Last week we introduced you to 187 Irvine Lane, the spectacular residence created by Robert O. Derrick for prominent Detroit attorney Sidney T. Miller Jr.
This week, in the first of our two part series, we would like to present one of the magnificent homes in Grosse Pointe that was once owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hewitt Brown, a prominent family in the community. Welcome to 300 Lincoln.
The Brown’s took up residence in Grosse Pointe in 1915. Edwin H. Brown was born in Chicago in 1879. In 1907 he married Olive Marie McIntosh (born in Cleveland, 1883). Brown was a senior manager in the Detroit office of the Aluminum Company of America. He then took the position of vice president and treasurer of The General Aluminum and Brass Castings Company of Detroit. His wife Olive held several prominent positions in Metro Detroit, including director of the Needlework Guild, and Secretary of the St. Agnes Home of Detroit. She also held an interest in the Children's Free Hospital, the District Nursing Society, and the Grosse Pointe Mutual Aid Society. During the First World War she worked in a Red Cross canteen and served with the rank of Major in the canteen of the Army and Navy Club of Detroit. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were parents of three children: Olive Anne, Ellanore, and McIntosh. Source: Ancestry.com
The Brown’s, in 1915, commissioned architect George William Graves to design a magnificent home in Grosse Pointe. Graves was born in Buffalo, New York in 1876. After attending schools in Buffalo he later graduated from Buffalo Preparatory College with a degree in architecture and engineering. In 1906 he moved to Chicago, where he resided for two years working as the head of the architectural department of the American Radiator Company. From there he moved to Detroit, working for nearly twenty years at as an architect, specializing in a multitude of projects across Metro Detroit.
Graves was by no means a prolific architect in Grosse Pointe, however he created several superb homes including: 330 Lincoln (built in 1911), 24 Beverly (built in 1914), 1040 Bishop (built in 1923), and 56 Roslyn (built in 1928).
300 Lincoln (the original address was 16810 E. Jefferson) is a magnificent Colonial styled property. The design of the home is in keeping with the contours of the surrounding land, and displays wonderful lines. The front façade presents many dominant features including the striking pergola entrance, an abundance of windows, and the prominent dormers in the roof. Many of the main rooms on the first floor are filled with an abundance of light courtesy of the large windows that play such a huge part in the design of each room. An article in Home and Garden Magazine, Volume 27, 1915, describes the floor plan as ‘being divided into distinctive units, however there is an ease of access from one part of he house to the other’ – see floor plans below. Photo's courtesy of Home and Garden Magazine, Volume 27.
A large arch divides the stairs and rear entrance from the front, thereby creating a impressive reception hall that runs through to the rear of the home. Source: Home and Garden Magazine, Volume 27. The wonderful photos of the homes interior (below) are also courtesy of Home and Garden Magazine, Volume 27. The first floor contains a dining room (16’ x 25’ sq ft), a large living room (22’ x 24’ sq ft), and a morning room (12’ x 19’ sq ft). Each of these rooms features a striking fireplace. At some point prominent Grosse Pointe architect Raymond Carey was hired to add an extension to the home - a large (22’ x 33’ sq ft) drawing room, as depicted in the photo below (courtesy of: Home and Garden Magazine, Volume 27).
The second floor features a house-length corridor, connecting the four large bedrooms. Situated in the east wing is the master bedroom (17’ x 23’ sq ft) that has an adjoining sitting room (12’ x 18’ sq ft), while the west wing contains four smaller bedrooms for servants.
The house currently is around 8,140 sq ft, however it is not clear how big the home was when it was originally built, and aside from the drawing room, whether other additions have been added.
300 Lincoln is an impactful home that dominates this pretty street. We believe Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Brown lived at this residence for around ten years, at which point they commissioned another extraordinary property, but more on that next week.
*Photos courtesy of the Higbie Maxon Agney archives unless stated.
Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2018 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle
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(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).Posted by Kay Agney on