You are here

Ossian Sweet House

-A A +A
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

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Ossian Sweet House", [Detroit, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

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

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.