Ask Box

About  

This blog is about a 130+ year old house in Detroit.
ladyana5:

Oop, That was a dup of the first pic I posted!  Here’s the third one I meant to post.  (The houses at which they filmed OLLA)

<3

ladyana5:

Oop, That was a dup of the first pic I posted!  Here’s the third one I meant to post.  (The houses at which they filmed OLLA)

<3

1 year ago
4 notes
By BrushParkPreservation on Flickr. 1976.
A rare photo depicting the southwest side of the house. 

By BrushParkPreservation on Flickr. 1976.

A rare photo depicting the southwest side of the house. 

2 years ago
5 notes
By Retroit&#8217;s Pics on Flickr. October, 2008.
The Style of 82 Alfred Street.
What makes 82 Alfred a Queen Anne-style house? While it is a common error to refer it and similar houses as &#8220;Victorian,&#8221; this designation speaks for the time period it was built (the Victorian Era), rather than the architectural features of the structure. Built in 1879, 82 Alfred is of Victorian-era construction, but considering that a number of architectural styles were popular during the Victorian era, calling it a &#8220;Victorian&#8221; is a rather vague distinction. 
Queen Anne houses are known for their complexity. While there are not specific elements that must be present in order for a house to be classified as such, there are features that are common to the style, and the exterior of 82 Alfred boasts a number of them.
Asymmetry. The house&#8217;s gables and tower give it a complex profile that is distinctive of a Queen Anne. When looking at the facade, a complicated roof line is created by the high pitch of the gable, cap of the tower, dormer windows, and tall chimneys.
Corner tower. This clyindrical feature on the left side of the facade is capped with a witch&#8217;s hat roof, slate fish scale shingles, a dormer window, and a finial.
Various textures. A great deal of the house is brick, but also includes scalloped fish scale shingles, banding beneath the second-story windows, a dark stone basement, half-timbering on the side gable, and scrolling strapwork around the porthole-like window on front gable end. There area also two decorative panels (likely terracotta) between the second-floor windows of the tower. 
Cornices. While cornices are found on a number of styles, these decorative features add to the to the complexity of the house. Brackets and dentils support and adorn the cornice of the front-facing gable, the eave beneath the cap of the tower, and under the tower&#8217;s second-story windows.
Varied fenestration. There are a number of different window types and orientations: small dormer windows along the roof, a round porthole-like window (the glass now missing), three double-hung windows with small geometric panes of glass in the upper sash, et cetera 
Front porch. While not as expansive as some Queen Anne wraparound porches, covered font porches are a signature of the style.
Combining the complexity of textures, window variations, the castle-eqsue tower, large covered front porch, and abundance of details, 82 Alfred is most definitely a Queen Anne.
More on Queen Anne architecture:
Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture
Antique Home - Queen Anne Style
Building an American Identity: Pattern Book Homes and Communities, 1870-1900
Creating Your Architectural Style: The Victorian Period
The Visual Dictionary of Architecture

By Retroit’s Pics on Flickr. October, 2008.

The Style of 82 Alfred Street.

What makes 82 Alfred a Queen Anne-style house? While it is a common error to refer it and similar houses as “Victorian,” this designation speaks for the time period it was built (the Victorian Era), rather than the architectural features of the structure. Built in 1879, 82 Alfred is of Victorian-era construction, but considering that a number of architectural styles were popular during the Victorian era, calling it a “Victorian” is a rather vague distinction.

Queen Anne houses are known for their complexity. While there are not specific elements that must be present in order for a house to be classified as such, there are features that are common to the style, and the exterior of 82 Alfred boasts a number of them.

  • Asymmetry. The house’s gables and tower give it a complex profile that is distinctive of a Queen Anne. When looking at the facade, a complicated roof line is created by the high pitch of the gable, cap of the tower, dormer windows, and tall chimneys.
  • Corner tower. This clyindrical feature on the left side of the facade is capped with a witch’s hat roof, slate fish scale shingles, a dormer window, and a finial.
  • Various textures. A great deal of the house is brick, but also includes scalloped fish scale shingles, banding beneath the second-story windows, a dark stone basement, half-timbering on the side gable, and scrolling strapwork around the porthole-like window on front gable end. There area also two decorative panels (likely terracotta) between the second-floor windows of the tower.
  • Cornices. While cornices are found on a number of styles, these decorative features add to the to the complexity of the house. Brackets and dentils support and adorn the cornice of the front-facing gable, the eave beneath the cap of the tower, and under the tower’s second-story windows.
  • Varied fenestration. There are a number of different window types and orientations: small dormer windows along the roof, a round porthole-like window (the glass now missing), three double-hung windows with small geometric panes of glass in the upper sash, et cetera
  • Front porch. While not as expansive as some Queen Anne wraparound porches, covered font porches are a signature of the style.

Combining the complexity of textures, window variations, the castle-eqsue tower, large covered front porch, and abundance of details, 82 Alfred is most definitely a Queen Anne.

More on Queen Anne architecture:

2 years ago
6 notes
By southofbloor on Flickr. 
Baists Map of Brush Park, Detroit. 1896. 82 (36) Alfred is visible near the top left, between Woodward and John R.
Maps like this, especially Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, were created to give detailed depictions of the built environment for real estate and insurance purposes. With access to these maps, insurance companies across the country were able to spread liability out geographically. An insurance company in California could consult their map of Detroit and see what a kind of building material, size, and location of a structure in order to assess the premiums for a policy without having to physically visit the location. Luckily for today&#8217;s local historians, genealogists, and other interested parties, a great deal survived and have been digitized by the Library of Congress.

By southofbloor on Flickr.

Baists Map of Brush Park, Detroit. 1896. 82 (36) Alfred is visible near the top left, between Woodward and John R.

Maps like this, especially Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, were created to give detailed depictions of the built environment for real estate and insurance purposes. With access to these maps, insurance companies across the country were able to spread liability out geographically. An insurance company in California could consult their map of Detroit and see what a kind of building material, size, and location of a structure in order to assess the premiums for a policy without having to physically visit the location. Luckily for today’s local historians, genealogists, and other interested parties, a great deal survived and have been digitized by the Library of Congress.

2 years ago
0 notes
By Stephen Magsig (x)
This was an interesting find: a painting depicting 82 Alfred&#8217;s tower.

By Stephen Magsig (x)

This was an interesting find: a painting depicting 82 Alfred’s tower.

2 years ago
0 notes
May 24, 2012. (x)

May 24, 2012. (x)

2 years ago
17 notes
Alfred Street before and after&#8230;one single photographic example of the the astounding architectural loss within Detroit. 82 Alfred is not pictured, but this gives jarring context to the nature of the history of Brush Park.
Via mgsmith on Flickr.

Alfred Street before and after…one single photographic example of the the astounding architectural loss within Detroit. 82 Alfred is not pictured, but this gives jarring context to the nature of the history of Brush Park.

Via mgsmith on Flickr.

1 year ago
19 notes

Stills from a 2003 video by hoteldennis on YouTube. Includes shots of the neighboring structure (92 Alfred) that has since been demolished.

2 years ago
1 note

In February 1902, Frank C. Andrews (who lived at 82 Alfred* 1900-~1902) made newspaper headlines across the country when he was accused of and later charged with embezzling more than a million dollars (over $20 million today) from the Detroit City Savings Bank. Andrews was the vice president of the bank, a wealthy businessman, and the Detroit police commissioner at the time of his arrest.

I have been writing a much lengthier article about the life of Frank C. Andrews that will be posted soon. He is a truly fascinating character in the house’s history who has sadly been all but forgotten—basically nothing has been written about him for a century. I can’t wait to share it.

*36 Alfred before 1920

2 years ago
1 note

82 Alfred Street MLS Listing, 2012.

2 years ago
1 note
Via Prepcowboy on Flickr.
A Brush Park street scape as it looked at the turn of the 20th century. Though 82 Alfred is not pictured, this image gives the house and it&#8217;s neighborhood some historical context. The photo is both beautiful and distressing, as this is just a small sampling of the city&#8217;s ineffable architectural loss.

Via Prepcowboy on Flickr.

A Brush Park street scape as it looked at the turn of the 20th century. Though 82 Alfred is not pictured, this image gives the house and it’s neighborhood some historical context. The photo is both beautiful and distressing, as this is just a small sampling of the city’s ineffable architectural loss.

2 years ago
11 notes
By Equinox27 on Flickr. March 1998.
A very bleak aerial shot showing 82 Alfred alone in an expanse of grassless soil.

By Equinox27 on Flickr. March 1998.

A very bleak aerial shot showing 82 Alfred alone in an expanse of grassless soil.

2 years ago
3 notes