Last week we explored Père Gabriel Richard Elementary School, designed by prominent local architect Robert O. Derrick. Completed in 1930, it is one of three schools Robert O. Derrick designed for the Grosse Pointe Public School System. 

This week we continue our theme of historic elementary schools in Grosse Pointe as we visit Robert Trombly Elementary School, located at 820 Beaconsfield, Grosse Pointe Park. Completed in January 1927, the school was named after Robert Trombly who served on the school board for 30 years. It was designed by a leading name in Detroit - Smith, Hinchman, & Grylls - a nationally acclaimed architectural firm. Around the same time as designing Trombly School, Smith, Hinchman, & Grylls were working on St. Pauls' Catholic…

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Last week we visited Defer Elementary School - the oldest public-school building still in use in the Grosse Pointe Public School district. Defer was designed by renowned Detroit architect George J. Haas. Construction began in 1924, classes opened in February 1925. 

This week we stay with the historic schools of Grosse Pointe as we explore Père Gabriel Richard Elementary School, designed by prominent local architect Robert O. Derrick. Completed in 1930, it is one of three schools Robert O. Derrick designed for the Grosse Pointe Public School system. The school is located at 176 McKinley in Grosse Pointe Farms, close to The Hill. When it was completed, it was the second elementary school in Grosse Pointe Farms. Image courtesy of: Wikipedia.

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Over the past couple of weeks, we have run a three-part series on the historic St. Paul’s Church complex. The series concluded with a review of the school and convent buildings, designed by Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls in September 1927. 

This week we stay with the theme of historic schools in Grosse Pointe as we visit Defer Elementary School - the oldest public-school building still in use in the Grosse Pointe Public School district. Defer was designed by renowned Detroit architect George J. Haas. Construction began in 1924, classes opened in February 1925. 

Defer Elementary School was originally built for Rural Agricultural School, District No. 1. It is located on the corner of Kercheval and Nottingham Road in Grosse Pointe Park. In 1921, Rural…

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Last week we continued our presentation on the St. Paul’s Church complex as we explored the interior of St. Paul’s church, along with the history of the rectory, the parish house, and the barn. This week we conclude our series with part 3, as we visit the school and convent buildings.

The St. Pauls' Catholic school and convent are located at the opposite end of the property, on Grosse Pointe Blvd. In 1926, it is reported the church committee voted to build a new elementary and high school on the grounds of the St. Paul’s church. The then pastor Fr. Alonzo H.B Nacy commissioned nationally acclaimed Detroit architectural firm Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls to design the school and convent buildings. “St. Paul's had acquired the Bertha Palms Lewis…

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Last week we began a three-part presentation on the historic St. Paul’s Catholic Church complex - Part 1. The facility once consisted of five buildings – the church, the rectory, a school and convent, a parish house (the former Barbor Estate), and a small barn. The buildings were constructed between 1895, and 1963. The property extends between 157 Lake Shore and 170 Grosse Pointe Boulevard.

This week we continue with part 2, as we explore the interior of St. Paul’s church, along with the history of the Rectory, the Parish House, and the Barn.

The Interior of St. Paul’s Church.
The interior of St Paul’s church, which has a cross-shaped floor plan, features many beautiful stained-glass windows. The windows were designed and made by some of the…

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Last week we presented 344 Provencal, “Mennen Hall”, a Tudor Revival style mansion located on the prestigious street of Provencal in Grosse Pointe Farms. Completed in 1929, the property was designed by the prominent architect Hugh T. Keyes for Henry P. Williams and his wife Elma C. Mennen (heiress to the Mennen personal grooming products fortune).

Having recently explored the historic complex, Grosse Pointe Academy, formally known as Academy of the Sacred Heart, this week we begin a three-part presentation on another historic site in Grosse Pointe, the St. Paul Catholic Church complex. The facility once consisted of five buildings – the church, the rectory, a school and convent, a parish house (the former Barbor Estate), and a small barn. The…

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Last week we presented part 2 of our story on one of Grosse Pointe’s most historic complexes, Grosse Pointe Academy, formally known as Academy of the Sacred Heart. Located at 171 Lake Shore, the complex is situated on an area that is almost twenty-acres. The site consists of five buildings - an early farmhouse and four larger academy buildings – Sacred Heart Academy and Convent, St. Paul’s Parish School, the Chapel, and the Main School Building - constructed between 1885 and 1930.

This week we turn our attention to 344 Provencal, “Mennen Hall”, a Tudor Revival style mansion located on the prestigious street of Provencal in Grosse Pointe Farms. Completed in 1929, the property was designed by the prominent architect Hugh T. Keyes. 

344 Provencal…

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Last week we presented part 1 of our story on one of Grosse Pointe’s most historic complexes, Grosse Pointe Academy, formally known as Academy of the Sacred Heart. Located at 171 Lake Shore, the complex is situated on an area that is almost twenty-acres. The site consists of five buildings - an early farmhouse and four larger academy buildings constructed between 1885 and 1930 – Sacred Heart Academy and Convent, St. Paul’s Parish School, the Chapel, and the Main School Building.

This week in part 2 we turn our attention to the Chapel and the Main School Building. Both buildings were constructed by leading architects of their generation.

The Chapel
In 1899-1900 noted Liturgical architect Harry J. Rill completed the chapel. The red brick structure…

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Last week we explored Neff Memorial Park, one of the oldest parks in the Grosse Pointe communities. The site was purchased on July 14, 1910. One hundred years later the residents of Grosse Pointe City celebrated the parks centennial year. To mark the anniversary Norbert P. Neff Park was rededicated to the citizens of the City of Grosse Pointe.

This week we turn our attention to one of Grosse Pointe’s most historic complexes, Grosse Pointe Academy, formally known as Academy of the Sacred Heart. Located at 171 Lake Shore, the complex is situated on a site that is almost twenty-acres. The site consists of five buildings - an early farmhouse (pictured below, constructed in 1860) and four larger academy buildings constructed between 1885 and 1930 –…

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Last week we visited the “crown jewel” of Grosse Pointe Farms, Pier Park in Grosse Pointe Farms, a beautiful space filled with some of the best amenities in the area. Over the years it has undergone multiple changes, upgrades, and developments to become the centerpiece of the community it is today.

This week we head to Neff Park, one of the oldest parks in the Grosse Pointe communities. The site was purchased on July 14, 1910. The president at the time was Daniel T. Crowley, the clerk was William G. Diefel, and there were six trustees. In 2010, the residents of Grosse Pointe City celebrated the parks centennial year. To mark the anniversary Norbert P. Neff Park was rededicated to the citizens of the City of Grosse Pointe.

The origins of the…

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