In 1865, John Boydell founded a paint company in Detroit. His business expanded and his firm developed into a major national supplier of paints, varnishes and oils. As Mr. Boydell aged his sons took over the Boydell Brothers White Lead and Color Company. The firm remained in the hands of the Boydell family until 1959 when it was purchased by a Wyandotte firm.
William C. Boydell served as vice-president and treasurer of the family firm. In the 1890s, he asked Detroit architect, Almon Clother Varney, to design an appropriate home in one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Varney built a classical Beaux Arts double house using limestone on the lower floor and brick above. As you look at the home pictured above, you not only see the two entryways indicating a double home, but you appreciate the massive size and impressive nature of the house. This is the type of late nineteenth century residence that you might find in some neighborhoods of New York or London.
Architect: Almon Clother Varney
Date of construction: 1895
Architectural style: Beaux Arts
City of Detroit Local Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places: #82002892; Listed March 19, 1982
Use in 2005: This may still be used as a residence. It appears to be awaiting refurbishing as the Cass Corridor gradually becomes an attractive location.
Photograph: Ren Farley, May, 2005
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