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Five Faves

Opening the door on favorite historic houses LYNN HOUGHTON

Brian Powers


has an abundance of many things, including older homes, which are seen by many to be an asset of our community. To be designated “historic,” a residential structure must be at least 50 years old. We are fortunate to have quite a collection of such structures all over the community, especially in our national and local historic districts. These houses present a cornucopia of colors and architectural styles, along with connections to the region’s history. Choosing my top five is a challenge, since my list of historic houses has many favorites, including my own house in the Westnedge Hill neighborhood. My choices change, daily, but here are my current favorites.

The Johnson House 211 Woodward Ave.

The Boudeman House 515 W. South St. Not long after coming to Western Michigan University, I drove down South Street, saw this house and was captivated. Built in 1905 by Dallas Boudeman for his son Donald and his new wife, this Neo-Classical Georgian-Colonial Revival house has an imposing front portico with a triangular pediment and massive columns. The symmetrical house has pilasters at the corners and dentil molding and porte cochere on the side. Donald Boudeman later built an addition to the rear of the house for his and his second wife’s collections, which included a suit of armor and an Egyptian mummy that both resided at the house before moving to the former location of what is now the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research has owned this house for a number of years.

Brian Powers


This house, designed by Jackson architect Lemuel D. Grosvenor, was completed in 1864, during the Civil War, and became the home of William and Louise Johnson and Louise’s daughter, Madeleon Stockwell. This brick Italianate house is a classic example of this style, with its cubic shape, long, narrow windows, paired brackets below the roof and a side bay window, in addition to a cupola at the top. In 1870, Madeleon became the first woman to enter the University of Michigan. She returned to live here with her husband, Charles Turner, a fellow U of M student. Through its long life, the house has been divided into apartments and been a home for both a sorority and fraternity. It now is a single-family residence. 12 | ENCORE APRIL 2021