Zita B. Graham Home

55 Peterboro in Detroit

This is a two and one-half story home built with limestone and brick. You will notice an interesting and rather unusual three-sided bay window along Peterboro with a gable at the top. To the right of this protruding structure, you will see the entrance way, also capped with a gable, but this one on the west is less prominent than the one to the east. The second-story windows have pointed arch lintels set into arch frames that are ornamented. There are heavy blocks that appear to be supporting the ornamental cornice that distinguishes the first floor of this home from the second. In 2003, a rather dense coverage of ivy hid much of the decoration on this fine home. There is, according to the architectural description, a triangular gable above the second story window with an ogival arch. At the top, you will see a gabled mansard roof.

This home was apparently built for Zita B. Graham who earned his wealth as a Detroit entrepreneur and lumber dealer. By 1885, Graham was secretary treasurer of the Cheney Anvil and Vise Company making him one of a large number who prospered as Detroit emerged as a leading industrial metropolis between the Civil War and the coming of the automobile age. Graham apparently derived income and wealth from his investments in Michigan's forests.

Graham, I believe, served as a First Lieutenant in the 16th Regiment of the Michigan Volunteers during the war between the states. Unless I am confused about his identity, I believe that he was a very literate lieutenant who kept a diary and wrote extensively and perceptively about the battle at Gettysburg. His extensive and informative comments and observations helped historians to understand this battle.

Date of Construction: 1885
Architectural Style: Basically Late Victorian
Architect: Unknown to me.
Use in 2003: It is still a residence.
State of Michigan Historical Registry: P25128
Photo: Ren Farley, July 2003

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