner of Ponvalley Rd. and Lone Pine Rd. Their houses was completed a year or two later, certainly by 1941.  Continue reading…

Hillwood – 1922
Edward P Hammond was the son of George Hammond who made a fortune at the end of the 19th century with refrigerated train cars for transporting meat from Chicago to the east coast.  Edward managed the Hammond Building the, first “sky scraper” (10 stories) in Detroit, and was the president of Gemmer Manufacturing Co.   Continue reading…

Robins Hood’s Barn – 1900
In 1902 Jay Bassett purchased a 20 acre farm along the south side of E. Long Lake Rd. a short distance west of Kensington Rd. On the farm was a large cow barn to which in 1910 he attached the old wooden one-room Schoolhouse from the corner of Long Lake Rd. and Woodward Ave., which was being replaced by a new brick school building.  Continue reading…

Taliaferro House – 1925
In 1916 Judson Bradway platted Trowbridge Farms, his second large subdivision in the Bloomfield area. He immediately laid out the gravel roads with concrete gutters and storm sewers. When the City of Bloomfield Hills was incorporated in 1932 it became part of the City. About this same time the relocation of the GTWRR R.O.W. cut right through the east side of Trowbridge Farms eliminating several of the lots.  Continue reading…

Lyon House – 1925
At the beginning of the 20th century, Millard T. Conklin owned a 30 acre estate, Oakhurst, where the current Woodward Ave. entrance to Cranbrook Educational Community (CEC) is today. In 1924 he sold a 3.6 acre triangular parcel on the west side of Cranbrook Rd, to Ralph Stone. This parcel and the house that was built on it has been known by four (4) different name over the past 93 year.  Continue reading…

Kennoway House – 1853
This House history is a bit different than the previous ones I have featured. The house is located in Beverly Hills on West Kennoway Rd. next to the Groves High School football stadium. In 2008 I met Jay Meehan, professor of Sociology at Oakland University. In the course of our conversation he told me that his house had been moved to its present location on what was the Thompson 69 acre estate, Kennoway, in 1946.  Continue reading…

Beaudette – 1918
In 1912 Judson Bradway registered the plat map for the Bloomfield Highland Subdivision with its 59 residential lots. This was almost certainly his earliest of Bradway’s developments in the Bloomfield Area. It preceded Bloomfield Estates and Trowbridge Farms by at least 3 years. It is located off the west side of Woodward Avenue less than one quarter of a mile north of Square Lake Rd. and is traversed by North and South Berkshire Roads. Continue reading…

Red Oaks – 1913
In the middle of Judson Bradway’s gigantic Bloomfield Village Subdivision is a small independent Subdivision of 10 lots named Red Oaks of Bloomfield Village. In that subdivision is a grand century old estate house which itself is has been known as Red Oaks since it was first built. What is the story?  Continue reading…

Glenmere – 1924
In 1918 George E. Edmunds (b. 1878) and his wife, Margaret (b. 1885) purchased 18.3 acres on Lone Pine Road adjacent on the west to what is now High Gate, the estate of the Polk Family. According to the records of the assessing department of the City of Bloomfield Hills, the Edmunds’ house at 350 Lowell Court was built in 1924. Continue reading…

Raquet House – 1927
Carl R. Raquet and his first wife Florence purchase Lot No. 71 in the large Lone Pine Road Estates subdivision in July 1926. The Lot is located at the very southern end of Ponvalley Rd. where it meets Timberlake Dr.  Carl was vice president of the Detroit Steel Products Co.  Continue reading...

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