Grosse Pointe Academy, photos 1986 Grosse Pointe Academy, photos 1986
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Academy of the Sacred Heart
171 Lake Shore Drive, west of Moran Road, Grosse Pointe Farms - Wayne County
Other Names Grosse Pointe Academy
Property Type religious complex
Historic Use EDUCATION
Current Use EDUCATION/school
Style Gothic
Italianate
Late Victorian
Tudor Revival
Architect/Builder Eugeni Desmarquest
Maginnis and Walsh
William Schickel
Narrative Description The former Academy of the Sacred Heart, now Grosse Pointe Academy, occupies a tree-shaded campus fronting on Lake Shore Drive and overlooking Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, a wealthy, established suburb northeast of Detroit. The almost twenty-acre site, located about seven miles from downtown Detroit, is roughly rectangular, extending in its long dimension about 1400 feet back from the lake. The academy contains five contributing buildings: an early farmhouse dating from about 1855 and four large academy buildings built between 1885 and 1930. There are two noncontributing buildings, the present headmaster's house (1939) and a maintenance shed/garage. Directly adjacent to the campus on the southwest along Lake Shore Drive is St. Paul's Catholic Church, an imposing, cruciform, Gothic structure of stone built about 1900. Surrounding the academy is a prestigious residential neighborhood.
Statement of Significance Sacred Heart Academy is significant in the educational history of the Detroit area as the only Catholic boarding school for girls. Grades K-12 were taught at the academy. The academy's Lake Shore and Main School buildings possess importance in the architectural history of Michigan as high quality works of nationally prominent Catholic architects William Schickel and Maginnis & Walsh. In 1885 the original convent/academy building was completed. The Religious of the Sacred Heart continued to operate the Academy of the Sacred Heart until 1969. In August of that year the Grosse Pointe Academy, a co-educational, nominally Catholic day school was established. The school, which considers itself a continuation of the old academy, had preserved the buildings and grounds with few alterations.
Marker Name Grosse Pointe Academy
Marker Text GROSSE POINTE ACADEMY Owned by the Religious of the Sacred Heart from 1867-1969, this site is now an independent school. The narrow shape of the property reflects its original use as a French "ribbon farm" extending inland from Lake St. Clair. Situated at the Grosse Pointe Academy are an 1868 structure initially used as a public school for village children; the present Academy building erected in 1929; and a place of worship modeled after a French convent chapel. Each of these edifices is still in use.
Period of Significance 1885-1928
Registry Type(s) 10/07/1977 Marker erected
06/25/1987 National Register listed
04/15/1977 State Register listed
Site ID# P25298