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William Anderson House, circa 1846, 1940

William Anderson House, circa 1846, 1940 image

2301 Packard Road

William Anderson House, circa 1846, 1940

Pioneer John Anderson purchased Pittsfield Township farmland in 1831, but it was his son William who erected this small Greek Revival home. A modernist who wanted the best for his family, Anderson used stoves instead of fireplaces and installed a closet, an innovation in those days.

As county sheriff, William Anderson had carried on a public feud with Probate Judge Robert S. Wilson, who built a larger Greek Revival house on Division Street. "A dastardly coward," Wilson had called Anderson. Wilson soon left Ann Arbor, but the Anderson family lived in this house through three generations until in 1937 it was sold to Dr. Inez Wisdom.

Dr. Wisdom was a prominent local physician who served as President of Washtenaw County Medical Society and the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Medical Society. She was especially active in Episcopal Church affairs. In 1941 she erected a small chapel for private prayer next to the house on the south side which was patterned after those she had seen in Europe. In 1953 she and her joint tenant and companion, Miss Gertrude Griffith, gave the chapel and grounds to the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, establishing the St. Clare of Assisi parish. The parish later erected its meeting house next door. In 1968 Miss Griffith obtained full title to the house and later gave it to the church.

As on the Kempf House, four square columns support the pediment above which is a frieze containing three window openings with wooden ornamental grilles. A notably pure temple style, the house was drawn and photographed for the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Rights Held By
Photos used to illustrate Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan / by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg.