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William Burnett House

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Before 1856. 3555 W. Delhi Rd., 2.5 miles east of Dexter
  • (Photo by G. Grubb)
  • (Photo by G. Grubb)
  • (Photo by G. Grubb)

The William Burnett House is a small cobblestone house commonly known as a “hen-and-chicks” type, derived from its reference to a larger central two-story unit flanked by two smaller one-story wings. The central “hen” is gabled, while the “chicks” present half-gable roofs. It is also known as a basilica type, because of its similarity to Early Christian basilica churches. William Burnett migrated to Michigan in the early 1800s from upstate New York, where cobblestone houses were popular. The Burnett house is unique to Michigan in its cobblestone basilica form. There are several details that associate the house with Classical Revival, including the wide entablature and cornice returns and the strict symmetrical simplicity of form. Fieldstone quoins replace the corner pilasters of other Classical Revival houses. The front entrance has a pediment and surrounding pilasters, and the window hoods repeat the pediment motif. Acquired by Abram Davis in the 1870s and by Henry Ford in 1940, the house today is privately owned.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "William Burnett House", [Ann Arbor, 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, 155-155.

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