Home designed by Ann Arbor architect in early 1900s for sale

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Photo: Stacey Gingras

ANN ARBOR - "I want it to have character" is how nearly each HGTV home-searching show starts off and I'd be willing to wager that it's the most commonly used phrase on home-buying TV, much like The Bachelor/Bachelorette's "I'm here for the right reasons."

If it's character that you're looking for -- and you happen to be a millionaire -- then this stunning historic, renovated home could fit the bill.

It just hit the market and is located in Ann Arbor's exclusive Highlands neighborhood at 2204 Lafayette Road.

Listed at $1,599,000, the home has five bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half-baths and a total of 3,274 square feet of living space.

Photo: Stacey Gingras

 

Beyond its larger-than-life curb appeal, its pristine grounds and the kitchen of my dreams, this home has an interesting history.

It was designed by local architect and University of Michigan alumnus Rupert W. Koch in 1916. Two years later, he designed the impressive Hoover Mansion at 2015 Washtenaw Ave.

Although he spent most of his career here in Ann Arbor, he also designed several famous buildings in and around Detroit, including the Graystone Ballroom on Woodward Avenue and at least seven Tudor-style mansions in the Grosse Pointe communities.

Original letter by Rupert W. Koch addressed to Earl V. Moore (Courtesy: Jean Wedemeyer)

In a handwritten letter from Koch to potential client Earl V. Moore dated April 15, 1916, after explaining how much money he cut from his proposal, he writes, "I must frankly say you are getting a lot of house for the money."

Another phrase that seems to hold firm to this day in real estate.

He quoted Moore for a total of $5,400, reminding him that another client's home with the same construction "was $5,600, at a time when prices were very down, you will find that you have as good or better a bargain."

A bargain indeed. For those days at least.

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Moore ended up building Koch's design. Moore was the director of the University of Michigan School of Music for 37 years and is perhaps most well-known for co-composing Michigan's fight song "Varsity."

"Over the years, four owners have retained the exceptional charm and integrity of the home, making thoughtful improvements using top notch materials and workmanship," writes real estate agent Jean Wedemeyer, of Reinhart Realtors, who has listed the home.

Features include an open floor plan, a beautiful up-to-date kitchen with heated floors (which was converted from the old garage), a screened porch overlooking the gardens, a gorgeous mudroom, two studies and much more. 

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

Photo: Stacey Gingras

See the full listing here.

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