Baldwin House garage apartment

Address: 96 Church Street

Old Address: 6 Church Street, or possibly 6 1/2 Church Street

Other names: St. Luke's Rectory Garage Apartment

Year built: 1899-1900

Architect: May have been W. L. Coulter, who designed the Baldwin House.

Other information: The Baldwin House Garage Apartment was, for a time, the home of Isabel Smith, a patient and the author of Wish I Might, a memoir of her curing days. She cured at Trudeau Sanatorium, part of the time in Ludington Infirmary, where her photo was taken — languishing in her cure chair in furs — by Alfred Eisenstadt, and published in Life magazine. After 20-some years of curing under the care of Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, she married in Baker Chapel and went to live in this apartment with her husband, Courtney Malmstrom. As an introduction to Wish I Might, Dr. Trudeau wrote a fine summary of the evolution of TB treatment.

David Chapin, son of patients Mott and Elise Chapin, also lived in this little apartment for a time.

The building's lower floor (built into the hill that descends from the backyards of the homes on Front Street) is masonry, the 2nd floor is wood frame. The second floor A-frame apartment has three large room-sized dormers on the South side of the building. The 8'x18' porch on the East side of the second floor (which faced the tree line between Church Street and Front Street) has been fully enclosed (to become another interior room). Much of the original interior remains, including the original brick fireplace, the original mantle, the tongue-and-groove wall and ceiling boards, sash windows, and the original front door (now inside the building).

Radiators and plumbing were added in the 1920s. Those fixtures are still in place. The small side yard of the apartment is also the backyard of the Baldwin House. When part of the yard was taken in the 1980s for the small church parking lot behind Baldwin House, a retaining wall was built at the base of the garage/apartment on the West side of the building, at the foot of the hill sloping down from the backyards of Front Street.

St. Luke's Church currently (2011) uses the second floor apartment as staff housing, and the lower floor serves as a garage for the St. Luke's Rectory.

Sources: St. Luke's parish written history

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