Born in Boston and a graduate of Brown University, Henry Simmons Frieze (1817–1889) came in 1854 to the University of Michigan to teach Latin. In 1859 he purchased over an acre of land at the outskirts of town and began construction of this Italian Villa house, one of the city's finest residences. Perhaps it was inspired by the many splendid Italian Villa houses that he may have seen in Providence after his graduation from Brown. The Frieze house is two stories with a hipped roof and intersecting gables, balconies, and porches. A wooden cupola, added in 1870, has a concave hipped roof topped by a finial and a weather vane. Skilled stonemasons from Guelph, Ontario, split, dressed, and laid local fieldstone two feet thick in the exterior walls. The spacious interior has four fireplaces, and the woodwork is oiled walnut and butternut. The fine proportions and skillful construction of the Frieze house make it an important component of Ann Arbor's architectural heritage.
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Henry S. Frieze House
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