ARCHITECT - Mason & Rice (presumed), Detroit

Built: c. 1888


Five of the six original buildings may still be seen, the most northerly having been demolished in the 1920s to permit construction of the Royal Bank building (1922). The lost building was the mirror image of that on the south end of the block, while the four between are identical to one another.

They graphically illustrate the planned town concept. The same planning can be seen on the accompanying map of 1884 which shows Third Street (Kildare Road) as it was originally built. All of the survivors have had their distinctive front windows altered, thereby losing the single-hung sash and Queen Anne style transoms with quarrels (small square panes).

Fortunately, an early photo provides evidence for restoration. The former bank building (1922), designed by architect David J. Cameron of Windsor, has been converted to use as an upscale office building, and has been designated on its own historic and architectural merit (By-law 11938).

It represents a more reserved phase of bank design with broad flat planes and minimal ornamentation. The gray apartment blocks across the street were built on the site of Pentilly, William Robins’ great mansion designed by Mason & Rice.