Charles Lang Freer House, photo ca. 1980s
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Freer, Charles Lang, House
71 East Ferry Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Palmer, Merrill, Institute of Human Development & Family Life
Property Type frame house
Historic Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
Current Use EDUCATION/research facility
Style Shingle Style
Architect/Builder WILSON EYRE JR.
Significant Person Charles Lang Freer
Narrative Description The Charles Lang Freer House is a two-and-a-half story Shingle Style residence built in 1890-93, which has a general pyramidal composition with emphasized horizontal lines. The first story exterior is composed of coursed, hard bluestone, imported from Ulster, New York. The upper stories are faced with closely-spaced, dark-stained wood shingles. A large front gable extends above the eaves to the attic level of the steeply-pitched hipped roof. Tall chimneys are located on both ends and are constructed of stone matching that used on the first story. The flexible interior plan revolves around a two-story central hall with a staircase featuring a basketweave railing, and framed in round arches. The house was designed to house Freer's vast collection of Oriental and American Art, and in 1904-06 an art gallery was added to a space above the stables. In 1909, James Abbott McNeill Whistler's famous Peacock Room, originally commissioned by Frederick Leyland in London and now located in the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D. C., was installed in an addition to the stable and gallery at the rear of the house.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1887
Registry Type(s) 04/16/1971 National Register listed
11/06/1970 State Register listed
Site ID# P25121