Joseph Armstrong House, photo submitted in 1985.
Click above images to enlarge

Armstrong, Joseph, House
707 Monroe Street, Lapeer - Lapeer County
Other Names Joseph Armstrong House
Property Type brick house
Historic Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
Current Use DOMESTIC/multiple dwelling
Style Late Victorian
Queen Anne
Architect/Builder Robert T. Bacon
Narrative Description The two-and-one-half-story house built for Joseph Armstrong features typical Queen Anne characteristics such as an irregular floor plan and massing, broken planar surfaces on each facade, a variety of window shapes and sizes, a rich overlay of wood ornamentation, and a complex, multi-gabled roof. Building materials used for construction include stone for the foundation, beltcourse, window sills, and keystones; brick for the body of the structure and window ornamentation; and wood for the gable ends, brackets, and windows and door enframements. The interior of the residence remains virtually intact and includes a unique finished half-story attic. Between the years of 1888 and 1892, a two-story addition was built on the back. The remaining exterior changes included the removal of a third-floor dormer after a fire in 1917, the alteration of the front porch into two smaller porches in 1941, and the removal of a porch on the Michigan Street side of the house. An interesting feature of the house is the cistern for collecting water that remains in its original location on the second floor.
Statement of Significance Like few other residences in Lapeer, the Joseph Armstrong House reflects the grand Queen Anne styling, executed in brick, that marked the period of strong economic expansion following the arrival of the railroads. The home also had important historical associations with a prominent local businessman. Joseph Armstrong came to the United States from Ireland in 1871 and took employment with the drygoods firm of Arnold, Constable and Company of New York. In 1872, Armstrong moved west to the newly booming railroad town of Lapeer and opened a drygoods store which he operated for the next thirty-seven years until his retirement. Armstrong expanded the business into three stores, served as a city alderman, and was elected for a term as mayor in 1899. In 1886, Armstrong purchased the site at 707 Monroe and contracted with Robert T. Bacon, a Lapeer carpenter, to build his house, wood shed, and barn. The Armstrong family moved into the house in 1888. The house has remained in the ownership of descendants of Joseph Armstrong.
Period of Significance 1800-1899
Significant Date(s) Built 1887-88
Registry Type(s) 07/26/1985 National Register listed
Site ID# P23818