Marcus R. Burrowes (1874 – 1953) was a notable Detroit architect. He served one year in the position of president of the Michigan Society of Architects and was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was widely known in southeast Michigan, especially during the second and third decades of the twentieth century, for his recreation of English Revival style buildings.
Burrowes was born in Tonawanda, N.Y., near Buffalo. Burrowes attended the Denver Art Academy, where he attended lectures and received instruction by architects of note, as well as serving an apprenticeship to a leading architectural firm in Denver. In the 1890s, Burrowes work took him to Canada, where he was employed in the chief architects office of the Dominion at Ottawa, specializing in post office buildings. From Canada, he crossed the Detroit River to Detroit, a place suitable for an entrepreneurial architect like Burrowes.
Initially, Burrowes worked in the offices of Albert Kahn. In 1907, he joined the firm of Stratton and Baldwin for two years, which put him into contact with leading figures in the Arts and Crafts movement in Detroit, including Kahn, William B. Stratton, Frank C. Baldwin, and George Booth. Through Stratton's connections with Mary Chase Perry Stratton of Pewabic Pottery, Burrowes gained exposure to this important Detroit-based firm as well.
However, deciding his future was to be in independent practice, Burrowes formed the firm of Burrowes and Wells with Dalton R. Wells. By 1914, Burrowes was operating under his own name. In 1920 he joined with Frank Eurich, who had received training in the architecture program from Cornell University. Together, Burrowes and Eurich designed many homes in Grosse Pointe and Detroit, as well as several libraries and municipal buildings.
During his lifetime, Burrowes was recognized by his fellow architects. He served as president of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1916-1917; vice-president of the Detroit Chapter in 1923, and secretary from 1911-1915. He served as president of the Michigan Society of Architects in 1923-1924. In 1940, he was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and became Emeritus in 1952. He was a member of the Episcopal Church and the Detroit Athletic Club.
Burrowes died at the age of 79 at his home in London, Ontario, which he had retired to eight months previous. His obituary in the Detroit Free Press in 1953, stated how "he designed more than 1,000 structures in and near Detroit during his long career."
Read more about Marcus Burrowes: Selected Commissions
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