The Atkinson Avenue Historic District spans six blocks along Atkinson Avenue just to the south of Boston-Edison, between the Lodge Freeway and Linwood. Atkinson Avenue was named in honor of Civil War hero William Francis Atkinson, who served in the US Army until 1886, and later became a Detroit attorney.
The peak building time for the area was 1915 to 1929, just after the construction of Henry Ford Hospital several blocks to the south. Atkinson Avenue became a middle-class neighborhood, housing doctors, ministers, real estate agents and salesmen. Among the notable residents on Atkinson were the first and only Poet Laureate of Michigan, Edgar Guest, and Detroit Tigers player Ty Cobb, who lived on Atkinson east of the Lodge.
The Atkinson Avenue Historic District contains approximately 225 buildings. Most houses are of the 'basic box' or 'four square' types with Mediterranean, Colonial or Tudor elements and are two stories tall with an attic. The original building restrictions specified that all homes were to be built 30 feet from the front of the lot line, and building materials were to be solid brick, stone, cement, stone veneer or stucco.
Like Boston-Edison, Atkinson Avenue west of the Lodge Freeway is a city of Detroit Historic District and a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone. The three blocks of Atkinson east of the Lodge, while not part of the Historic District, are part of the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone.