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Shelden-Dee Block

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1899–1900, Henry Leopold Ottenheimer. 512–524 Shelden Ave.
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

The large three-story Shelden-Dee Block was commissioned by James R. Dee and Mary E. Shelden (1845–1935), members of early pioneer families who speculated in the mineral and timberlands of Michigan's copper frontier. A single large block of stores and office suites was divided into identical halves, one for each investor. Brick with smooth-cut and richly carved red Portage Entry sandstone cover a steel structural frame. There is quite a lot of Louis Sullivan in the building: the tripartite division between base, shaft, and top; the emphasis on the verticals in the engaged pilasters that articulate the frame with recessed spandrels and secondary verticals between; the clearly articulated door motifs; and the ornament in the frieze. A rich and ornate copper cornice supports the roof. Paul P. F. Mueller constructed the building. The Shelden-Dee Block is a classical version of Chicago School design.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Shelden-Dee Block", [Houghton, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 473-473.

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