Tuesday, March 19, 2013

William Kessler House

Balthazar Korab, Architect of Photography
photo by: Balthazar Korab
The first home featured on this blog is the home of Grosse Pointe Park's own noted modernist architect, William Kessler.  After graduating with a B.A. in Architecture from the Institute of Design, Chicago, Mr. Kessler studied under two noted masters of modern architecture: Walter Gropius, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Minoru Yamasaki, as Senior Designer of the Leinweber, Yamasaki and Hellmuth, Architects firm in the Detroit area.  Mr. Kessler founded several firms after his time at Yamasaki: Meathe, Kessler and Associates; William Kessler and Associates; and Kessler, Francis, Cardoza Architects.

Photo by: Semi-Modern

Mr. Kessler's own home on Cadieux in Grosse Pointe Park reflects an understated aesthetic from the street that blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood despite the more traditional nature of the surrounding homes.  Once inside the home, the home is anything but traditional.

Photo by: Semi-Modern

The blog Semi-Modern has a profile of the home that is far better than any I could possibly provide.  They were able to tour the home shortly after it had been put on the market for the first time ever.  Their profile shows the home with its original modern furnishings:

Semi-Modern feature on William Kessler House

Photo by: Semi-Modern

Other notable works in metro Detroit by Mr. Kessler are the revolutionary design of Detroit Receiving Hospital, Mt. Clemens Federal Savings & Loan Building, The Beach Grill in St. Clair Shores, the Detroit Science Center, Kresge-Ford Building at the College for Creative Studies, the Coleman A. Young Community Center (with partners James & Carolyn Cardoza) , Grand Valley State University (as part of Yamasaki & Associates) as well as historic restoration projects that include the major renovation of the Fox Theater (with partner Edward Francis), an interior renovation of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the renovation and addition to the Detroit Cornice & Slate Building.  The list of his influential and ground breaking works could go on and on.  Mr. Kessler was a Fellow of the American Instutute of Architects.

Photo by: Semi-Modern

In addition to Mr. Kessler's rich architectural legacy, he also contributed to the social legacy of the area through his service on the Grosse Pointe Human Relations Council, which brought Whitney Young and Martin Luther King Jr. to speak in Grosse Pointe during the highly charged 1960s in metro Detroit.  Mr. Kessler also served his community on the Grosse Pointe Park Planning Commission and City Council and played an influential role on the Michigan Special Commission of Art in State Buildings to bring art to state buildings in Lansing.

Photo by: Semi-Modern

Mr. Kessler passed at his home on November 16, 2002.

1 comment:

  1. I have loved this home for years. Every time we drive by.