$2.9M Grosse Pointe Farms home once owned by Fords practically all original

$2.9M Grosse Pointe Farms home once owned by Fords practically all original

Special to the Detroit Free Press This house was the wedding gift Edsel and Eleanor Ford gave their eldest son Henry II when he married Anne McDonnell in 1940.

It was an existing house then, not new, designed by John Russell Pope, the esteemed New York architect known for such classical buildings as the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art. Pope designed two Grosse Pointe houses; the other one has been torn down.

It is set diagonally on the posh and private Provencal Road, with its front facing the Country Club of Detroit golf course. Its rear backs up to Grosse Pointe Equestrian stables, back then called the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club.

The house is a classic Grosse Pointe grand home in excellent condition, little changed from its original form. Part of that may be because the same family has owned it for 35 years. Two daughters of that family are the sellers.

The architecture is Georgian Colonial, a center-entrance colonial, symmetrical and balanced, with mathematical proportions that set, for example, the shape of its windows.

Its inside is lush with deep trim that’s square and classical — crown molding in dentil shapes or in Greek key motif.

It has high-polished wood floors, wainscoting, large squared-off and heavily trimmed openings between rooms. It has large symmetrical windows with formal valences and draperies. Front and rear center, it has walk-out Juliet balconies.

It even appears to have chinoiserie wall covering in a powder room — the hand-painted silk that’s so valued some owners take it with them when they move. (These owners will not.)

Roofs are slate here, except over the sun room, where the roof is copper. The three-car garage has a workshop.

The grounds are a landscaped 1.5 acres. A brick wall surrounds a large area around the house and a reflecting pool.

One factor important in making this house feel grand is that the rooms are large and distinct. No walls are knocked down for a mashup of space where you hang out, watch TV, cook and eat. There is a large, dedicated living room that opens out to a stone-floor sunroom.

There’s a large, dedicated dining room, same for a family room, the kitchen and a formal paneled library. The breakfast room is large as well and includes its own kitchenette-serving bar. The house has six vintage fireplaces, including three in bedrooms.

The vintage-style kitchen deserves a special note. It’s the original large, single room, not the little mess of rooms you sometimes find in an older house. It was remodeled in 1980, but those owners preserved its 1920s vintage flair.It has white wood cabinets with butcher-block counters. In one great throwback, some cabinets have screened fronts to let air cycle through, an old way to store produce.New owners might run for a remodeler. Or they may agree with the 1980s owners who found its vintage mood warming. In any case, all appliances are contemporary, like the Sub-Zero fridge and freezer.One part of the house is brand new — a full apartment, once used by servants, […]

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