The Alexander Chapoton House, photo submitted in 1979.
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Chapoton, Alexander, House
511Beaubien, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Alexander Chapoton House
Alexander Chapoton House Historic District-Local
Property Type brick house
Historic Use DOMESTIC
Current Use RECREATION AND CULTURE
Style Queen Anne
Architect/Builder Alexander Chapoton
Narrative Description The Alexander Chapoton House is a brick, three-story-with-basement, flat-roofed, townhouse built at the edge of the sidewalk. Only the front elevation is of architectural note. Above the low, stone-faced basement the first story is divided into three bays. The double-door entrance at the north side is balanced by a pair of segmentally-arched, one-over-one, sash windows. The windows and the doorway are surmounted by massive, arched, moulded, cast-iron panels that extend to the broad, molded, belt course separating the first and second stories. The belt course extends across the front and terminates in projecting, decorative, blocks ornamented with stylized floral motifs. The second floor windows are topped with segmentally-arched, brick hood molds with label stops and keystones while the third floor windows have semicircular, brick hood molds. The interior has been little altered since the house was built.
Statement of Significance The Alexander Chapoton House is significant as one of the last well-preserved vestiges of nineteenth century residential architecture in downtown Detroit. It is also important as an interesting and, for Detroit, rare example of a middle-class, Queen Anne rowhouse. Alexander Chapoton was a direct descendant of one of Detroit's oldest families-- that of Dr. Jean Baptiste Chapoton who arrived in the city in 1719. Alexander Chapoton inherited his father's masonry business and a substantial fortune in real estate which he increased. Chapoton built the house at 511 Beaubien Street as a rental property in 1885, one of the last houses constructed in what was a thriving, middle-class community. In the 1960s, the majority of the surrounding structures were cleared to make way for new development. In 1979, the owners of the house were seeking to refurbish and restore it for use as an art gallery and studio.
Marker Name Chapoton House
Marker Text CHAPOTON HOUSE Alexander Chapoton built this Queen Anne-style townhouse in the early 1870s. Chapoton, a builder, was one of the contractors for the state capitol in Lansing. A descendant of one of Detroit's oldest families, he was a state legislator and a member of the Detroit Board of Public Works. He built this house at a time when Beaubien Street consisted mostly of Victorian row houses. The house, which features a unique Queen Anne living hall, became an art gallery and studio in the 1980s.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1885
Registry Type(s) 06/22/1987 Marker erected
03/10/1980 National Register listed
04/21/1980 State Register listed
Site ID# P4518