About

Adrian Architecture is an award winning website that presents images and information about popular styles of buildings in Adrian, Michigan, that can be found on ordinary, everyday houses and public buildings throughout North America from the middle of the nineteenth century until the first third of the twentieth century.

Italianate-style Burnham Historical Building, 204 E. Church, Adrian, 1861-1863

Click here for an essay about this house by Annie Carden.

The main texts for this site were written by Peter Barr, Professor of Art History at Siena Heights University in Adrian. The website also includes numerous additional texts written by Professor Barr as well as his students, and some community members.

Rich in photographic illustrations, this site can help you become familiar with the styles of these buildings. Accompanying information helps place these styles within their historical contexts. You'll find here a year-by-year history of the city of Adrian, definitions of key architectural terms as well as a bibliography and links.

Finally, the site contains information about a self-guided walking tour of Adrian’s Dennis Street/State Street Historic District. This district is located next to the Lenawee County Historical Museum and contains a remarkable variety of nineteenth-century architectural forms and styles. 

This website represents a collaborative effort involving students from Siena Heights University, the Lenawee County Historical Museum, and the residents of Adrian. Art students at the University selected one of the homes to research, met with the current owners, and conducted in-depth research in the Museum's archives and elsewhere. They uncovered fascinating information about the home's style features, historical owners, and their relationships to the history of Adrian. Special thanks to Jan Richardi, who is a volunteer at the Museum, for guiding the students and me through the archives there and for helping me to improve the content of this website in countless ways.

In April 2005, this site received Special Recognition from Imagining Michigan, which identified this project as a model for a Campus-Community Partnership. Members of the Awards Committee felt that the project was "quite meritorious and worthy of attention," noting that "the philosophy of the project embodied Imagining Michigan's vision of taking the campus into the community and involving multiple parties with distinctly different goals." They commended Siena Heights University for engaging in significant historic preservation scholarship, and wished that colleges and universities across the state would follow suit. Lastly, they praised the website for its impact and its long-term potential, and encouraged all partners to continue working in this vein.

Printing of information and images from this website for non-profit educational purposes is encouraged so long as each author is given due credit; no permission is needed. For all other purposes, please contact Peter Barr through Studio Angelico, which is the Art Department at Siena Heights University.

Www.adrianarchitecture.org is the second edition of the Adrian Architecture website.  The first edition was designed by Todd Marsee in 2004 and known as www.adrianarchitecture.com.  Todd Marsee and Erin Zerbe offered helpful suggestions for improving the design of the second edition of this site.