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Architecture In Grosse Pointe Leonard B. Willeke was, one of the most versatile and prolific architects to work in the Grosse Pointe area, reports Thomas W. Brunk for the April/May 1987 Heritage magazine, author of the architectural book, Leonard B. Willeke: Excellence in Architecture and Design.
Leonard Willekes experience took him to New York City, San Francisco as well as studying abroad in Paris, North Africa, and England. He worked in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and finally, Michigan.
Licensed as an architect in Michigan in 1916, Willeke was hired to build his largest residential commission at 22 Webber Place (formerly 619 Lake Shore Road). William Petzold, secretary and treasurer of the J.L. Hudson Company, commissioned Willeke to build his large home at 1010 Three Mile; Charles A. Baker commissioned Willeke to build 832 Balfour as well as many speculative homes in the Pointes.
Willekes other notable clientele included Henry and Edsel B. Ford, Mrs. William Clay, Oscar Webber, Ernest C. Kanzler and many more. He was truly a jack of all trades, not only an architect, he dabbled in furniture, automobile, and landscape design. Thomas Brunk writes, ...His craftsmanlike understanding of materials, coupled with his sense of structural unity, provides a basis for our appreciation of his work today.
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