The architecture on Milford's Main Street is classic late 1800's, from a time when the town was booming. The popular style of the day, Italianate, included ornate cornices, window caps and elaborate trim. By 1939 when the Powerhouse was built, architectural styles had changed dramatically. Modern designs were more streamlined and new building materials were available.
Albert Kahn's work stands out as unique in Milford with it's sleek design, glass block, curved "wings" and large window openings, elements of the Art Deco style. Kahn was an innovative and award winning industrial designer. The Powerhouse is an example of his genius for elegance in architecture and Milford's most prominent and significant example of the Art Deco style.
Currently (2007) there are only three other remaining Art Deco buildings in Milford, not so easily recognizable.
Can you find them?
Albert Kahn also designed the Ford Carburetor Factory on Milford's Upper Mill Pond and another hydroelectric station on the Huron River. They have both been demolished. Ford's 12th Village Industry was comprised of these two buildings plus the Powerhouse which now stands as a reminder of Henry Ford's influence on this small farming community.
So respected by the Fords, Albert Kahn was commissioned to also design Fordís huge Highland Park, Rouge and Willow Run plants, as well as the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shore, the Fisher and General Motors Buildings in Detroit and some notable University of Michigan buildings.