Willis-Selden Historic District

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Willis-Selden Historic District
Cass Avenue, north of Alexandrine
Location Detroit, Michigan  United States
Coordinates 42°20′57″N 83°3′52″W / 42.34917°N 83.06444°W / 42.34917; -83.06444Coordinates: 42°20′57″N 83°3′52″W / 42.34917°N 83.06444°W / 42.34917; -83.06444
Built 1870
Architect multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Beaux Arts, Early Commercial
Governing body State
MPS Cass Farm MPS
NRHP Reference # 97001478[1]
Added to NRHP December 01, 1997

The Willis-Selden Historic District is a historic district located in Detroit, Michigan, consisting of three streets: Willis, Alexandrine, and Selden, Running from Woodward Avenue on the east to Third Avenue on the west. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[1]


Selden Street between Second and Third. Taken from in front of the Coronado Apartments.
Willis Overland Lofts, on Willis looking east.

The land forming the Willis-Selden Historic District was originally the Park Lots, the Cass Farm, and the Jones/Crane Farm.[2] These parcels were subdivided in the late 1800s. Due in part to the growth of Detroit during the 1860s and generous lot sizes, the Willis-Selden District became a popular area for development, particularly for the relatively wealthy professional class.[2]

In the early twentieth century, the district became home to auto industry suppliers, once again due to its location and large lots.[2] Forty-one percent of commercial buildings in the district built between 1910 and 1930 were auto-related.[2] In addition, large, high-density apartments were constructed to meet the demands of the huge influx of auto workers into Detroit. However, the Great Depression had a marked impact on the industry and on the Willis-Selden Historic District, sending it into decline.[2]


Of the buildings located within the district, a number a historically significant in their own right. These include:


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Willis-Selden Historic District from the city of Detroit