514-18, 546-48 and 580 DEVONSHIRE ROAD

ARCHITECT - Mason & Rice, Detroit,

Built: c. 1890

The Walkerville Land & Building Co. commissioned the Mason & Rice firm to design these massive semi-detached houses - the first management-rank buildings in Walkerville, pre-dating the later residential development to the south.

They occupy the entire block between Brant and Wyandotte Streets, and each is distinct from the other. Originally, all had wooden shingled roofs and gables and were constructed of dark, double wythe brick, but here the similarity ends. Two have round-headed (Romanesque) arched entrances with ornamental trim and brick voussoirs moulded to fit the curve. Both have bell-cast roofs and gabled dormers.

The paired house in the middle has a shared balconette connecting the projecting bays to reinforce its symmetry. The most southerly building is markedly different, although gross alterations in the addition of bay-like windows have obliterated the elegant Queen Anne Revival windows at the second and third storeys.

Its gabled porch detail can be found in other Mason & Rice houses on Kildare and Windermere Roads. The quality of these early residences set the tone for later managerial housing development in Walkerville.