Thomas S. Sprague House
Thomas S. Sprague House, 1984
|Location|| 80 West Palmer Avenue|
|Architect||William Scott & Co.|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne, Shingle style|
|MPS||University-Cultural Center Phase I MRA|
|NRHP reference #||86001037|
|Added to NRHP||April 29, 1986|
The Thomas S. Sprague House was a private residence located at 80 West Palmer Avenue in Midtown Detroit, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986,but was subsequently demolished.
Midtown Detroit is a mixed-use area consisting of a business district, cultural center, a major research university, and several residential neighborhoods, located along the east and west side of Woodward Avenue, north of Downtown Detroit, and south of the New Center area. The community area of neighborhoods is bounded by the Chrysler Freeway (I-75) on the east, the Lodge Freeway (M-10) on the west, the Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94) on the north, and the Fisher Freeway (I-75) on the south. The area includes several historic districts, the Detroit Medical Center, and Wayne State University.
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
William Scott & Company constructed this house for Thomas S. Sprague, a Detroit real estate developer. Sprague himself lived in the house from 1884 to 1901, when Detroit Evening News editorial writer Arthur D. Welton moved into the house. Arthur Patriache, a manager for the Pere Marquette Railroad, lived in the house from 1905 to 1916. Restaurateur Michael Guarnieri purchased the house in 1916, and it remained in the Guarnieri family possession until 1977, when Wayne State University purchased the property.The house was demolished in 1994.
The Thomas S. Sprague House was a 2-1/2 story Queen Anne / Shingle style house. The front facade had a variety of projecting and receding elements, and a variety of surface treatments, creating an asymmetric composition with rich texture. A one-story hipped roof porch covered the center entrance, and wrapped around a corner octagonal turret. To the side of the entrance was a triple window surmounted with stained glass. Double hung first floor windows in the turret were also topped by arched stained glass sections. The turret was topped with a gable which made the structure into a bay window. Another bay window was set into the opposite side of the facade.
The Queen Anne style in Britain refers to either the English Baroque architectural style approximately of the reign of Queen Anne, or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. In British architecture the term is mostly used of domestic buildings up to the size of a manor house, and usually designed elegantly but simply by local builders or architects, rather than the grand palaces of noble magnates. Contrary to the American usage of the term, it is characterised by strongly bilateral symmetry with a Italianate or Palladian-derived pediment on the front formal elevation.
The Shingle style is an American architectural style made popular by the rise of the New England school of architecture, which eschewed the highly ornamented patterns of the Eastlake style in Queen Anne architecture. In the Shingle style, English influence was combined with the renewed interest in Colonial American architecture which followed the 1876 celebration of the Centennial. The plain, shingled surfaces of colonial buildings were adopted, and their massing emulated.
The interior of the house was maintained in nearly original form for almost 100 years. The intoerior contained combination gas-electric chandeliers, stained glass windows, patterned hearth tiles, and a radiator with a glass door warming oven. A unique asymmetrical butternut fireplace with mantelpiece was in the parlor.
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