The house at 935 Pearl Street, with its delightful swooping roof, eyebrow window, and lovely landscaping radiates curb appeal. Built in 1922 for Professor William H. Sherzer of the Michigan State Normal College (today EMU) and his wife, Maude, the house is a combination of English Cotswold, American Prairie, and Arts and Crafts styles.
Local builder Maurice Lathers collaborated with Sherzer on the house’s design and construction. Prior to 1920, Summit Street was the western edge of town. When the Sherzers built on Pearl Street, the Normal Park neighborhood was in its infancy. Their house was the first on the block between Summit and Elm streets.
The exterior of the house says “romantic English cottage,” but the interior is pure Arts and Crafts, especially the living room with its tiled fireplace.
The house was last on the tour in 1992, not long after Victoria Patterson bought it. Today she is married to Paul Mayes and they have used floor coverings, wall color, window treatments, and interesting home accents to lend a unique flare to this one-of-a-kind home.
More than a third of Vicki and Paul’s 300-piece collection of antique majolica earthenware are on display in the house. You will also notice their English Portmeirion dishes in the kitchen. Be sure to walk around all four sides of the house after you exit. The yard was a highlight of last year’s Heritage Festival garden walk. In particular, notice the giant butternut tree, the huge hostas, and the perennial border in the surprisingly spacious backyard, and the rose garden on the west side of the house.