During the late 19th century, creating wide, graceful streets was seen as a way to create a beautiful city. After much debate, in the 1890s Detroit adopted the idea of creating a "Grand Boulevard" encircling the city. By 1913, the landscaped Grand Boulevard was generally recognized as a major adornment of the city, and a prestigious address in which to reside.
Houses built along this section of the Boulevard were among the grandest in the city at the time they were built; however, by the mid-1920s, the appeal of living along Grand Boulevard declined. During the Great Depression and later during World War II, some of these massive elegant homes in this historic district were cut up into small apartments. Currently, this section of Grand Boulevard has become a mixed-use neighborhood. Only a few of these homes are still used as single-family residences; many serve as group homes for those who need institutional care.