West Boston Boulevard, Detroit

Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher. Residences on Boston Boulevard, Detroit, Mich. United States Michigan Detroit, 1902. [?] Photograph.

I took in a bit of the Boston-Edison Historic District, traveling east down West Boston Boulevard just west of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Chicago Boulevard and some other streets compose the large neighborhood, where some of the most important figures in Detroit history, including automobile executives, lived.

As would be expected, the architecture reflects the eclectic, revival styles of the early Twentieth Century that I would expect to see in Clayton or Ladue in the St. Louis region, particularly by the architectural firm of Maritz and Young, though of course Detroit had its own architects.

While I stumbled across the mansion-heavy portion of the neighborhood, Boston-Edison is actually a huge area of 36 blocks and 900 houses. Scanning around Google Maps, I was amazed how this area bucks the stereotypes of the popular image of a “devastated” Detroit, and further research shows is racially integrated, as well. It’s too bad the John C. Lodge Freeway had to crash its way through the area, destroying what must have been beautiful homes.

This next house has the influence of the Renaissance.

892 W. Boston was the home of Edward F. Fisher, of the Fisher Autobody Company; we’ve looked at one of his old factories already near Ford’s Piquette Avenue Plant. His house was built in 1922.

The house below looks like a patrician version of Marktown.

Below is the Benjamin Siegel House, designed by Albert Kahn. We’ve seen several examples of Kahn’s industrial architecture, so I’m anxious to show that he was quite well-versed in all types of designs, and not just factories. Located at 150 W. Boston, Siegel had the house built in 1914; he made his fortune in women’s clothes.

This final house before we reach Woodward Avenue is the Sebastian Kresge House, designed by the firm of Meade and Hamilton of Cleveland. Kresge was none other than the founder of what would eventually become K-Mart, and he lived here starting in 1914.

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