The homes in the neighborhoods of Stuart, West Main Hill and South Street in Kalamazoo reflect both the individuality and also the economic status of their original owners. There are a variety of architectural styles examples here from the the turn of the century. The most popular of these are Queen Anne and Renaissance style, but there are Italian, Gothic and Greek influences as well.
The Henderson Park neighborhood was platted by Frank Henderson, who took advantage of Kalamazoo’s topography by rejecting a typical grid pattern in favor of curving, tree-lined streets and deep setbacks. The Kalamazoo Public Library’s excellent Kalamazoo Local History section features articles and photos of many of the homes. The Henderson Castle feature says in part:
The Queen Anne style house–always called “The Castle” by local residents because of its ornate style and imposing hilltop location–was designed by C. A. Gombert of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and cost $72,000 to build. With seven baths, a thirteen-head shower, an elevator, a third-floor ballroom, and a hot tub on the roof (added later) the 25-room castle exemplifies high society and expensive tastes. The castle’s exterior is made of Lake Superior sandstone and brick, and the interior wood includes mahogany, bird’s eye maple, quartered oak, birch, and sycamore.
John Clement Howe has a great set of photos of the historic district in Kalamazoo (slideshow). The city has many sites on the national, state and local historic registers and you can get a walking tour map from the Kalamazoo County Convention & Visitors Bureau – call (269) 381-4003.
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