The Arden Park-East Boston Historic District is a neighborhood in the City of Detroit, Michigan, bounded on the west by Woodward Avenue, on the north by East Boston Boulevard, on the east by Oakland Avenue, and on the south by Arden Park Boulevard. The area is immediately adjacent to the larger Boston-Edison Historic District, on the opposite side of Woodward Avenue, and is in close proximity to Atkinson Avenue. There are 92 homes in the district, all on East Boston and Arden Park Boulevards. Arden Park Boulevard and East Boston Boulevard feature prominent grassy medians with richly planted trees and flowers. The setbacks of the homes are deep, with oversized lots. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The neighborhood was originally platted in 1892 by Joseph R. McLaughlin and Edmund J. Owen along two streets east of Woodward: specifically, East Boston Boulevard and East Chicago Boulevard. and given the name "McLaughlin and Owen's Subdivision." The lots were spacious to attract the city's wealthier residents. The subdivision was sold twice before being purchased by Max Broock, a prominent real estate developer, in 1910. At Broock's urging, the name of "East Chicago" was changed to "Arden Park," giving the thoroughfare its present name.
A typical house in the Arden Park-East Boston neighborhood.
Another typical house in the Arden Park-East Boston neighborhood
Although the neighborhood was first platted in 1892, most of the homes built in the community date to the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. This time period coincided with an economic boom in Detroit, and many newly minted millionaires hired architects to design prestigious dwellings in the neighborhood.Architectural styles represented in Arden Park-East Boston include Italian Renaissance, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Bungalow style and Prairie Style.
Some of the neighborhood's first residents included automotive icons Frederick Fisher and John Dodge, retail pioneer J.L. Hudson, as well as Alexander Y. Malcomson, Clayton and Albert Grinnell. Another retail magnate, Stanley Kresge, Jr. of K-Mart fame, resided in the community. The home of Frederick Fisher, on Arden Park Boulevard, was built in 1918 in the Italian Villa style to the plan of architect George D. Mason. The residence—which comprises nearly 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2)—is built entirely of Indiana limestone and features elaborate stone-carvings and ironwork.
In the 1940s, notable residents included Dr. Dewitt Burton, founder of the Burton Mercy Hospital; Charles Diggs, Sr. first black elected to the Michigan State Senate (father of Charles Diggs, Jr.), and Dr. Haley Bell, dentist, and the first black to receive an FCC license to operate a radio station (WCHB). Rev. Dr. Stephen C. Campbell, Pastor of the Russell St. Baptist Church. Prophet Jones, a prominent African-American Detroit religious leader of the 1950s, resided in a mansion on Arden Park and often addressed his congregation from the front steps of the residence.
Today, the city neighborhood is home largely to professionals, many of whom work in downtown Detroit. The neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the State of Michigan Register of Historic Sites, and is a City of Detroit Designated Historic District.