The Way It Was


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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE WALTER P. REUTHER LIBRARY ARCHIVES OF LABOR AND URBAN AFFAIRS, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY (THE DETROIT NEWS)

1958 Against the dramatic backdrop of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC), a woman appears to be teaching children proper swimming strokes in Lake St. Clair. Although the GPYC was founded in 1914, the current clubhouse, with its commanding 187-foot tower, wasn’t built until 1929. It was designed by Boston architect Guy Lowell, who was also responsible for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the New York State Supreme Courthouse. The GPYC, at Lake Shore and Vernier roads in Grosse Pointe Shores, is reminiscent of an 18th-century edifice in Venice; in fact, one of spaces at the clubhouse is called the Venetian Room. Lowell was fond of Italy and its architecture, writing two books on Italian villas and farmhouses. Sadly, he didn’t live to see the GPYC’s completion, but it remains one of the most beloved buildings in the Grosse Pointes and the site of many weddings and banquets. Lowell would no doubt be pleased that the GPYC earlier this year was added to the National Register of Historic Places. — George Bulanda

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