Laura Ford was the daughter of Edward Ford who founded the Ford Plate Glass Company, and the grandaughter of Captain J. B. Ford who founded the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in that Pennsylvania city and the Michigan Alkali Company in Wyandotte. She married George P. MacNichol who was trained as a physician, but spent his career as an upper level official of Michigan Alkali and Ford Plate Glass. In 1896, George MacNicol and his wife had the distinguished Detroit firm of Malcomson and Higginbotham design the two-and-one-half story Queen Anne style home that you see in the photograph above.
It is a rectangular wood frame residence with an impressive turret that competes with the porch to dominate the structure. Notice the very steep roof and the gables. Two types of sheathing were used by the architects: wood shingles at the upper levels and clapboard at the lower. Large and impressive porches must have been highly esteemed at the end of the 19th century. The porch curves around the north end of the home, giving the appearance of supporting the turret. The website for the Wyandotte Historical Museum claims that 500 wooden spindles support the porch rail. You will see carefully done lattice work just below the roof line of the porch. There are decorative embellishments on the curved, but rectangular windows in the turret and Palladian windows in the gables. You wonder if the architects were paid by the number of windows they included in this house. There are 65 of them. This home was completed before the perfection of modern interior heating, so six fireplaces were built to protect the MacNichol family from the Michigan winters.
This marvelous home now serves as the Wyandotte Historical Museum.
Architects: William Malcomson and William Higginbotham
Architectural style: Queen Anne or Late Victorian
Date of construction: 1896
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places: P25369, Listed November 15, 1973
National Register of Historic Sites: Building # 84001859, Listed May 24, 1984
Use in 2006: Wyandotte Historical Museum
Photograph: Ren Farley; February, 2006
Date description prepared: August, 2006
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