Jefferson-Chalmers Historic Business District

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Jefferson-Chalmers Historic Business District
Jefferson-Chalmers Historic Business District Detroit 1.jpg
Jefferson streetscape looking west from Chalmers
Location E. Jefferson Ave. between Eastlawn St. and Alter Rd.
Detroit, Michigan
 United States
Coordinates 42°22′26″N 82°56′34″W / 42.37389°N 82.94278°W / 42.37389; -82.94278Coordinates: 42°22′26″N 82°56′34″W / 42.37389°N 82.94278°W / 42.37389; -82.94278
Architect multiple
Architectural style Early Commercial, Late Gothic Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 04000598[1]
Added to NRHP June 16, 2004

The Jefferson-Chalmers Historic Business District is a historic district located on East Jefferson Avenue between Eastlawn Street and Alter Road in Detroit, Michigan. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.[1]

Nomenclature[edit]

The Jefferson East neighborhood of Detroit is bounded by Alter Road on the east, St. Jean Street on the west, Charlevoix Street on the north, and the Detroit River on the south.[2] Jefferson Avenue runs approximately through the center of the Jefferson East neighborhood, and is primarily commercial in nature for thirteen blocks from Dickerson Street to Alter Road. This section of Jefferson Avenue is also known as the Jefferson East Business District.[2] Historically significant structures exist along Jefferson Avenue for eight blocks from Conner to Alter Road; this section of the Jefferson East Business District is designated as the Jefferson-Chalmers Historic Business District.

History[edit]

Jefferson streetscape looking east from Newport

The Historic Jefferson-Chalmers Business District is one of a few early twentieth-century neighborhood commercial districts that still survive in Detroit.[3] During the 1920s, this district along Jefferson was the center of the east-side neighborhood's commercial, social, and cultural life.[3] The district is unique in that two big-band era ballrooms, the cultural fulcrums of the early 20th century social scene, still exist within the district: the Monticello and the Vanity Ballroom.[3]

The district has recently seen a resurgence, with a Michigan Cool Cities grant,[4] five million dollars worth of streetscape improvements, and rehabilitation of a number of anchor buildings in the district, such as the Platte Warehouse at Jefferson and Ashland and the Chalmers Building at Jefferson and Chalmers.[5]

Cityscape[edit]

The housing consists of bungalows and Arts and Crafts houses built in the early 20th Century. John Carlisle (Detroitblogger John) of the Metro Times said that the houses "still have beauty and character despite weathering over the years". Most blocks have many owner occupied houses and mowed lawns. There are some vacant lots alongside streets and some boarded-up foreclosed houses.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA) from ModelD
  3. ^ a b c THE EASTSIDE’S BIGGEST SUMMER STREET PARTY EXPANDS TO TWO DAYS -- JUNE 22 and 23 from Tell Us Detroit
  4. ^ Michigan Cool Cities Pilot Program Executive Summary--Jefferson East Business Association
  5. ^ Santiago Esparza, "Far east side revels in its revitalization," The Detroit News, June 23, 2007
  6. ^ Carlisle, John (Detroitblogger John). "Street fightin' man." Metro Times. February 17, 2010. Retrieved on February 20, 2010.

External links[edit]