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John Dodge Home

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Detroit, MI, United States, Michigan, USA 48202
Year Built/Circa: 1906
Current Use: Private residence
Current Owner: Archdiocese of Detroit
Vacancy: Occupied
Historic Significance: Contributing building to the Arden Park-East Boston Historic District.
Architect Builder Engineer: Field, Hinchman & Smith

The Dodge house occupies an impressive location adjacent to the small park which faces Woodward Avenue. It designed by one of the most prolific architectural firms in Detroit and published in the American Architect and Building News, International Edition, September 14,1907. It was constructed in 1906 for John Dodge, one of the founders of the Dodge Brothers Brass Foundry, manufacturers of automobile engines. At the time the house was built, Dodge was also a vice-president and partner in the Ford Motor Company. The Dodge Brothers later split with Ford and built an independent auto plant. Dodge also sat on the boards of the Water Commission and the Detroit Street Railway. The house, executed in an Elizabethan Style, is described by Thomas Holleman in his book Smith, Hinchman & Grylls: 125 years of Architecture and Engineering, 1853-1978, “The Dodge house… is made up of Gothic elements, which are combined with greater assurance and success than the Arthur residence (210 East Boston Boulevard). The firm chose ‘Roman’ brick as the primary material… cut stone is used extensively and to great advantage as window and door surrounds. The half-timbering of the gables and dormers is pegged. The tile roof is an unusual feature, since it would normally have been slate. The interior, of richly coffered and banded plaster ceilings, boasts the heavy, darkly stained woodwork popular at the time, which is elaborately carved. As would be expected in a house based on an automobile fortune, there is an extensive and complete garage to house four vehicles. with servants’ quarters above.”

Dodge purchased the alley which was platted behind his house from the city. It is possible that he erected the large, cut stone gate at the Woodward Avenue entrance to East Boston Boulevard. The house, garage and grounds are now owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, and home to the archbishop/cardinal.

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