Alexander Chene House

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Alexander Chêne House
Alexander Chene House Detroit 1983.png
Alexander Chene House, 1983
Location 2681 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′21″N 83°1′17″W / 42.33917°N 83.02139°W / 42.33917; -83.02139Coordinates: 42°20′21″N 83°1′17″W / 42.33917°N 83.02139°W / 42.33917; -83.02139
Built 1855 (1855)
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Federal
Demolished April 1991
MPS East Jefferson Avenue Residential TR
NRHP reference # 85002936[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 09, 1985
Designated MSHS January 17, 1986[2]

The Alexander Chêne House was a private residence located at 2681 East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985[1] and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1986,[2] but subsequently demolished in April 1991.[2]


The Alexander Chêne House was a two-story, Federal-style house with additional Colonial Revival details on the facade, added after original construction.[2] The house was constructed of red brick sitting on a raised basement. A one-story porch sat in the center of the front facade, and the side walls rose above the roof to form fractables.[2] A small cornice ran the width of the front. The windows were topped with decorative iron lintels.[2] A rear extension was added to the house in the 20th century.[2]


The Chêne House was one of the few examples of the Federal style in Detroit. It was built in 1850 by Alexander Chêne on land which had been granted to the Chêne family by Louis XIV of France in 1707.[2] The house was later owned by Charles B. Warren, who constructed the rear wing some time between 1902 and 1914.[2]

The house was later used as a fraternity house for the University of Detroit, and during Prohibition was a speakeasy. Starting in 1935, the house was used as a fine dining restaurant, known as Little Harry's. The restaurant went through a series of owners, and closed in 1990. It was sold to singer Anita Baker, and in 1991, the structure was demolished and replaced with a franchise International House of Pancakes (IHOP).[3]



  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chêne, Alexander, House (demolished 4/91) from the state of Michigan
  3. ^ Paul Vachon (2016), Lost Restaurants of Detroit, Arcadia Publishing, pp. 18–20, ISBN 9781467135597