William C. Boydell House, photo submitted in 1982.
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Boydell, William C., House
4614 Cass Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names William C. Boydell House
Property Type brick house
Historic Use DOMESTIC
Current Use VACANT/NOT IN USE
Style Beaux Arts
Architect/Builder Almon Clother Varney
Narrative Description Constructed in 1895, the William C. Boydell House is a three-story, low-hip-roofed, brick-and-limestone, classically influenced structure designed as a double house. The only architecturally articulated elevation faces Cass Avenue. The sides and rear of the building are constructed of common brick without architectural enrichment. The design of the facade reflects the fact that the building is actually a double house designed to resemble a large, single-family house. Set back from the street behind a narrow, tree-shaded lawn, the facade is fronted by a pair of raised terraces of rock-faced stone with low parapet walls pierced by wrought iron grilles. The larger terrace, reached by a broad flight of stone steps, extends across the front of the right hand unit and wraps around the building. A separate set of stairs angles up to the entrance of the left hand unit at the corner of the building. The fronts of the two units are unified by the banded limestone at the first story, the ochre brick of the upper levels and the continuous metal modilion cornice and panelled, brick frieze at the eaves.
Statement of Significance The William C. Boydell House is architecturally significant as a fine double house in the Beaux Arts Classical style. It is also historically important as the home of a Detroit industrialist whose firm achieved national prominence in the paint manufacturing industry. At the time he commissioned this house, William C. Boydell (1849-1902) was the vice president and treasurer of the Boydell Brothers White Lead and Color Company. The firm was founded in 1865 by William's brother, John and grew from a small local manufacturer to a major national producer of prepared paints, oils, and varnishes, with a large market in the midwest and the east. The firm remained in the Boydell family until 1959 when it was sold to the Wyandotte Paint Products Company of Michigan. The house is currently a private residence.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1895
Registry Type(s) 03/19/1982 National Register listed
Site ID# P25032