Thompson Home for Old Ladies, photo submitted 1974
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Thompson Home for Old Ladies
4756 Cass Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Thompson Home
Property Type brick building
Historic Use DOMESTIC
Current Use DOMESTIC
Style Queen Anne
Architect/Builder George Dewitt Mason
Significant Person Mary Thompson
Narrative Description The Thompson Home is a rectangular, four-story group home. This English Queen Anne structure stands on a raised foundation and has brick walls topped by a slate hipped-roof with gabled dormers. A squared, slightly projecting, five-story tower dominates the entrance facade flanked by two three-story, slant-sided bay windows. A single-flight stairway leads to the entrance, which is fronted by a paired pier, balustraded stone porch. Elegant brackets, pediments, and stone bandcourses decorate the building.
Statement of Significance The Thompson Home is one of the finest structures designed by nationally renown Detroit architect George Mason. Philanthropist Mary Thompson commissioned Mason to design the home, built in 1884 as a retirement care facility for women. Mason later designed the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, founded Mason and Rice, the architectural firm that trained architects Alex Trowbridge and Albert Kahn, and helped to establish the University of Michigan School of Architecture. Currently housing the Wayne State University School of Social Work, the Thompson Home is an architectural milestone and one of the most significant buildings in the charitable life of Detroit.
Marker Name Thompson Home
Marker Text THOMPSON HOME This Victorian structure was completed in 1884. It was named for wealthy Detroit businessman David Thompson. In his will Thompson instructed his wife, Mary, to use part of his estate to found a charitable institution. She commissioned George DeWitt Mason, prominent local architect and leader in architectural education, to design the building. It stands as a distinctive example of his early work. The one-story addition was constructed in 1964.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1884
Registry Type(s) 10/01/1976 Marker erected
06/03/1976 National Register listed
11/14/1974 State Register listed
Site ID# P25265