Willis–Selden Historic District

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Willis–Selden Historic District
Cass Avenue, north of Alexandrine
LocationDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
Coordinates42°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
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Beaux Arts, Early Commercial
MPSCass Farm MPS
NRHP reference #97001478[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 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. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e Willis–Selden Historic District from the city of Detroit