H I S T O R Y


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C. Howard Crane

1731 Seminole was designed by world-renowned architect C. Howard Crane, best remembered for his design of grand theatres including Detroit’s Fox Theatre and Orchestra Hall.

 

 

Ralph Phelps

The home was built in 1914 for Ralph Phelps, a prominent attorney of the time.

In 1886 Phelps had become Wayne County Treasurer and later in life he was vice-president and director of the Home Savings Bank, which may explain the need for a Herring-Hall-Marvin walk-in safe.

 

Ann Harding

Another prominent owner of the home was Oscar-nominated actress Ann Harding.

Harding was a movie starlet in the silent film era, and is probably best known for co-starring with Gregory Peck in the classic 1956 Hollywood film The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

 

Jack White

Presently the home is owned by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jack White.

White moved to the home in 2003. He not only performs with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, but is a Grammy Award-winner for producing Loretta Lynn's album "Van Lear Rose."

 

Pewabic Tile

Featured throughout the home is Pewabic Tile, created in Detroit at the height of the Arts & Crafts movement in America.

Pewabic works can be seen throughout the United States in such places as the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the Nebraska State Capitol, the Science Building at Rice University in Houston, and the Herald Square installation commissioned by the New York Metro Transit Authority.

The Pewabic Pottery building still stands today, the original building — located just North of Seminole Street on Jefferson Avenue — now serves as non-profit ceramic art education center and welcomes 70,000 visitors each year.

 

Humphrey Radiantfire Heater

Installed in the Master Bedroom is a Humphrey Radiantfire heater.

The Humphrey Company started in the early 1900's as the General Gas Light Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1916 they patented the Radiantfire gas heater, which operated on natural gas — heating a set of ceramic inserts that would glow and radiate heat into the room. Although now out of the home heating industry, the company remains in business as Humphrey Products.

 

Historic Indian Village

Located on Burns, Iroquois and Seminole Streets between Jefferson and Mack Avenues, Indian Village is over 100 years old and includes over 350 homes.

 

Waldorf School

Also located in Indian Village is the historic Detroit Waldorf School.

The Waldorf School delivers an unrivaled education and is unique in that students learn in a natural, experiential and age-appropriate manner.

 

Trivia

Get Behind Me Satan

In February of 2005 the White Stripes recorded their critically-acclaimed Grammy Award-winning album “Get Behind Me Satan” in the home's Grand Staircase and Foyer (a.k.a. Third Man Studios).

 

Three Degrees of Separation

Jack White can be linked on the silver screen to Ann Harding in only three degrees of separation:

  1. Ann Harding & Gregory Peck in "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1956)
  2. Gregory Peck and Donald Sutherland in "Terror in the Aisles" (1984)
  3. Donald Sutherland and Jack White in both "The Rosary Murders" (1987) and "Cold Mountain" (2003)