Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – ‘Lake Terrace’, also known as the John S. Newberry House

Having recently covered the Roy D. Chapin residence – 447 Lakeshore, lets take a look at the property that inspired the home – Lake Terrace, also known as the John S. Newberry house located at 99 Lake Shore Drive.

Designed in 1911 by Earnest Wilby (an English architect, who from 1903-1918 was Albert Khan’s chief designer) and Albert Kahn himself, the house would be home to John S. Newberry Jr (brother of Truman H. Newberry). Newberrys father John Stoughton Newberry along with his business partner James H. McMillan (in the last half of the 19th century) had the greatest impact on the industrial growth of Detroit and the residential growth of Grosse Pointe.

Both Newberry Snr and McMillan were to occupy properties on Lake Terrace, they were the first to build expensive houses at the Pointe (on Lake St Claire) and their achievement in constructing elegant, and graceful properties inspired others to follow their example, including Newberrys son, John S. Newberry Jr.

Newberry house was predominantly Georgian in style, however the design of the roof was not typical for this period and was almost French in appearance – with flaring eaves, stone doorway and an overhanging wrought iron balcony. Inside, the rooms were rather formal in their arrangement with the living room, dining-room and terrace facing northward towards the lawns and formal gardens as opposed to facing south and the view of the lake. Images courtesy of Tonnancour, Volume 1.

The high ceilings were typically Georgian in their design, the living room originally contained an Italian renaissance fireplace (which Mrs. Newberry later replaced with a Georgian fireplace from England), while the dining-room was paneled in walnut. The floors of the principal rooms were laid in teak and the house was recognized for being distinguished in its beauty of proportion and refinement of detail.

Ellen Biddle Shipman of New York (known for her formal gardens and lush planting style) was the primary landscape architect for the estate. The formal garden she created often provided a wonderful setting for outdoor weddings of friends and family, while the greenhouse kept the house filled with sunning azaleas and cyclamens during the winter months.
Wilby’s work on the Newberry house was a tireless symbol of the dignity and refinement of formal living and was to prove pivotal in creating a new phase of traditional architecture in the Grosse Pointes.
Upon Mrs. Newberry’s death in 1956 the home was too costly to maintain and was demolished in 1957 – just one of the many fine Grosse Pointe mansions that have been lost. Others include: Henry B. Joy 1958; Dr. Henry N. Torrey and Frank C. Baldwin 1960; Emory L. Ford 1964; Anlvan Macauley 1973; Joseph B. Scholtman 1974; Anna Thompson Dodge 1976 (Rose Terrace); Wesson Seyburn 1980; Roy D. Chapin 1983; J Brooks Nichols; Hugo Scherer and Eugene Lewis.


Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2019 Katie Doelle



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *