old gm building
Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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A Brief History of 3143-3145 Trumbull
I assembled this information for my landlord Tom, who owns this house on the corner of Trumbull and Ash:



This three-story, brick double-residence was originally numbered 513-515 Trumbull. The city fire marshal issued a building permit on March 19, 1887 to build the structure, which indicated an estimated cost of $8,900.00. The house was designed by the architecture firm Donaldson & Meier, founded in 1880 by John M. Donaldson (1854-1941) and Henry J. Meier (1858-1917). Donaldson & Meier are best known for the David Stott Building, constructed in 1929. Their other designs include the First Unitarian Church of Detroit (1890), Sacred Heart Seminary (1923), and St. Aloysius Church (1930).

The first owner of this home was Stephen A. Pratt, a successful boiler manufacturer. He was born in England on August 13, 1838 to Stephen and Jane Pratt and immigrated to the United States with his family at age 10. He married Sarah Jane Gregg on September 24, 1863. The couple had at least three children who survived infancy: Stephen Jr., John, and Jennie. Mrs. Pratt died on April 18, 1881 when giving birth to a stillborn baby girl. On August 12, 1885, Stephen Pratt married Mary Barbara Essick, the family’s 24-year-old maid, in Ann Arbor. They had four children: Edward E., George H., Mary Lucille, and Helen I.

After the house on Trumbull was completed, the Pratt family moved into the north unit (3145) and rented out the other half. The first renter of 3143 Trumbull was businessman Nelson King Riddle, who resided there until 1904. Stephen A. Pratt passed away on March 29, 1907. By 1920, his widow and children were living in California, and this house was inhabited by his nephew, Albert Samuel Pratt, a successful contractor.


I'll do more real research later, but that won't be for so long that I wanted to at least provide him with what I found out so far.

The Albert Pratt mentioned at the end is the contractor who built my current apartment in 1917. I successfully contacted his daughter, who lived in this house until the age of two. Her brother, born in 1919, is also still alive. He is supposedly searching for old photos of this house.

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