Park Avenue Historic District (Detroit, Michigan)

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Park Avenue Historic District
ParkAvenueDistrictDetroit.jpg
Park Avenue Historic District, looking south from across I-75.
Location Detroit, Michigan
 United States
Coordinates 42°20′15″N 83°3′13″W / 42.33750°N 83.05361°W / 42.33750; -83.05361Coordinates: 42°20′15″N 83°3′13″W / 42.33750°N 83.05361°W / 42.33750; -83.05361
Architect multiple
Architectural style Early Commercial, Late Victorian, Other
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 97000396[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 13, 1997
Designated MSHS April 18, 1996[2]

The Park Avenue Historic District is a historic district located in Detroit, Michigan, along Park Avenue between Adams St. and I-75. The district includes the Women's City Club, the Detroit Building, the Park Avenue House, and the Kales Building. The district was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1996[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[1]

History[edit]

In the 1920s, Detroit's prestigious Grand Circus Park was crowded with buildings.[3] The automotive boom in the city increased the pressure for office space, and development began to spill north from Grand Circus Park up Park Avenue.[3] In 1922, Albert Kahn designed the Park Avenue Building, sited at the corner of Adams and Park Avenue. The Kales Building, a previous Kahn design, stood on the other side of Park Avenue, giving the street two prestigious buildings at its southern gateway.[3] Other architects and artisans contributed hotels, apartment buildings, and office buildings to the structures on Park Avenue.[3]

In 1923, the Park Avenue Association was formed.[2] They planned the street to concentrate high-grade commercial and office space at the south end, and prestigious residential development at the north end.[2] As the district developed, Detroiters consciously perceived it as their city's version of New York City's Fifth Avenue.[2]

Also on Park Avenue was Women's City Club and the Detroit chapter of the Colony Club, both critical in providing women with social and work activities and supporting women's suffrage.[3]

The area was used decreasingly during the Great Depression, but saw a resurgence after World War II, with a mix of social groups and multiple restaurant and entertainment venues.[3] At the same time, an industrial character was added to the district when the Iodent Chemical Company began manufacturing toothpaste in a building along Park Avenue.[2] The proximity of the Fox Theatre and other nearby venues (including Comerica Park) has led to increased redevelopment in the 2000s.[3] The Kales Building and the Iodent Building have been redeveloped into lofts, the Colony Club has been refurbished, and two new entertainment venues, Cliff Bell's and the Park Bar, have opened.[4]

The district was listed on the state register of historic places in 1996, and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[2]

Historic structures[edit]

Name Image Year Location Style Architect Notes
Kales Building Detroitkalesbldg.jpg 1914 76 West Adams Renaissance Revival,
Neoclassical
Albert Kahn High rise residential building renovated in 2004. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

[5]

Park Avenue Building 1923 2001 Park Avenue Albert Kahn
Women's City Club WomansCityClubDetroit.jpg 1922 2110 Park Avenue William B. Stratton; Waldridge & Aldinger Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]
Detroit Building 1923 2210 Park Avenue Beaux-Arts Arnold & Shreve Renovated in 2009. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]
Park Avenue House RoyalPalmHotelDetroit.jpg 1924 2305 Park Avenue Louis Kamper The Town Pump Taven is located on the ground floor of the high rise residential building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Park Avenue Historic District from the state of Michigan.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Park Avenue Historic District from the city of Detroit.
  4. ^ Kelli B. Kavanaugh, "Detroit Life Building to join ranks of Park Ave.'s resurgence," ModelD, January 22, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e National Register of Historic Places - Michigan: Wayne County. National Park Service. Retrieved July 18, 2012.

External links[edit]