Last week we explored the Grosse Pointe Woods Theater designed by Charles N. Agree for the United Detroit Theaters chain in 1948.
This week we pay a visit to 1004 Three Mile Drive in Grosse Pointe Park. Designed by Hugh Taylor Millar for Bartholomew H. Manning in 1928, it is an impactful home with an striking two-story entrance.
What makes this 5,962 sq ft house interesting is the lack of a dominant architectural style. It has been described as Georgian, but given the more readily identifiable Georgian homes that were constructed in Grosse Pointe, during the 1920’s, it can be argued this home is a looser interpretation of this approach.
The house is dominated by the prominent two-story entranceway, which features an arched window on the second floor, an iron railing, splendid limestone detailing plus a turret section at the top. Elsewhere, the elegant brickwork on the front elevation is complimented by a series of large windows on the first floor. Directly above the windows is intricate detailing in the brick, while additional limestone features draw= attention to the quoins on the corners of the home.
Inside there are some magnificent rooms. The hall is 12’ x 18’ sq ft, while the large living room is 17’ x 30’ sq ft, and paneled in English walnut. The adjoining sunroom is 14’ x 17’ sq ft, and has a tiled floor. In close proximity are the 10’ x 12’ q ft music room, and the 13’ x 25’ sq ft library, which is paneled in mahogany, and features a natural fireplace, and bay window. The second floor contains four large bedrooms, a 12’ x 17’ sq ft sitting room, a sleeping porch, along with an apartment above the 3-car garage for the maids. The apartment has a sitting room, kitchen and two bedrooms. The basement features a large 16’ x 29’ sq ft recreation room, along with a 17’ x 23’ sq ft games room. It is not clear how big the house was when it was first built, but an addition, by noted architect Richard H. Marr, was added in 1940.
The owner of the home, Bartholomew H. Manning, was born in Ontario, Canada. When he was seventeen he moved to Detroit, and was employed by J. H. McMillan. He then went to work for the Union Trust Company in a clerical capacity, and worked his way up to become the firms real estate officer, before being elected to the vice presidency in 1921. During his career he became a well-known and respected figure in the banking fraternity of Detroit. In 1906 he married Margaret Kenney, of Detroit, and together they had two children. Source: The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922.
We are unable to find out much about the architect Hugh Taylor Millar, but we do know he was based in Detroit. It appears he designed a number of homes in Grosse Pointe, most of which were completed in the 1930’s. His work in the community includes:
- 1128 Bedford – (1924)
- 1161 Berkshire (1927)
- 1128 Devonshire (1928)
- 1004 Three Mile (1928)
- 1352 Kensington (1930)
- 1357 Yorkshire (1931)
- 15215 Windmill Pointe Drive (1934)
- 1235 Bishop (1935)
- 1146 Yorkshire (1936)
- 840 Lakepointe (1936)
- 1014 Buckingham (1936)
- 813 Pemberton (1936)
- 812 Barrington (1937)
- 60 Lochmoor (1938)
- 1044 Devonshire (1939)
- 21 Renaud (1940)
- 123 Cloverly (1954)
Millar’s work was quite charming. His approach during the late 1920’s seemed to focus on large dominant elements on the front elevation. Be it an entrance way or an over-sized chimney, these features played an integral part to the overall design of the home. Some excellent examples of his large dominant entranceways are - 21 Renaud (first image - courtesy of realtor,com), 60 Lochmoor (second image - courtesy of google.com), 1004 Three Mile, and arguably the most dramatic 1161 Berkshire (third image - courtesy of google.com), which was built in 1927, a year before the Manning property. 1161 Berkshire also features a turreted two-story entranceway, along with dominant limestone detailing. The extra large chimneys are present on 1128 Devonshire, and 1352 Kensington. During the 1930’s Millar was inspired by the Tudor Revival style, which was extremely popular in Grosse Pointe during this era. One of Millar’s final projects in Grosse Pointe came in 1954, when he created 123 Cloverly.
1004 Three Mile Drive is in good company when it comes to impactful homes. Arguably one of Grosse Pointes most prominent streets, Three-Mile Drive features a mix of large residences created by some of Detroit’s most accomplished architects. The houses on Three Mile Drive are a mix of grand, unique and classically designed homes, encompassing Tudor, Spanish Villa, Georgian and Colonial architectural styles.
Many of the homes were built during the 1920’s – a period when some of Detroit’s leading businessmen were looking to reside in Grosse Pointe Park - one of the more prestigious neighborhoods in South Eastern Michigan.
*Photos courtesy of the Higbie Maxon Agney archives unless stated.
Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2019 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle
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