The Homes of Grosse Pointe

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Lots of weathervanes, a feature that I love.

The homes of Grosse Pointe are super different than the homes in San Francisco. For all I know the houses here are typical Midwestern homes, but all this is new to me, so nothing here is truly “typical” from my point of view.

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A summer cottage back in the day. Photo credit: GP Historical Society

Initially (and without getting into all the nitty-gritty history, which can be found via the Grosse Pointe Historical Society), Grosse Pointe was first a French colony. After the Civil War, the upper echelon of Detroit started vacationing in Grosse Pointe, taking over farms and building summer homes. In the late 1800s, according to the GP Historical Society, the first year-round residence of Grosse Pointe was established. Huge estates started to pop up all over the Pointes – homes that took up full city blocks and have since been torn down, making room for several more modest homes.

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Typical Grosse Pointe brick home.

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More brick. And those trees!

So, here we are, present day. For sure there is a lot of brick going on. I don’t want to go as far as saying that most homes are brick, because I’m not sure that would be entirely true. Lots of red brick, of course, but also white-washed and sand-blasted brick, both of which I quite like.

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There are also a good handful of farm houses (which I would love, love, love to live in) and craftsman-style homes (also, if you haven’t noticed, I’m not an architect. Some of the terms here I’m using are probably not actually correct architectural terms. And I’m okay with that). A wee handful of stone homes, lots of siding, loads of columns…

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and a bunch of homes built in the 50s and 60s with some midcentury modern homes stuck in there (I used a correct architectural term! I think.).

homes.50smodern (739x800)Typical decoration items are weathervanes, mostly over garages, with mounts ranging from ducks to geese other birds to dogs. There are also many colorful front doors here, a favorite being bright red.

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Shutters are also extremely popular and colorful shutters seem to also be “in” (particularly dark teal-ish and mauve). Other popular decorations are the American flag (don’t see much of that in San Francisco)…

IMG_6944 (636x800)…and stone statues flanking the porch or front door or driveway. For example, two crouching lions or two regal dogs, or perhaps one dog holding a basket in its mouth, etc.

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photo credit: trulia.com

Something I really love here are the trees and plant life. San Francisco had trees and Golden Gate Park was gorgeous, but the trees here are enormous, reaching way up to the sky. And summertime trees are so full (and full of life) and bright. And they are everywhere. On every block. It seems like every house, big or small, has some kind of garden going on. Almost daily I see people working in their yards – weeding, putting mulch down, planting new flowers. It’s nice being part of a community that cares about nature (well, except for the pesticide thing. sigh).

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So there’s your short (and hopefully sweet) tour of the neighborhood. Coming soon in a future post, I’ll take you inside some of the homes we visited (and some we didn’t) on our house hunt. Helloooo, wallpaper!

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8 thoughts on “The Homes of Grosse Pointe

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