Elisha Taylor Home

59 Alfred at the intersection of Woodward in Detroit's Brush Park


This home is a magnificent example of Detroit's most appealing residential architecture in the era when the city first grew into the top ranks of manufacturing metropolises, competing with Buffalo, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago and Cleveland. This attractive residence is basically a rectangular red brick two-and-one-half story building erected upon a rough-cut stone foundation. It is primarily late Victorian in style, but the architect borrowed extensively from a broad array of architectural styles. There are Queen Anne elements in the design and Italianate brackets at the roofline. To add to the home's eclectic style, there is a Mansard roof with impressive gabled dormers protruding at both the front and along the sides. Gables as large and as impressive as these are seldom included in contemporary design. This home also illustrates the decorative use of verge boards; that is, the small projections from the flat component of the Mansard roof that overhang the dormers. You will not find this decorative touch in the homes built early in the Twentieth First century.

This home was designed and built for William H. Craig sometime between 1868 and 1875. I do not know what William Craig accomplished to permit him to build this impressive and attractive home in what was then Detroit's most prestigious residential neighborhood. Elilsha Taylor purchased this residence in 1875. He was a Detroit barrister who held many offices in his career, including Circuit Court Commissioner from 1846 to 1854. Prior to that appointment, he had served as an assistant to Peter Morey who was Michigan's Attorney General from 1837 to 1841.

Date of Construction: Between 1868 and 1875
Architect: Unknown to me
Architectural Style: Basically Late Victorian with much borrowing from other then popular styles
Use in 2003: Apparently undergoing restoration as a component of the Brush Park redevelopment
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: P 25259, Listed November 15, 1973
State Historical Marker: None erected
National Register of Historic Sites: Listed March 5, 1975
Photo: Ren Farley, July, 2003

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