Alexander Chapoton House

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Alexander Chapoton House
Location511 Beaubien Street
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°19′54″N 83°2′26″W / 42.33167°N 83.04056°W / 42.33167; -83.04056Coordinates: 42°19′54″N 83°2′26″W / 42.33167°N 83.04056°W / 42.33167; -83.04056
ArchitectAlexander Chapoton
Architectural styleQueen Anne
NRHP reference #80001919[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 10, 1980
Designated MSHSApril 21, 1980[2]

The Alexander Chapoton House is a Queen Anne style row house located at 511 Beaubien Street in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1980.[1][2]

Alexander Chapoton[edit]

Alexander Chapoton

Alexander Chapoton was a descendant of one of the oldest Detroit families.[3] His ancestor Jean Chapoton was a surgeon in the French army, and was assigned to Fort Pontchartrain, arriving in 1719.[4] Jean remained in Detroit until his death in 1762.

Years later, Jean's descendant Alexander Chapoton inherited his father Eustache's[5] masonry business and a fortune to go along with it.[3] He later expanded his business and became an important contractor in Detroit, helping to build several commercial blocks and residences, including the Globe Tobacco Building.[4] He also served on the Water Board and was appointed to a commission that selected an architect for the Michigan state capitol.[4] Chapoton's son, Alexander Jr., joined the family business and eventually inherited a greater fortune than his father had.[3]

Chapoton built this house in the late 1870s as rental property.[3] However, Chapoton himself lived in the home until his death in 1893.


The house is a three-story brick building with its foundation placed at the edge of the sidewalk. The stone-faced basement raises the first floor several feet off the ground.[4] The facade is asymmetrical, with a three-bay first floor upper floors of differing height.[4] The brick and stone hoods over the windows vary from floor to floor.[4] It is believed that the first and second stories were once separated by cast iron panels which were removed during renovation.[4]

The interior floor plan is unusual, having space for Victorian Living hall. The interior still retains the original trim, staircase and parlor fireplace.[3]

Later years[edit]

When this house was built, it was one of a row of similar homes on Beaubien.[6] In the years following the house's construction, the area around it was cleared for commercial development. The development was especially prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s; as a result, only a few row houses remain. The Alexander Chapoton House is one of the last examples of Queen Anne style row houses in the city.[3]

The house was used as a rooming house for several decades. In the 1980s, it was purchased and renovated.[3] Currently, the first floor is art gallery, studios are located in the basement and offices are on the upper floors.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Chapoton, Alexander, House". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Alexander Chapoton House Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine from the city of Detroit
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Alexander Chapoton House Local Historic District Archived 2007-12-15 at the Wayback Machine from
  5. ^ Robert Budd Ross, George Byron Catlin, Clarence Monroe Burton, Landmarks of Detroit, 1898, Evening News Association, p. 167
  6. ^ Eric J. Hill, John Gallagher, American Institute of Architects Detroit Chapter, AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture, 2002, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0-8143-3120-3, p.36