John and Rosetta Lee House, photo submitted in 1985.
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Lee, John and Rosetta, House
823 Calhoun Street, Lapeer - Lapeer County
Other Names John and Rosetta Lee House
Property Type frame house
Historic Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
Current Use DOMESTIC/multiple dwelling
Style Gothic Revival
Narrative Description The two-story, L-shaped John and Rosetta Lee House possesses many of its original Gothic Revival architectural details and is similar in massing and fenestration to its Italianate neighbor at 841 Calhoun. The home includes first-floor bay windows that are decorated with brackets and dentils, trussing and vergeboards in the steeply pitched gable ends, and an elaborate front porch that includes channelled columns, a dentilated and bracketed fascia, and ogee shaped braces in the three bays. Lancet windows, used both paired and alone, and window enframenments with drip moldings add a Gothic flavor to the fenestration. Underneath a transom of colored glass, the paired front doors contain squared glass panels. Alterations include the enclosure of the side porch and the addition of a rear kitchen; both features are sheathed in wood siding, however, and include similar or sympathetic door and window surrounds. The largest change was made when the residence was converted into apartments, but the curving, cantilevered staircase in the front hall was left intact.
Statement of Significance The John and Rosetta Lee House is significant to the architectural heritage of Lapeer not only because it was one of the community's few Gothic Revival homes, but because it displayed the richest array of Gothic ornamentation; its late construction date-- 1872-- adds an interesting footnote to the study of architectural fashions in a small Michigan village such as Lapeer. In addition to its architectural importance to Lapeer's streetscape, the home also was associated with people important to the development of the community. John and Rosetta Lee purchased the property at 823 Calhoun Street in 1870. With the arrival of the railroads, the heightened pace of growth in Lapeer, and the related success of John Lee's City Livery Sale and Boarding Stable, the couple was able to secure their mortgage and, in 1872, had their attractive home built on Calhoun Street. The religious associations of the Gothic Revival house were established when Christopher England, a local minister, bought it in 1908. England continued the local tradition of clergy living in Piety Hill and helped the structure survive as an intact residence to the present day.
Period of Significance 1800-1899
Significant Date(s) Built 1872
Registry Type(s) 07/26/1985 National Register listed
Site ID# P23824