Hopkins, David S.

HOPKINS, David S. (1836-1918), of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a prolific designer who originated the mail order system of selling residential plans to home owners in the United States and Canada. Born in Argyle, N.Y. he moved to Grand Rapids in 1864 and designed several landmarks there, including the Wonderly Building, the Masonic Temple, First Methodist Church and the Castle Cottage at Highland Park. It was his pattern books, however, which enabled him to widely disseminate his ideas for residences designed in a variety of fashionable styles including the Colonial, late Victorian, Edwardian and the eclectic. By 1895 he had produced at least ten catalogues displaying over four hundred home plans. His largest catalogue, entitled Hopkins Homes : A Collection of Practical and Economical House and Cottage Designs was produced in collaboration with his partner J. Latimer Davis and released in 1905. A list of some his house plan catalogues appears in Henry-Russell Hitchcock, American Architectural Books, 1976, 51. In Canada it is likely that many of his residential designs borrowed from his publications will be found in Ontario and Quebec; two of which have been identified include the house for Charles M. Garvey, Christina Street, in SARNIA, ONT., 1888 (Sarnia Observer, 25 May 1888, 5) and a large dwelling for the Superintendent of the Lake Superior Power Company at SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT., c. 1901 (dwgs. in the possession of Christopher Tossell, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.). Hopkins died in Grand Rapids on 21 April 1918 (obituary in the Grand Rapids News, 22 April 1918, 5; inf. from Ms. H. Bisbee, Grand Rapids Public Library).