Shelden-Dee Block, photo taken 1982
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Shelden-Dee Block
Shelden Avenue and Isle Royale Street, Houghton - Houghton County
Property Type stone building
Style Classical Revival
Architect/Builder Henry L. Ottenheimer
Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert
Narrative Description The Shelden-Dee block stands at the principal intersection of the business district of Houghton. The three-story commercial building is built of smooth-cut red Portage Entry sandstone and brick in the Neo-Classical Revival style of architecture. Sandstone covers the Shelden Avenue and Isle Royale Street facades; brick covers the side and rear walls. Evenly spaced windows and entries give the composition symmetry. Ionic order pilaster strips separate the windows on the second and third floors. A rich copper cornice ornamented by acanthus leaves above an ample sandstone cornice decorated with modillions surmounts the flat roofed structure.
Statement of Significance The Shelden-Dee block is architecturally and historically significant as a large sandstone commercial structure built for successful Houghton business people Mary (Edwards) Shelden and James R. Dee according to plans drafted by Chicago architect Henry L. Ottenheimer. The Neo-Classical Revival style block symbolized success for the client and the architect during the time that Houghton had become a center of commerce for the surrounding copper mining locations. In 1890 George C. Shelden purchased the property for $8,500 at the northeast corner of Shelden Avenue and Isle Royale Street. The local newspaper noted that Shelden intended to erect a sandstone block on it. George Shelden died in 1894, but Mary Shelden was a partner in the building's completion between 1899 and 1900 by the Chicago- and Houghton-based construction firm of Paul P.F. Mueller.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1899-1900
Registry Type(s) 04/22/1982 National Register listed
Site ID# P23268