1922 Italian Renaissance – Detroit, MI

Added to OHD on 11/3/18   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   36 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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1701 Strathcona Dr Detroit, MI 48203

Map: Street

  • $359,900
  • 3 Bed
  • 4.5 Bath
  • 2796 Sq Ft
  • 0.52 Ac.
Inspired by the glorious chateaus of France! First time on the market in nearly fifty years, this estate welcomes you showing off its original character and solid bones. Foyer vestibule shows off the oversized grand staircase trimmed with mahogany banisters and railing. The estate is a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship featuring Flint Faience ceramic tile work, original oak wood floors throughout, carved mantal moldings showing off the fireplace in the formal living room. Exquisite detail is accenting with the crown moldings, base moldings, and trim work; showing the detail of original construction. Sprawling living areas for entertaining with interior water features and original lighting fixtures. Three master suites on the upper level, detached guest suite, and three car heated garage are the finishing touches. The Jewel of Palmer Woods is awaiting its new owner to bring its life back to its original sparkle!
Contact Information
Stetson Jarbo, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel
(248) 644-6300
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
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36 Comments on 1922 Italian Renaissance – Detroit, MI

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12216 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I hate to disagree about the style but Italian Renaissance typically features a low pitched hipped (usually tiled) roof, round arched windows while the upper story has smaller and less elaborate windows, the entry way accentuated with small classical columns, other details that I’m going to skip but those are the biggies (I’ll mention the belt course between the stories, I believe the pattern of the brick above the side wings mimic balustrades, stone colored brick are all I.R. detailing.) French Eclectic roof lines are usually steeper, the entry would have had an arch, possibly dormers and other small details that don’t match up with what we see.

    • TGrantTGrant says: 959 comments
      OHD Supporter

      New Orleans, LA

      Completely agree with you. This is almost textbook midwest interpretation of Italian Renaissance.

    • CharlestonJohn says: 1089 comments

      While the subset of French Eclectic architecture sometimes called French Provincial shares some characteristics with Italian Renaissance Revival designs, you’ve nailed the style here. While never as popular as the Italianate style a half-century earlier, the Italian Renaissance Revival style was a more accurate imitation of the Italian villas that inspired it. This particular house has great design and seems worthy of a restoration.

  2. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12216 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    A few more exterior photos on the agents site, linked up top.

  3. SharonSharon says: 600 comments
    OHD Supporter

    2001 Contemporary
    Sedalia, MO

    My heart sank.

  4. Cathy F. says: 2297 comments

    I loved the newel post as soon as I saw it, and then… the rest of the house has so many gems of cool details. Restored, it will be gorgeous.

  5. John says: 18 comments

    If there were no picture of the exterior, one might think this was a Colonial Revival house from the photos of the interior. I love to see these somewhat derelict houses. How did so much deteriorate around new porcelain fixtures in some of the bathrooms and a big ol’ stainless steel fridge in the kitchen? And what is the big feature between the doors in one of the rooms? It’s looks like someone drywalled over a fireplace but forgot to put out the fire first!

    • Gypsy says: 220 comments

      I thought that might have been where a bed was and the house had been empty for a while, leading to the pillows getting nasty.

      I can’t decide if this house has been empty awhile or someone has been living in it with just the bare necessities.

      • brigidbrigid says: 625 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
        Smalltown, OK

        I agree. This house is definitely a mystery. It looks close to uninhabitable to me, but yet it has a new fridge, items in the kitchen and bath, and clean sheets on the built-in bed. Maybe a security guard?

    • kizilod says: 43 comments

      I’m guessing that the wall that you described as a drywalled over fireplace is where a bed without a headboard was, and we can see the marks where the pillows rubbed.

  6. DeniseLynn says: 201 comments

    What I wouldn’t give to have some spare six figures to restore this neglected old beauty. This could be absolutely amazing. I love those windows. The kitchen sink is a definite keeper. The remains of the interior fountain could be restored into such a show piece. Every pic shows some unique potential. It’s simply heartbreaking that it’s fallen into such disrepair.

  7. Laurie W.Laurie W. says: 1700 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1988 Greek Revival Wannabe in beautiful countryside

    Major wishes for someone with the vision & shekels to buy this house and bring it back. It is a real beauty worth the effort.

  8. RossRoss says: 2412 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    I totally love this house.

    But, of course, I am always a sucker for an architectural damsel in distress!

    LOVE how original the kitchen is which I would careful restore.

    LOVE the largely original bathrooms which I would also carefully restore.

    LOVE the green clay tile roof.

    LOVE the many arched fanlight windows.

    LOVE the tiled sunroom and the (non-working) water feature. Which I would sooooooo restore! STAT!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the giant window on the staircase landing. After it was restored, I would just sit on the top step, a glass of wine in my hand, some music playing, and stare at it in abject wonder.

    Fabulous house!

  9. RosewaterRosewater says: 7266 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    If you like this house, check out this one I’m glad is still with us:

  10. Lori says: 27 comments

    There’s so much to love, but also so much to do! A small fortune in your pocket??? Here’s your dream fixer upper.

    • CJ Hutchinson says: 20 comments

      This would certainly be a labor of love. Looks like it has been uninhabited for quite some time. BIG pile of money and some meticulous crafts persons would make this a real gem.

  11. BethsterBethster says: 825 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1927 Spanish Revival
    Richmond, VA

    The wall tile in the baths looks to be in good shape—at least from the views shown. And I love the little twin bed nook with the built-in drawers! Really cute painted shutters, too.

  12. Gregory_KGregory_K says: 450 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Chatsworth, CA

    There is such an impressively well informed following on this site that there will probably be a dozen people who disagree with me. However, this house reminds me of the house in ‘To Catch A Thief’ with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. I’m probably I am out in the fields somewhere as far as the rest of you are concerned.

    In the script, Grant on his first visit, describes the house where the final action takes place as ‘..turn of the century Mediterranean..,’ or words to that effect. Frankly, I agree with Grant, and for me, the interiors of this house are far more interesting than those of the real interiors of the home used in the film. That house was on the market recently, but I don’t remember the figure.

  13. Carolyn E. says: 65 comments

    This house has some interesting features. Love the built in bed with the Asian lady with gold background — unusual to me. Very sorry to see that the house was allowed to get so much water damage. Much of the interior reminded me of the abandoned houses in Detroit, MI — especially the in- house water fountain! Would love to restore it…

  14. Lathrop MaryBeth Utley says: 53 comments

    There are so many stories in this house. Holy long story‼️I want to know them all. There’s a story of the selection of the Flint Faience tile,to need for the humongous stainless steel refrigerator freezer. I want to know who stood on that roof top with green French doors. It’s a grand place.

    • Porch Freak says: 52 comments

      I was able to do a little bit of quick research on the house. It’s known as the Ralph Ainsworth home built for Ralph and his wife, Grace. Ralph ran a shoe manufacturing company. Grace was a social doyenne and there are newspaper accounts of them entertaining in this home. Grace died in the house in 1949 two days shy of her 65th birthday. I can find no record of Ralph’s life after her passing and no record of sale. They had no children.

      The last owners, both deceased in the last decade, lived in the house since at least 1987 when an article was published in the Detroit Free Press about their involvement in a local Kennel Club show. They showed and bred Briards and in fact, one of the dogs was named Pashtu de Strathcona (the street where this house is located).

      In the case of both of these families, they grew old in this home. I’m sure there was an interim family or two who did the same. I hope someone is able to restore the home to its former grandeur, but I completely understand how a house falls into disrepair. These are expensive homes to maintain. I once owned a 1939 house and it was an endless battle to stay on top of plumbing and foundation issues. I look at just the windows of this house and as much as I love them, the work to restore them and even the expense of window treatments is daunting. Still, if I were 20 years younger, this is a project I’d love to tackle.

  15. Don says: 7 comments

    Would really like to have seen this house in its day.
    Must have be quite a beauty. Now a damsel in distress.
    If those walls could talk. Hope someone saves this one

  16. Dumbsheep says: 17 comments

    Wow, beautiful house and lots of “sparkle to bring back.”

  17. Gwenn says: 107 comments

    Wow. I think this is one of my favorite houses ever. I love everything I’m seeing.

  18. Kathy says: 9 comments

    This is a job for “Rehab Addict”.

  19. Priscilla says: 25 comments

    I wonder if there was ever a fountain in the middle of the circle sidewalk. If so maybe the plumbing is still there. I would put one back in. I’d find the time even though there’s so much else to do. What an entrance it would make.

  20. Qabbott says: 28 comments

    It looks like the remains of the original built in refrigerator alongside the newer stainless one. Awesome kitchen!

  21. MichaelMichael says: 2959 comments
    1979 That 70's show
    Otis Orchards, WA

    A beautiful house with such great curb appeal. It’s in a neighborhood of nice homes which would lead me to beleive it is worth the restoration costs. I am curious about the small door in picture 17.

    • prettypaddleprettypaddle says: 194 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Since it’s next to an exterior door, I’m guessing the small door is a milk delivery door. In the picture with a good view of the kitchen sink, you can see that the little door is in the next room.

      There’s also a little door above the fridge which was probably a door to deliver ice to the ice box.

      So many details to love in this house.

  22. mary beth gannon says: 15 comments

    What was the hand painted cabinet above the radiator?

  23. Mandy Curnutt says: 88 comments

    Beautiful home. Love the original kitchen and pantry.

  24. Eliza says: 5 comments

    This house is great! This looks like something Nicole Curtis might tackle and keep pretty much intact. She does live in Detroit. I love the built-in bed. I’ve never seen that in an old house before.


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