Turkel House: Detroit, Michigan

UPDATE (3/25/06): Click HERE for some new interior photos and information on the Turkel House.

The Turkel house was built in 1955 for Dorothy Turkel.  The home was built by Sol Raikow of Raikow construction. I've exchanged e-mail with Mr. Raikow's grandson and he's told me that working with Mr. Wright on this project was a great source of pride for him.  The home is built on an oddly shaped lot and is pushed up close to the lot line.   The narrow driveway skirts the very edge of the property, and as is visible from the photo below the home is butted up against the driveway... even having one section cantilevered out over the driveway. 

Driveway and living room wing.

The two-story living room faces the street.  It is set back a little ways from the street and some trees and bushes offer an element of privacy.  The deep overhanging eaves as well as the concrete work between windows also add to this element of privacy.  When you look at the house, you can see that the living room is open to be viewed from the street, but you can't quite see any detail of the interior.  I imagine that at night, with the interior lights on, you'd see everything going on inside.  During the day, however, the living room has an element of privacy.  

Looking at the Turkel house from the neighbor's drive. 

William Allin Storrer writes that the home's original gravity heating system was woefully inadequate and the pipes froze and burst at one point.  It was eventually replaced by forced air heat and air conditioning to make the house a bit more livable.  At one point the home was owned by Tom Monaghan (owner of Dominos Pizza) as were many other Wright homes in the region.  It has since been sold to the current owners as have many of the homes that Mr. Monaghan owned.  It has changed hands again in the winter of 2003/4. I've exchanged e-mails with Mrs. Turkel's grand daughter who lives nearby. She says that there has been more activity around the home this year.... cars in the drive, etc. Hopefully someone will move in and really enjoy this home the way it should be.

Turkel Living room from the street

The above photo shows the balcony and the children's bedroom wing (the "L" portion) that was added later in the building process.

The street view of the rest of the house

As seen above, much of the rest of the house is obscured by the trees that have been planted.  Though the photo doesn't show it, you can really see a lot of the concrete detail around the eaves of the house. 


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