Brush Park

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Woodward East Historic District
Streetscape on Edmund Place
Location Detroit, Michigan
 United States
Coordinates 42°20′43″N 83°3′9″W / 42.34528°N 83.05250°W / 42.34528; -83.05250Coordinates: 42°20′43″N 83°3′9″W / 42.34528°N 83.05250°W / 42.34528; -83.05250
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Late Victorian, French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire, Italianate, Other
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 75000973[1]
Added to NRHP January 21, 1975

Brush Park is a 22 block neighborhood located within Midtown Detroit, Michigan and designated by the city.[2][3] It is bounded by Mack Avenue on the north, Woodward Avenue on the west, Beaubien Street on the east, and the Fisher Freeway on the south. The neighborhood is experiencing restorations of its historic Gilded Age mansions and luring new residents.[4][5]

Woodward East Historic District[edit]

The Woodward East Historic District is a smaller historic district, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, which is completely encompassed by the larger Brush Park neighborhood. The Woodward East Historic District is located on Alfred, Edmund, and Watson Streets, from Brush Street to John R. Street. Woodward East is particularly known for the high Victorian style residences constructed for Detroit's wealthiest citizens. A number of grand houses have been restored in recent years[6] paying particular attention on the various architectural details, including Second Empire slate mansard roofs, Romanesque columns and classical dentiled cornices.[7]

History[edit]

A 1906 photograph of the First Unitarian Church taken from Woodward Avenue

Beginning in the 1850s, entrepreneur Edmund Brush, son of Elijah Brush, the city's second mayor from its first incorporation, began developing his family's property, located conveniently close to downtown, into a neighborhood for Detroit's elite citizens.[2][8] Homes were built in Brush Park beginning in the 1850s and peaking in the 1870s and 1880s; one of the last homes built was constructed in 1906 by architect Albert Kahn for his personal use. Other early residents of Brush Park included lumber baron David Whitney Jr.; his daughter Grace Whitney Evans; Joseph L. Hudson, founder of the eponymous department store;[9] lumber baron Lucien Moore; banker Frederick Butler; merchant John P. Fiske; Dime Savings Bank president William Livingstone Jr.;[10] and dry goods manufacturer Ransom Gillis. In the late 19th century, the Brush Park neighborhood became known as the "Little Paris of the Midwest".[11]

The Lucien Moore House at 104 Edmund Place, constructed in 1885 and restored in 2006[12]

Architects who designed these mansions included Henry T. Brush, George D. Mason, George W. Nettleton, and Albert Kahn.[13] The French Renaissance style William Livingstone House (1892–93) on Eliot Street was one of Kahn's first commissions. The Red Cross intended to demolish the mansion, originally located west of John R. Street, to make way for their new building. Preservationists succeeded in successfully moving the Livingstone House about one block to the east.[14] Nevertheless, after this change of position some serious structural problems concerning the house's foundations caused the gradual collapse of the building. Artist Lowell Bioleau commemorated the William Livingstone House in a painting entitled Open House which he unveiled the day of its demolition September 15, 2007, underscoring preservationist efforts.[15]

At present, about 80 original structures remain in the area. During the 19th century, around 300 homes were built in Brush Park, including 70 Victorian mansions. However, the neighborhood began to decline in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the advent of streetcars and then automobiles allowed prosperous citizens to live farther from downtown. Early residents moved out, notably to up-and-coming neighborhoods such as Indian Village and Boston-Edison, and Brush Park became less fashionable.[9] During the Great Depression, many of the older mansions were subdivided into apartments and the majority of them, as houses aged in the post-World War II era, became unoccupied and fell into disrepair.

Brush Park's revival began in the 1990s and has accelerated recently. New condominiums have been built in the southern part of the district, near the Fisher Freeway, and a number of the older mansions have been restored.[5] In addition, several other historic houses have been stabilized and "mothballed" by the City of Detroit between 2005 and 2006, on the occasion of the Super Bowl XL played at the nearby Ford Field; however, none of them have been restored since then. A handful of other buildings still remain in a state of complete neglect, and are threatened with demolition.

Architecture[edit]

Name[9][16] Image Year Location Style Architect Notes
Bonstelle Theatre Temple Beth-El Bonstelle Theater.jpg 1902 3424 Woodward Ave. Beaux-Arts, Greek Revival Albert Kahn, C. Howard Crane In accordance with the wishes of rabbi Leo M. Franklin,[17] Albert Kahn designed this neoclassical temple on Woodward Avenue for Detroit's Jewish community. Groundbreaking began on November 25, 1901, with the ceremonial cornerstone laid on April 23, 1902.[18] After the construction of a new synagogue at 8801 Woodward, in 1925 the Temple Beth El was converted into a theater by C. Howard Crane;[9] the façade was later strongly altered with the 1936 Woodward widening. The structure – the oldest synagogue building in Detroit[9] – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
Brownstones RowHouses on John R.jpg 1890 2552 John R. St. Richardsonian Romanesque Renovated as condominiums in 2003.[20]
Frederick Butler House House on Edmund Detroit Woodward East.jpg 1882 291 Edmund Pl. French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire William Scott & Co Built in 1882, the Frederick Butler House is a French Renaissance Second Empire style mansion containing 8,400 sq ft (780 m2); the original owner, Frederick Butler, was a banker.[12] It was restored and converted to condos in 2006.[12] The house, located within the Woodward East Historic District, is presently known as Edmund Place.
James V. Campbell House Streetscape on Alfred Woodward East Detroit.jpg 1877 261 Alfred St. Italianate James Valentine Campbell (1823–1890) was secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Marshall Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.[21] The house was occupied by the Campbell family from 1877 to 1891.[22] The building, pictured far left, is within the Woodward East Historic District.
The Carlton 1923 2915 John R. St. at Edmund Beaux-Arts, Chicago School Louis Kamper Renovated as condominiums.
Carola Building Apartments on Watson Brush Park Detroit.JPG 1912 78 Watson St. Renaissance Revival Renovated as condominiums. Pictured to the left of the Devon.
Lyman Cochrane House Lyman Cochrane House 216 Winder Detroit.JPG 1870 216 Winder St. Italianate This house is a relatively rare example of residential Italianate architecture in Detroit.[23] It was originally built for eye doctor John Terry, but in 1871 was sold to Judge Lyman Cochrane. Cochrane was a state senator and Superior Court Judge, serving in this capacity until his death in 1879.[24]
Crystal lofts 1919 3100 Woodward Ave. at Watson Art Deco The Art Deco façade was added to the building in 1936.[25] Renovated as condominiums.
The Devon Apartments on Watson Brush Park Detroit.JPG 1905 64 Watson St. Art Deco Set to be renovated as condominiums.[26]
J.P. Donaldson House 1870s 82 Alfred St. Queen Anne Gordon W. Lloyd Originally 36 Alfred, 82 Alfred was built in 1882 for J. P. Donaldson. In 1892, David C. Whitney acquired the home, which was completely renovated by Gordon W. Lloyd.[27] At the time it was said to be one of the most substantial homes in Detroit and valued at $30,000 (today $750,000±).[28] The home had several other owners before becoming a rooming house;[28][29] in 2012 the building has been sold to a private buyer for $110,000, and is currently under restoration. In the same year the mansion has been a movie set for the vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive, directed by Jim Jarmusch.[30]
John P. Fiske House 261 Edmund Detroit.JPG 1876 261 Edmund Pl. Second Empire, French Renaissance Revival, Victorian John P. Fiske was a Detroit merchant of china and crockery.[31] The house is within the Woodward East Historic District.
Ransom Gillis House 205 Alfred Detroit.JPG 1876 205 Alfred St. at John R. Venetian Gothic Henry T. Brush & George D. Mason This building has been heavily documented by John Kossik[32] and photographed by documentarian Camilo José Vergara.[33] The house, built between 1876 and 1878 for Ransom Gillis, a wholesale dry goods merchant,[33] is within the Woodward East Historic District.
Bernard Ginsburg House Bernard Ginsburg House Detroit.jpg 1898 236 Adelaide St. Tudor Revival George W. Nettleton & Albert Kahn Bernard Ginsburg was an important figure in philanthropy, civic service, and the Jewish community in Detroit during the late 19th and early 20th century.[7][34] He commissioned architect Albert Kahn to design this house, one of Kahn's earliest works. Kahn went on to become well known in industrial and commercial architecture; the Ginsburg house and its English Renaissance style exhibited is typical of Kahn's early work.[34] The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places,[19] is now under renovation.[35]
John Harvey House John Harvey House Detroit.jpg 1887 97 Winder St. Second Empire John V. Smith John Harvey was a pharmacist and philanthropist. The house contains 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2), eight marble fireplaces, and three-story staircase. Developers purchased the John Harvey House in 1986, renovated the structure, and, in 2005, opened it as the Inn at 97 Winder, a bed and breakfast.[36] The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
Hudson-Evans House Hudson-Evans House Detroit.jpg 1872 79 Alfred St. Second Empire, French Renaissance Revival, Italianate Unknown Also known as the Joseph Lothian Hudson House or the Grace Whitney Evans House. The house was a gift from David Whitney Jr. to his daughter Grace upon her marriage to John Evans in 1872. It later became the Joseph L. Hudson family residence.[9] Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
Albert Kahn House Albert Kahn House.jpg 1906 208 Mack Ave. English Renaissance Albert Kahn In 1906, architect Albert Kahn built a home for his personal use.[37] He lived in this mansion fronting Mack Avenue from 1906 until his death in 1942; the structure was later obtained by the Detroit Urban League, which still uses it today.[38] The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
George Ladve House 269 Edmund Detroit MI.JPG 1882 269 Edmund Pl. Eastlake Victorian Originally owned by George Ladve, 269 Edmund Pl., an Eastlake Victorian style mansion built in 1882 and restored in 2008, contains 7,400 sq ft (690 m2). Ladve had owned a carpet and upholstery company. In the late 1890s, the Frohlich family added a music room. Frohlich was among the original philanthropists to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The house is within the Woodward East Historic District.[39]
The Lamar Watson and John R. Renaissance Revival Condominiums.
Lucien Moore House House on Edmund Detroit.jpg Early 1880s 104 Edmund Pl. French Renaissance Revival, Gothic Revival Originally owned by lumber baron Lucien Moore, 104 Edmund Place, designed in a French Renaissance Gothic Revival style and restored in 2006, has 7,000 sq ft (650 m2).[12][40] The Lucien Moore House restoration was featured December 27, 2005 by HGTV's restore America Initiative in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[11][41] It is presently known as the Moorie Town House.
Patterson Terrace 203-209-212 Erskine St. Richardsonian Romanesque Currently in ruins, the structure needs a massive renovation.
H.P. Pulling House 48 Edmund Detroit.JPG 48 Edmund Pl. Victorian
Emanuel Schloss House 1870 234 Winder St. Second Empire Emanuel Schloss was a dry goods merchant and haberdasher in Detroit.[42] In 1870, he built one of the best examples of a Second Empire home that still exists in Detroit.[42] The home has been restored and now operates as the 234 Winder Street Inn.[43]
Elisha Taylor House Elisha Taylor House Detroit.jpg 1870 59 Alfred St. French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire, Victorian, Gothic Revival Julius Hess The Elisha Taylor House, with its French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire mansard roof, has distinct elements of Victorian and Gothic Revival style and was built for William H. Craig, a Detroit land speculator.[9][44] In 1875,[45] Craig sold the house to Elisha Taylor.[44] Taylor was a Detroit attorney who held many offices during his career, including City Attorney,[44] assistant Michigan Attorney General from 1837 to 1841, and Circuit Court Commissioner from 1846 to 1854.[45] The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
Joseph F. Weber House 1901 206 Eliot St. Georgian Unknown Originally owned by lumber baron Joseph F. Weber, 206 Eliot is a Georgian style house.[46]
Woodward Place 2001 Brush Park Contemporary Colonial Contemporary Colonial loft style condominium development.
First Presbyterian Church First Presbyterian Church Detroit 2.jpg 1889 2930 Woodward Ave. Richardsonian Romanesque George D. Mason George D. Mason modeled the First Presbyterian Church after Henry Hobson Richardson's Trinity Church in Boston.[47] When Woodward was widened in 1936, the elaborately-carved entrance porch was moved from the Woodward façade to the Edmund Place side.[47] The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[19]
First Unitarian Church of Detroit First Unitarian Church Detroit 2.jpg 1890 2870 Woodward Ave. at Edmund Richardsonian Romanesque Donaldson and Meier This church was dedicated in November, 1890.[48] The congregation used the building until 1936, when the widening of Woodward Avenue required a remodelling of the structure. The church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places,[19] is currently abandoned.

Education[edit]

Brush Park is within the Detroit Public Schools district. Residents are zoned to Spain Elementary School for K-8,[49][50] while they are zoned to Martin Luther King High School (9-12) for high school.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b Brush Park Historic District from the City of Detroit
  3. ^ Mullen, Ann (January 3, 2001).Brush Park and hope. Metro Times. Retrieved on June 14, 2008.
  4. ^ Pfeffer, Jaime (September 12, 2006).Falling for Bush Park. Metro Times. Retrieved on June 14, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Archambault, Dennis (February 14, 2006).Forging Bush Park. Metro Times. Retrieved on June 14, 2008.
  6. ^ DETROIT HISTORIC DISTRICTS from CityScape Detroit
  7. ^ a b Woodward East Historic District from the state of Michigan
  8. ^ Elijah Brush. Elmwood Cemetery.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 
  10. ^ William Livingstone. Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved on December 18, 2013.
  11. ^ a b National Trust for Historic Preservation (December 27, 2005).Detroit’s Lucien Moore House Honored by HGTV.Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  12. ^ a b c d Pfeffer, Jaime (September 12, 2006).Falling for Brush Park. Model D Media. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  13. ^ Piligian, Ellen (April 1, 2008).McMillin's Detroit. Model D media. Retrieved on July 24, 2009.
  14. ^ William Livingstone Residence. Detroit1701. Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
  15. ^ Open House. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  16. ^ Historic sites online. Michigan Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved on December 11, 2007.
  17. ^ Temple Beth-El. Detroit1701.
  18. ^ Katz, Irving I., The Beth El Story (with a History of Jews in Michigan Before 1850), Wayne State University Press, 1955, pp. 96-101.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h National Register of Historic Places - Michigan: Wayne County. National Park Service. Retrieved on July 27, 2009.
  20. ^ Brownstones. Crosswinds Communities. Retrieved on November 26, 2011.
  21. ^ James Valentine Campbell. Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved on January 8, 2014.
  22. ^ Harding, Matt (December 28, 2013).Alfred St. in Brush Park: A microcosm of Detroit’s early decline. Motor City Muckraker. Retrieved on January 8, 2014.
  23. ^ Lyman Cochrane House from the city of Detroit. Retrieved on September 7, 2009.
  24. ^ Lyman Cochrane House. Detroit1701. Retrieved on September 7, 2009.
  25. ^ Crystal lofts. Detroit1701. Retrieved on December 2, 2011.
  26. ^ Kavanaugh, Kelli B. (January 11, 2011).Devon. Model D Media. Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
  27. ^ "Bracing Up All Around". Detroit Freepress-ProQuest Historical Newspapers. 7 February 1892. 
  28. ^ a b "Real Estate Budget". Detroit Free Press-ProQuest Historical Newspapers. 22 September 1901. 
  29. ^ ProQuest Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Detroit Map 15, 1921 
  30. ^ Beshouri, Paul (January 14, 2013).82 Alfred Street. Curbed Detroit. Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
  31. ^ John P. Fiske House from the city of Detroit. Retrieved on September 7, 2009.
  32. ^ 63 Alfred Street: Where Capitalism Failed
  33. ^ a b Ransom Gillis Home. Detroit1701. Retrieved on September 7, 2009.
  34. ^ a b Bernard Ginsburg House from the state of Michigan.
  35. ^ Swift, Amy (October 29, 2012).236 Adelaide Street. Curbed Detroit. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.
  36. ^ The Largest Historic Mansion in Detroit's Brush Park Area Opens as a New, Prestigious Bed and Breakfast Inn (press release)
  37. ^ Albert Kahn House from the city of Detroit.
  38. ^ Albert Kahn Home. Detroit1701.
  39. ^ Crain's Detroit House Party. Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  40. ^ Lucien Moore House. Detroit1701. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  41. ^ Foster, Margaret (May–June 2005).Rebuilding Begins at Home: HGTV, Trust to focus on housing for Restore America's third year. Preservation Magazine. National Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  42. ^ a b Emanuel Schloss House/234 Winder Street Inn. Detroit1701.
  43. ^ 234 Winder Street Inn home page
  44. ^ a b c Elisha Taylor House from the city of Detroit.
  45. ^ a b The Elisha Taylor Home. Detroit1701.
  46. ^ Weber House from the city of Detroit.
  47. ^ a b First Presbyterian Church. Detroit1701.
  48. ^ First Unitarian Church of Detroit from State of Michigan.
  49. ^ "Elementary School Boundary Map." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on October 20, 2009.
  50. ^ "Middle School Boundary Map." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on October 20, 2009.
  51. ^ "High School Boundary Map." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on October 20, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 

External links[edit]