Gordon Hall

Also known as: Judge Samuel W. Dexter House
8347 Island Lake Rd., Dexter, Michigan


Historic American Buildings Survey Victor Stankiewicz, Photographer. March 16, 1937. FRONT (NORTH) AND EAST ELEVATION

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey


Street View 


Samuel W. Dexter moved to Michigan in 1824 & founded a village he named Dexter, after his father. In 1826 he was appointed Chief Justice of Washtenaw County. That same year he moved into a new house on Huron Street in Dexter. The group of B & W photos above from the HABS survey shows the Huron Street house. It was demolished in 1939.

Judge Dexter built a home about a half mile northwest of town that he moved into in 1843. He named it Gordon Hall in honor of his mother Catherine Gordon Dexter. It is a Greek Revival style house with small wings on both sides at the back. The left-rear wing was replaced in the late 1870s with a 4 story tower. The 1934 HABS survey shows this house with the tower on the left and an L shaped wing on the right. The tower was removed in the early 1940s when the house was restored to its original appearance.

In 1950 the house was given to the University of Michigan & the interior converted into 4 apartments. A 4 bay garage was added to the circa 1850 storehouse in 1956.

Gordon Hall is now owned by the Dexter Area Historical Society.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1972
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Multiple dwelling
Period of significance
Significant years
1844; 1870; 1945

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2015: New photo from Jim Allen
  • November 21, 2015: New photos from Jim Allen
  • June 2, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER