John Scott was born in Ipswich, England in 1850. His father was an architect. His family migrated to Windsor while John was a child. Later the family moved across the Detroit River. John became an architect and, in 1889 when his father retired, he took over the firm. John Scott, I believe, primarily designed commercial buildings in Detroit. However, he is best known for his design of the Wayne County Courthouse at 600 Randolph on Cadillac Square. This five-story building may be the finest surviving example of the Roman Baroque style that was briefly popular for government buildings around the turn of the Twentieth Century. It is certainly worth a visit since it is unlike any other surviving structure in this area. Shortly after that courthouse was constructed, architects ceased using the ornamental style that John Scott favored when he got this commission.
For his family, John Scott designed the Queen Anne-style home you see pictured above. It features very many different elements, including a massive brick porch, numerous gables and almost as many bays, a small turret and a prominent chimney. The area of East Ferry Street was slipping into decline in the late Twentieth Century, a process hastened by an announcement from the Detroit Institute of Art that they would raze these classical house and use the space for a parking lot. That never happened and the Inn on Ferry Street restored this home and its adjoining structures to the spectacular status they had when built.
There are several other examples of John Scott’s skills on display in or near Detroit including the following residences:
100 East Ferry Street (1886)
67 East Kirby Street (1909) – The Robert Scherer Residence
1457 Seminole (1911)
2218 Iroquois (1911)
And in Rochester, Michigan:
302 West Third (1878)
428 East Street (1884)
Architect: John Scott
Architectural Style: Victorian and/or Queen Anne style
Date of Construction: 1886
Use in 2012: This is a component of the Inn on Ferry Street
City of Detroit Designated Historic District: This residence is within the East Ferry Avenue
Historic District listed July 17, 1981.
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: This residence is within the East Ferry Avenue
Historic District, P4,495 listed December 14, 1976.
National Register of Historic Places. This residence is within the East Ferry Avenue Historic
District, #80001921, listed March 10, 1980.
Photograph: Ren Farley; August 4, 2012
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