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Ossian Sweet House

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1919, Maurice Finkel. 2905 Garland St.

In 1925 the move of African American gynecologist Dr. Ossian H. Sweet (1895–1960) and his family into this modest bungalow in a previously all-white neighborhood provoked violence from his neighbors. Whites stoned the house and shots fired from within killed one white and wounded another. Detroit police charged all eleven people in the house with first-degree murder, but only Sweet and his brother Henry were tried. The NAACP hired Clarence Darrow to defend them. Ossian's trial resulted in a hung jury; Henry was acquitted. The defense argued that the Sweets had the right to defend their home against attack. The side-gable bungalow with a central-gable dormer containing a string of three windows is fronted across its entire width by a shed-roof porch supported by four square piers.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert
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Citation

Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Ossian Sweet House", [Detroit, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MI-01-WN112.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 108-108.

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