As a young boy I used to ride my bike over into the Grosse Pointes from my home on the east side of Detroit. I’d ride down Lake Shore Drive and look at the wonderful mansion homes of the Auto Barons. I always loved this old towered house with its warm stone stone tower. Back then I did not know what a “Shingle Style” house was, but when the current owners contacted me about assisting with the color scheme I was overjoyed to see my old friend again. I was also shocked to see that someone had painted over the sandstone in a taupe I could only describe as criminal! Fortunately the images of my youth have returned, as this grand home that once hosted the famous author Jack Korouac and was featured in three of his novels is now rightfully back in its place as one of, if not the best looking home in the city of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. I can now agree with the phrase Mr. Korouac coined that ” There is no tragedy in Grosse Pointe.”
Architect – Albert Kahn – Date of construction 1892 – The house was a wedding gift to Charlotte Berry from her father it was one of the first full time residences in the lake side town north of the city of Detroit on lake St. Clair. The home is a Michigan historic site as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nationally famous Architect Albert Kahn designed this home in 1892
” We have received an enormous amount of feedback on the house and to-date all of it has been very positive, everyone loved watching the progress of the house during the summer (while I was ready to run away) and really love all of the colors and comment quite frequently on the detail of the home that was missed before with the monochromatic scheme.”
The owner Terri Reynold’s wrote – ” I met a man the other day who used to live here in the 70’s with the granddaughter and the son (Joseph Sherrad, Esq. he lived in the house his entire life) and he was given some items from Frankie that originally belonged to the home and has graciously offered to give them to us (the home). He also has some wonderful photos of Jack Kerouac & Alan Ginsberg on the porch, etc. (Frankie, the granddaughter was married to Kerouac)…I also have photos of the original owners, Henry & Charlotte Sherrard (Charlotte was gifted the house from her father as a wedding gift – which was what my husband did for me; the house is my wedding present!) How fun is that?”
Goal & Solution
This is the picture I saw of the house that shocked me so much. Someone had tried to “modernize” this grand mansion by covering it in taupe paint. Fortunately these owners wanted a return to the grand old days of Victorian Lake Shore Drive. I was eager to assist them in bringing back one of the best examples of this style home in the state.
The “Shingle Style” is relatively rare in Michigan; this example is a particularly fine one with shingle decorative diamonds on the second story and an ornate set of porch posts. The house body is colored in an historic 1890s period green and the gables are done in a period clay color which is repeated on the porch posts centers. The trim is a late Victorian coffee color.