For the past couple of weeks we have been reviewing the historic homes on Lake Shore, in Grosse Pointe Shores – in particular the homes that were built before 1911.
This week we head to Grosse Pointe Park to one of the largest lots on Bishop Road, number 1007.
Michael J. Murphy, president of the Murphy Chair Company in Detroit, commissioned the home in 1923, hiring the firm of Walter Maul and Walter Lentz (the former partners of – Walter MacFarlane, who died in 1919). Maul and Lentz, both graduates from the University of Michigan, designed many historic homes in Indian Village, and the affluent suburbs of Metro Detroit during this era. Here in Grosse Pointe, we believe they designed at least 3 other homes – 411 Lake Land, Grosse Pointe (1924), 699 Lake Shore (1924), and 805 Whittier (1934).
The English Tudor Manor is set on 1½ acres, and the home itself is 8,000 sq ft – one of the largest homes on the block. The house has a distinctive style, the steeply pitched rooflines dominate the design, while the patterned brick work (a particular trait of these two architects) and decorative chimneys add to its charm. Large windows fill many of the rooms with an abundance of light. It is noted in the history of the home, by the Junior League of Detroit, Michael J. Murphy specified the house be constructed of poured concrete with masonry walls, “that would never leak, sag or crack”. He wanted a home that was built to last.
The house has three stories; the first floor includes an expansive living room (21’ x 32’ sq ft), a large dining room (18 x 30’ sq ft) a huge kitchen (15’ x 22’ sq ft), a library (15’ x 22’ sq ft), family room (11’ x 15’ sq ft), and a games room (13’ x 20’ sq ft). Each of these rooms contains a natural fireplace; of which there are a total of eight fireplaces in the home. The second floor contains 5 family bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, a sitting room (14’ x 20’ sq ft), and a servants’ wing, complete with a bedroom, bathroom, living room and a kitchen. There is also an additional maids room located on the 3rd floor. An elevator, located in the black marble foyer, was installed at the time of the build to assist Elisa, Murphy’s wife who was sick, reach the second floor.
Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, 1851, Michael J. Murphy was a prominent businessman in the City of Detroit during the early 20th Century. The first part of his career was spent as a bookkeeper and a banker. In 1877 he married Elisa Gleeson and together they had seven children, four sons, and three daughters. In 1884 he formed the Murphy Chair Company and held the position of president of the corporation. During his career he was also president of the Security Trust Company, one of the large and substantial financial concerns of the City of Detroit.
The Murphy’s would reside at 1007 Bishop until 1941. The home has since been owned by a number of prominent families – Mr. and Mrs. Kotcher (1941-1944); George P. MacMahon, Realtor (1944-1949); Tufick J. Maroun, President, Central Transport (1956-1973); William J. Hodgeman, Attorney (1973-1977); Mr. and Mrs. Volpe (1977-1984); and physician Dr. Richard Scott (1986-2003) – where are records end.
The Junior League of Detroit selected the house as their 20th Designers’ Show House in 2014.
1007 Bishop is an exquisite home filled with charm and character. In a community filled with magnificent examples of Tudor Revival homes, this is arguably up there with the best of them. It was designed during an era when this architectural approach was at its peak throughout the Grosse Pointe communities, and the architects Walter Maul and Walter Lentz certainly did themselves, and the Murphy family proud with their creation.
1007 Bishop is currently for sale – Please click here to view full details or call us to schedule a tour.
Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2018 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle
If you have a home, building or street you would like us to profile please contact Darby Moran – Darby@higbiemaxon.com – we will try and feature the property.
(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).