- Charles Lang Freer House
Charles Lang Freer HouseCharles Lang Freer House
Location: 71 East Ferry St.
Coordinates: Coordinates: Built: 1887 Architect: Wilson Eyre Architectural style: Queen Anne
Governing body: Private Part of: East Ferry Avenue Historic District (#80001921) NRHP Reference#: 71000426 Significant dates Added to NRHP: April 16, 1971 Designated CP: March 10, 1980 Designated MSHS: November 6, 1970
The Charles Lang Freer House is located at 71 East Ferry Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Originally built by the industrialist and art collector Charles Lang Freer whose gift of the Freer Gallery of Art began the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The house is currently the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute of Human Development & Family Life of Wayne State University. The structure was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1970 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Charles Lang Freer, in partnership with Col. Frank J. Hecker, made his fortune from the Peninsular Car Company. Freer travelled widely, with one of his favorite spots being Newport, Rhode Island. There, he was favorably impressed by the shingle style summer cottages built by the wealthy. Desiring a similar home, in 1890 Freer contracted with Wilson Eyre to design a home in Detroit. The house, on Ferry Street next door to Hecker's home, was completed in 1892.
For the exterior, Eyre used coursed hard blue limestone (now discolored) from New York for the first floor. Dark, closely spaced shingles of Michigan oak cover most of the rest of the facade of the house. On the third story, a triangular gable and various dormers interrupt the roofline. Chimneys dominate the east and west ends of the home, underneath which are porches. These porches were originally open-air, but are currently closed stucco.
On the interior, Eyre designed the home with Freer's art collection in mind. (This collection is now in the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art.) There are 22 rooms and 12 fireplaces in the house, as well as an elevator, and numerous balconies, bay windows, enclosed porches, and skylights. In 1906, Eyre designed an art gallery, added above the stable. In 1904, Frederick Leyland's widow sold Freer the Peacock Room, designed by James Whistler, and Freer had Eyre design another room in the carriage house in which to intall it.
In 1916, Lizzie Pitts Merrill Palmer left a bequest of 3 million dollars to found a school centering on home and family development. In 1923, the Institute purchased the house, and have remained there since. In 1980, this Institute was incorporated into Wayne State University.
- ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ a b "Freer, Charles Lang, House". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/hso/sites/15600.htm. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g h Charles Lang Freer Home from Detroit1701.org
- ^ Charles Lang Freer House from the city of Detroit
- ^ Freer House history from the Merrill Palmer Institute
- ^ History from the Merrill Palmer Institute
References and further reading
- Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.
- Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4.
Historic homes in metropolitan Detroit CityJohn N. Bagley House • Beaubien House • George L. Beecher House • James Burgess Book Jr. House • William C. Boydell House • Joseph Campau House • Alexander Chapoton House • Alexander Chene House • Croul-Palms House • Charles Lang Freer House • Charles T. Fisher House • Bishop Gallagher House • Bernard Ginsburg House • Berry Gordy House • John Harvey House • Col. Frank J. Hecker House • Hudson-Evans House • Northwood-Hunter House • Mulford T. Hunter House • Albert Kahn House • S.S. Kresge House • George W. Loomer House • David Mackenzie House • Manoogian Mansion • Perry McAdow House • Moross House • Philetus W. Norris House • Arthur M. Parker House • Thomas A. Parker House • Sibley House • Samuel L. Smith House • Marvin M. Stanton House • Frederick K. Stearns House • Herman Strasburg House • Elisha Taylor House • Thompson Home • Charles Trowbridge House • Franklin H. Walker House • Warren Home (Dunbar Hospital) • William H. Wells House • David Whitney House SuburbanHenry W. Baker House • Cranbrook House and Gardens • Edsel and Eleanor Ford House • Edward Loranger House • Governor Robert McClelland House • Henry Ford's Fair Lane Estate • Greenfield Village • Greenmead Farms • Grosse Pointe landmarks • Koebel House • John and Rosetta Lee House • Meadow Brook Hall (Dodge-Wilson estate) • Orson Everitt House • Rudolph Nims House • Russell A. Alger Jr., House • Sawyer House • Carl E. and Alice Candler Schmidt House • William B. and Mary Chase Stratton House • John T. Woodhouse House Canton Township MPSThomas and Maria Blackman Bartlett House • David and Elizabeth Bell Boldman House • Benjamin and Mary Ann Bradford House • Thomas and Isabella Moore Clyde House • Phillip and Maria Hasselbach Dingledey House • John and Edna Truesdell Fischer Farmstead • Orrin and Roxanne Fairman Kinyon House • John and Eliza Barr Patterson House • Sheldon Inn • George and Mary Pine Smith House • Ephraim and Emma Woodworth Truesdell House Neighborhood
See also: Architecture of metropolitan Detroit
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