Preservation Farmington explores old homes in new series

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published October 3, 2016

 Farmington resident David Lipka’s house in the 33800 block of Grand River Avenue has changed over the years.

Farmington resident David Lipka’s house in the 33800 block of Grand River Avenue has changed over the years.

Photos provided by the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room


FARMINGTON — It’s hard to miss the yellow house on Grand River Avenue, near downtown.

Amid a row of colorful homes — and kitty-corner from the Governor Warner Mansion — is David Lipka’s house in the 33800 block of Grand River Avenue.

Lipka and his wife and two young children moved into the Victorian house about five years ago, and they have big plans to renovate the house back to its original state with a front porch. Currently, a front addition has a wall covering the front porch, which now acts as another room. The home features yellow walls, large windows, a winding staircase and original scalloped shingles.

“We are trying to respect some of the original architecture of the house; as times change and people move in and are seeking different things about their houses, they obviously need to change up to suit their needs,” Lipka said on his property Sept. 27.

Built in 1894 by M.B. Pierce, a barber, Lipka’s house is in the Farmington Historic District and is within walking distance to downtown.

“We love Farmington, so we were trying to find houses in Farmington, and there is not really a whole lot to find,” he said. “Some of the nicer ones were older houses, so we caught this one and we thought it had really great character.”

The character and essence of historic homes in Farmington, and beyond, will be discussed in Preservation Farmington’s fall lecture series.

The first lecture, held Sept. 21, discussed local architectural styles. A lecture on Oct. 6 will discuss kit houses in metro Detroit, and one on Dec. 7 will explain how people can research their historic home.

Preservation Farmington is a local community advocacy group with a mission to preserve and protect historic architecture in downtown Farmington.

Preservation Farmington was co-founded by locals Maria Taylor, Jena Stacey and Marilyn Weimar, who were members of the Farmington Historical Commission.

Taylor said in a recent phone interview that the series is designed to appeal to anyone interested in old houses.

Taylor said that the upcoming 7 p.m. Oct. 6 event at the Heritage and History Center in Heritage Park will discuss the phenomenon of kit houses in the mid-20th century.

“I don’t know if there are any in Farmington — there are some in Farmington Hills,” Taylor said.

Kit houses came in the mail, and the homeowner had to put the house together.

Admission costs $5, payable at the door; admission is free for Preservation Farmington members. For more information, go to