1015 College Avenue
1015 College Avenue, Houghton, MI 49931
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1015 College Avenue

Built in 1902 by Reginald C. Pryor
Pryor taught at the Michigan College of Mines
Alpha Gamma Delta sorority since 1987

The house’s beautiful interior features decorative molding and stained-glass windows.

At the turn of the 20th century, College Avenue reflected the growth and prestige of Houghton’s middle-to upper-class. This brick veneered home, with its broad front porch and prominent Palladian dormer exemplifies this prosperity. Reginald C. Pryor, son of prominent Houghton businessman James Pryor, acquired the property in 1902 and built this home in 1904. Pryor was involved in various enterprises including land-surveying and his family’s lumber business. He also worked as an instructor at the Michigan College of Mines teaching mathematics, drawing, and mineralogy. When Pryor died in 1931, the Houghton National Bank assumed ownership of the house and sold it to Michael Messner in April 1931. Messner worked for Messner Coal Co. and lived there until he died in 1971. After Messner’s passing, the house was purchased by Donald P. Meyers and his wife, who lived there until June of 1987, when the house was purchased by the Zeta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta national sorority. 

The house was built in the American Foursquare style within the Colonial Revival style. This can be noted by the house’s cubic shape, the dormers, and the broad front porch. The foundation of the house is made of Jacobsville sandstone and the house is constructed of wood with a tan brick veneer covering the exterior. The large porch features matching pediments on both ends. From the outside, a large third floor dormer can be viewed along with two smaller dormers on that same floor and another two dormers on the second floor. The exterior of the second floor features three arched windows. The interior of the house is mostly symmetrical, aside from the first floor. In contrast to the little use of exterior ornamentation, the home’s interior features an elegant parlor with decorative molding, wooden ceiling beams in the dining room, and dark wood wall paneling in both the dining and living rooms. Several stained-glass windows adorn the first and second floors, primarily along the main staircase.

Sources: LaPean, K. (2003) 1015 College Ave. Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority House - Zeta Epsilon Chapter. Report prepared for SS 3515 History of American Architecture at Michigan Technological University; Historic Houghton Walking Tour (c. 2000); Image: Vernacular Architecture Forum. (2024). 1015 College Ave. North of the Northwoods: From Mines to Motels on Michigan’s Lake Superior (p. 59). photograph.

American Foursquare Colonial Revival