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East Ferry Street (East Ferry Avenue)

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East Ferry Avenue
1887–present. E. Ferry St. between Woodward Ave. and Brush St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

East Ferry Avenue was laid out in 1887 when Woodward Avenue was Detroit's most splendid residential street. Dexter M. Ferry platted lots on both sides of E. Ferry Avenue and planted rows of shade trees on both sides of the sidewalk. The lots were sold with building restrictions requiring the houses to be set back forty feet from the sidewalk and to cost no less than $7,000. Some of Detroit's wealthy industrialists as well as middle-class Jewish and African American families came to live on the avenue. One hundred years after it was platted, Preservation Wayne began promoting and sponsoring the stabilization and improvement of E. Ferry Avenue. In 1990, in cooperation with the Founders Society of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), by then owner of five properties along the avenue, Preservation Wayne studied alternatives for the future of the area and recommended the development of an East Ferry Arts and Heritage District. The plan called for a mix of art galleries; offices for arts, cultural, and community organizations; and restaurants or bed-and-breakfast inns that would revitalize the area. The DIA and the Wayne State University Cultural Center Association intervened to develop four houses and two carriage houses on the south side of Ferry into The Inn on Ferry Street ( WN72).

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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