GPHS Moorings Newsletters - page 185

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15520 Windmill Pointe Dr.
This Georgian Revival mansion was designed by Detroit
architect Alpheus W. Chittenden for John Battice Ford in
1903. Ford was the grandson of Captain John B. Ford who
founded Michigan Alkali Company (now BASF) in
Wyandotte in 1889. The home was originally built on the
riverside of East Jefferson Ave. in Indian Village. It remained
there until 1928 when J. B. Ford’s son and daughter-in-law,
Frederick S. and Esther Ford, moved it by truck to Windmill
Pointe. Esther was the daughter of Pewabic Pottery’s co-
founder Horace J. Caulkins. The Fords lived in this home
from 1929-1951.
Chittenden was the first Detroit architect to embrace the
Georgian Revival style at the turn of the century and is
known for his grand city mansions and country estates.
His work is noted for its impeccable attention to architec-
tural detail.
The Georgian style provided successful early twentieth century businessmen with a sense of status. This house repre-
sents an interesting departure from most of Chittenden’s Georgian Revival residences, as it is faced with carefully dis-
tressed limestone rather than the usual red brick. Typical Georgian style details include the quoins (cornerstones), belt
course, and modillions (ornamental brackets) under the roof line cornice. Chittenden combined the Adam style with
Italian Renaissance revival to create the river façade. The original river façade in Indian Village was far more ambitious
than the present architecture.
Bellmor, 15420 Windmill Pointe Dr.
Bellmor is a magnificent cut stone and brick English Tudor
style mansion. It was built in 1928 by J. (John) Bell Moran
and his wife, Serena Murphy Moran, on land his father gave
him as a wedding gift. It is modeled after the great six-
teenth century Tudor manor house, Compton Wynyates,
which is also the inspiration for Meadowbrook Hall. The
15,000 square foot mansion was designed by noted architect
Robert O. Derrick.
The care and detail supplied by the day’s best craftsmen can
be found in every part of the residence. The French Fleur-
de-lis and Irish Rose patters, representing the ancestries of
the Morans, are repeated throughout the home in such
places as pressed plaster ceilings and exquisitely carved and
detailed oak paneling. Stained glass inserts in the large win-
dows which grace the main stairway represent a coat of arms of both families of the original owners. Magnificent brick-
work and stone carvings are some of the notable features found on the exterior. Foremost is the carving the Griffon, the
first ship from the Old World to enter Lake St. Clair, which is represented in limestone above the portico.
After sitting empty in the 1970s, the mansion avoided the wrecking ball only after the owner could not secure a demoli-
tion permit. It was featured as the Junior League of Detroit’s Designer Show house in 1990.
Current owners Randy and Judy Agley have lovingly restored this community masterpiece. When they moved into the
home in 1999, the woodwork was almost black from years of neglect. Over a period of 18 months, the Agleys refinished
many of the home’s original features while adding a modern heating and cooling systems and redesigning the flow of the
main floor to be more functional for 21st century living.
5
Historic Bronze Markers Awarded
The Society also awarded a historic marker to Christ Church Grosse Pointe.
We will feature the church in the Fall issue of
the Moorings
.
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