Pierre Lindhout, Architect

“One of the most prolific Grand Rapids architects..."

Pierre Lindhout (1891-1940) was one of the most prolific Grand Rapids architects of the early twentieth century. Lindhout was born in Antwerp, Belgium receiving his technical education in architecture in the universities of Belgium and France. He moved to Grand Rapids at the age of fourteen.

Lindhout began his career in 1905 in the office of Osgood & Osgood; Sidney J. Osgood was regarded as one of the foremost architects in the country. Osgood & Osgood designed a wide variety of structures including churches, commercial buildings, and private residences. Many of Lindhout's later designs reflected elements characteristic of this firm's work.

In his five years with Osgood, Lindhout moved from apprentice to draftsman to architect. He went into business for himself in 1909. He designed all manner of buildings throughout the Midwest and other areas of the country. The building at 215 Sheldon Boulevard, built for the Davenport Institute, is one example of a commercial structure designed by Lindhout in West Michigan. He, of course, also designed 941 Wealthy Street house a portion of the Helmus Brothers' business and the Station C Post Office. The Wealthy Street Baptist Temple and Bethany Reformed Church in Grand Rapids are among the many churches he designed throughout Michigan.

A Lindhout specialty was the design of small, neighborhood theaters. Eleven of these were once scattered throughout the central city of Grand Rapids. Wealthy Theatre at 1130 Wealthy Street SE in the Wealthy Theatre Historic District is the sole surviving example of this work.

Lindhout was a member of the Michigan Society of Architects and was at one time president of the Grand Rapids Society of Architects. He served with the Army During World War I, stationed in San Antonio Texas, as part of the construction department of the National War Work council of the YMCA.

Pierre Lindhout died at age fifty-three after a long illness. At the time of his death, he was a designer for the W.B. Jarvis Company and had worked as an architect in Grand Rapids for thirty-two years. He was survived by his widow Mrs. Trixie Mae, his son William, his daughter Mrs. Harry O'Malley, and his mother Mrs. Josephine Lindhout—all of Grand Rapids.

SOURCES

  • Smith-Hoffman, Rebecca and Metz, Jennifer
  • Historic Preservation Certification Application Continuation Sheet
  • The Grand Rapids Herald, March 23, 1919.
  • (Obituary) The Grand Rapids Herald, July 16, 1940.
  • The Grand Rapids Herald, April 12, 1914.

PHOTO CREDITS

  • Pierre Lindhout – The Grand Rapids Herald, August 11, 1912.
  • Wealthy Theatre – by permission of the Grand Rapids Public Library.