Photo via Realtor.com
Mary Chase Perry Stratton and William Buck Stratton designed their home together. He was an architect, best remembered for designing Detroit's Brodhead Naval Armory. She founded Pewabic Pottery, hiring his firm to design its studio. Their Grosse Pointe Park home, built in 1927, serves as a monument to their personal and professional lives. The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, contains 1700 square feet of Pewabic tile, has tile baths that are beyond belief and extensive grounds with lavish landscaping.
The 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home brings one-of-a-kind character to the street. While Grosse Pointe has the English cottage (and French castle) down, seeing a home so clearly inspired by arts-and-crafts style, with its spare lines and strong connection to the grounds, is less usual. In addition to the pond, there's also a fountain and entire walls of Mary Perry Stratton's trademark tiles. There's one large retaining wall that has a stone tile motif that suggests Pewabic, given its muted, earth tone palette, but whose materials are rougher and less refined than most studio ceramics.
Inside, this house is a bit of a time capsule. The living spaces are large and gracious, with 9 foot ceilings and fireplaces awash in Pewabic tile. The tile continues into the formal dining room. The window wall in that room has indigo tiles that perfectly compliment the indigo paint on the wood framing the windows. The library has a massive, floor-to-ceiling paned window and seems like the perfect place to spend a cozy fall afternoon curled up with a good book.
If all that doesn't get your attention, given Mrs. Stratton's profession, it should come as no surprise that this house has, perhaps, the most beautiful bathroom in metro Detroit. The walls gleam with Pewabic in every shade of aqua, turquoise, emerald and moss. It seems more like a massive open shower than a bath, and the tile work has to be seen to be believed.
Tan Perwabic tile on some of the floors and stairs plays against the dark wood to create an almost Spanish sensibility. In the bedrooms, dark wood floors and white walls feel a bit out-of-date, but the right homeowner will know how to balance good design with healthy respect for this fine old home's character. The Stratton house's ask puts it at $180 per square foot, which seems like a low number, given that newish condos downtown want $250 a foot these days. While this one doesn't come with a Rolls Royce, the pedigree can't be duplicated. It's a rare opportunity and a charming place to call home.
·938 Three Mile [Realtor.com]
·Our History [Pewabic Pottery]
·Grosse Pointe Home Asks $3.2 Million, Throws in Rolls "Free" [Curbed Detroit]
">The Way It Was [The Hour Detroit]