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Woodward, 315: Julius Caesar Burrows House

From a series published by the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1944 called Interesting Homes in and Around Kalamazoo:

“Member of Congress and Senator for 39 years, and one of the truly great men to come out of Kalamazoo, Julius Caesar Burrows made his home in the distinctive house that is now an apartment building at 315 Woodward Avenue. He was permanent chairman of the Republican National Convention from 1908 on, and had vied with Reed, Cameron, and McKinley for leadership of his party.

Senator Burrows came to Richland in 1860 as principal of the Richland Seminary. Later moving to Kalamazoo, he practiced law, raised a company for the 17th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment and served as Captain through several battles of the Civil War.

His long, honored career in congress began in 1872 when he was first elected. At the time, many changes were made in the stately home for the Senator’s newly won prestige called for numerous public functions. Today, older residents of the neighborhood recall the handsome carriages that rolled up before 315 Woodward…the distinguished guests who alighted…and the soft glow of lights from the brilliant receptions.”

Julius Caesar Burrows, c. 1865. Library of Congress

Built in 1872 by by contractor Calvin Forbes for himself, the “much-altered house” (Schmitt, 142) was occupied by the prominent lawyer and U.S. Congressman until his death in 1915. Stylistically, the home combines elements of Italianate and Neoclassical features, notably a bracketed cornice, bay windows, two columns at the entryway, and a pediment.

Article written by Ryan Gage, Kalamazoo Public Library staff, August 2023



“Interesting homes in and around Kalamazoo”

Kalamazoo Gazette, 6 February 1944


Kalamazoo: nineteenth century homes in a midwestern village

Peter Schmitt and Balthazar Korab
H 720.9774 S355

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