Douglass house, photo submitted 1981
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Douglass House
517Sheldon Ave at Isle Royale Street, Houghton - Houghton County
Property Type hotel
Historic Use DOMESTIC/hotel
Current Use DOMESTIC/hotel
Style Italian Renaissance
Late Victorian
Architect/Builder Henry L. Ottenheimer
Narrative Description The Douglass House is a detached hotel building that stands on the site of an earlier wooden hotel of the same name at the corner of Isle Royale Street and Shelden Avenue, a principal commercial intersection, in downtown Houghton. The building is situated on a sloping lot so that the structure increases from two to four stories as it approaches Shelden Avenue. Here the loggia-embellished primary facade features twin towers at the east and west corners. Designed in the Italian Renaissance style of buff-colored, vitrified brick this flat-roofed, four story, rectangular hotel stands as a visual landmark in nearly original condition. White-glazed, terra-cotta trimming ornaments the exterior. Constructed in 1899, the building was added to in 1902.
Statement of Significance The Douglass House hotel is architecturally and historically significant as a local landmark financed by a group of prominent Houghton investors who incorporated in 1899 as the Douglass House Company. The Douglass House hotel replaced an earlier, three-story, frame structure that had been built around 1860 by a local investment company at a cost of $9,500 and was destroyed by fire in 1901. Designed by Henry L. Ottenheimer of Chicago and constructed by Paul K. F. Mueller of Chicago in 1899 and Herman Gundlack of Chicago (1902 addition), it affirmed the position and role of Houghton and its successful businessmen as commerce expanded rapidly here at the turn of the century, when regional copper mining and processing activities peaked. The structure was converted to apartments in 1984, but the bar on the first floor remains intact.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1899, 1902
Registry Type(s) 05/13/1982 National Register listed
Site ID# P21002