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Boston-Edison Neighborhood

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1900–1930. Edison and Longfellow aves. and Chicago and Boston blvds., between Woodward and Linwood aves.

Boston-Edison was the premier early-twentieth-century residential neighborhood on the north side of Detroit. It comprises approximately nine hundred grand period revival residences—mostly neo-Tudor, Renaissance Revival, and Colonial Revival—within a forty-block, tree-lined area on Edison and Longfellow avenues and Chicago and Boston boulevards. The houses were built for influential and wealthy Detroit families, including those of Henry Ford, Horace Rackham, the Fisher brothers, the Kern brothers, W. O. Briggs, Rabbi Leo Franklin, the Wagners, the Grinnells, the Siegels, and the Kresges. Later, in 1967, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. acquired the former Nels Michaelson House (1917) at 918 W. Boston Boulevard.

The palatial stuccoed brick Renaissance Revival Sebastian S. and Anna Harvey Kresge House (1914, Meade and Hamilton) at 70 W. Boston Boulevard for the founder of the five-and-ten-cent-store empire shares a full block with the gray stone neo-Renaissance Benjamin Siegel House (1915, Albert Kahn) at number 150, their carriage houses, and servants' quarters.

In the 1950s and 1960s the construction of the John C. Lodge Freeway bisected the neighborhood and brought changes. Although many houses are maintained in their original condition, some were acquired by religious institutions, while others became rooming houses.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Boston-Edison Neighborhood", [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, 97-97.

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