BE in the News

It's not only the residents of Boston-Edison who think the neighborhood is a great place to live.  The Metro Times calls Boston-Edison "one of the most appealing neighborhoods in Detroit," and "one of Detroit's richest sources of history;" and Detroit Home readers voted Boston-Edison the area's "Best Historic Neighborhood." We agree. In addition to the The Metro Times, both The Detroit News and Model D has profiled Boston-Edison and the surrounding area.  Curbed Detroit covers the neighborhood extensively, and Experience Detroit includes the neighborhood on its tour of historic neighborhoods.


Excerpts from Articles

A few sentences from a select few articles about the Boston-Edison Historic District.

  • Sunday, December 19, 2010 3:59 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Greta Guest, Detroit Free Press, December 19, 2010 (A tour of the neighborhood and homes on the 2010 Holiday Home Tour.)

    In Detroit's historic Boston-Edison district, where a 3,000-square-foot home is considered small, it takes commitment and cash to keep up the roughly 900 houses in the 36-block area. There are 30 homes for sale in the neighborhood, priced from $12,000 to $1.2 million.

    [T]he rewards of living in the neighborhood that was fashioned by Detroit's leaders of the last century are many, residents say. Most of the stately homes and mansions were built between 1905 and 1925 and became the gathering place of Detroit's elite residents of the time including the Fisher Brothers, Fred W. Sanders, Sebastian Kresge, Benjamin Siegel and, more recently, Berry Gordy Jr.

    "I would never want to discourage anyone from living in these areas, but when you do a repair or modernization you are talking about huge areas of square feet," [said Cheryl Kachaturoff, a Realtor with Century 21 Curran and Christie]. "A lot of people go in with excitement about fixing up these beautiful mansions, but they don't think about the repairs." That said, Kachaturoff notes that those who do buy in such neighborhoods have the benefit of living near others who share their love for historic homes and are very involved in the community.

    "People who are looking now are so lucky," [HBEA vice-president Wanda] McGlown said, noting that the housing slump has made most homes in the district extremely affordable. McGlown said the area has been getting a lot more attention, including being featured recently on an episode of "Detroit 1-8-7." And the area is in a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone, which gives tax breaks to residents. "It's a great, great neighborhood," said McGlown, a Chrysler engineer. "To look at Detroit as an opportunity is what we try to do."

    View the photos accompanying the article.
  • Friday, September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Greta Guest, Detroit Free Press, September 24, 2010 (Restoring Charles T. Fisher's Boston-Edison mansion.)

    The house has 12 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms and a pub. It boasts a private chapel, marble ballroom and a private office that once connected Charles T. Fisher to the former General Motors headquarters in the New Center area. It even has a sitting area for the ladies' English porcelain powder room.

    The 18,000-square-foot Fisher Mansion -- the largest in Detroit's historic Boston-Edison district -- is going though its first major renovation in 36 years as its new owner strives to preserve some of the city's rich automotive history.

    The mansion was built by architect George Mason for Charles T. Fisher and his wife, Sarah Fisher.

    Charles Fisher and his brother Fred and uncle Albert founded the Fisher Body Co. in 1908. By 1914, it had become the world's largest maker of auto bodies that included Cadillac, Ford and Studebaker.

  • Saturday, September 26, 2009 4:01 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Michael M. Phillips, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2009 (The story of one house in Boston-Edison.)

    The brick-and-stucco home at 1626 W. Boston Blvd. has watched almost a century of Detroit's ups and downs, through industrial brilliance and racial discord, economic decline and financial collapse. Its owners have played a part in it all. There was the engineer whose innovation elevated auto makers into kings; the teacher who watched fellow whites flee to the suburbs; the black plumber who broke the color barrier; the cop driven out by crime....

    As Ford and Detroit prospered, so did the Averys. Their move from a small house near the Ford plant to their freshly constructed home on West Boston Boulevard was a steep climb up the social ladder. Henry Ford's own starter mansion stood close by.

    The Avery home had four bedrooms and a third-floor suite for the German maid. There was a butler's pantry off of the kitchen and a fireplace in the living room. Mrs. Avery set trellises against the front of the house and hung frilled curtains in the upstairs windows. Shortly after moving in, she gave birth to Anabel in a bedroom facing the street....

  • Wednesday, September 16, 2009 4:03 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Lori Ella Miller, LISC Detroit, September 16, 2009
    (Preservation and neighborhood in Boston-Edison.)

    A neighborhood is more than the houses that line city streets and boulevards. It is an intricate tapestry woven together by history, memories and the hopes and dreams of its residents. Nowhere in Detroit is this more evident than in the community of Historic Boston-Edison....

    Preservation is paramount. Several local community organizations, including Detroit LISC, have united for a common cause: to stabilize Boston-Edison and restore it to its former glory. Central Detroit Christian CDC, a community development organization with extensive experience in housing and beautification, and the Boston-Edison Association have joined forces to spearhead the Boston-Edison Housing Preservation Initiative....

    Ava Tinsley, lifelong Boston-Edison resident, lives in the three-story brick house that has been in her family for three generations. "Boston-Edison is an historic jewel. My mission is to return it to its former grandeur, like it was when I was a child," says Tinsley.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:06 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Cassandra Spratling, Detroit Free Press, December 13, 2008
    (A wonderful home from the 2008 Holiday Home Tour)

    Charles and Gloria McEwen had already put a bid on another house when their real estate agent called. She said they had to see a three-story Italian Renaissance mini-mansion in Detroit's historic Boston-Edison neighborhood that had just gone on the market.

    "We're on our way out of town," Gloria McEwen recalls telling the agent.

    The agent insisted. So they went by to see what she was so impressed with.

    "The moment we walked in, both of us knew this was it," says McEwen, a retired teacher. "We just could see a lot of potential."

  • Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:06 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, December 13, 2008
    (A short history of the Boston-Edison neighborhood.)

    By the early 1900s, well-to-do Detroit leaders were moving out of the downtown area to new developments. One of the most upscale and prominent was the Boston-Edison neighborhood, located just west of Woodward Avenue in the city's mid-north area and named for some of the streets involved....

    The result was a gracious neighborhood that has retained its elegance over the decades, even long after the original families moved out. Today, the district is home to an eclectic group of people, some of whom have restored the houses to their original splendor.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Cassandra Spratling, Detroit Free Press, December 13, 2008
    (A preview of the 2008 Holiday Home Tour)

    [An excerpt of what not to miss for each of the five homes.]

    Don't miss [House A]: Pewabic tile that leads from the sidewalk to the commanding entryway; floor-to-ceiling Pewabic tile in the master bath; pantry that the owner himself marvelously updated to show off gorgeous cabinetry.

    Don't miss [House B]: Strong Tudor elements include the rather massive parapet of the porch and the label-style limestone lintels above the three double-paneled first-floor windows. The game room on the first floor features a variety of unique artifacts.

    Don't miss [House C]: Ornamental wrought-iron balconies and the central second-story ribbon window. A solarium off the foyer of the first floor features a Pewabic tile fountain.

    Don't miss [House D]: Two-story, side-gabled with a symmetrical facade, end-placed chimney, and stucco exterior. Also, original medallions on the corners of the doors and windows throughout the house.

    Don't miss [House E]: The modernized kitchen updated to suit the needs of the owner, who is a professional chef; The marble top of the kitchen island is from the wall of the downtown J.L. Hudson men's room. The front door surround is of rough-cut limestone in irregular sizes. A similar stone ornamentation is used in the arch of the side porch and at foundation corners.

  • Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:08 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Detroit Home Magazine, Winter 2008-2009
    (Forty favorites in categories covering the best living and shopping in metro Detroit. )

    Best Historic Neighborhood: Boston-Edison

    By 1920, Detroit was the fourth-largest city in the nation, and its wealthy residents began building homes in the less-populated parts of town. The Boston-Edison Historic District was one such neighborhood. Largely built between 1900-1920, the neighborhood is a 36-block area with 900 houses in architectural styles such as English Revival, Italian Renaissance, and Prairie. Early residents of Boston-Edison included Henry Ford, four of the Fisher brothers, and later Ty Cobb, Joe Louis, and Berry Gordy Jr.

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Desiree Cooper, Detroit Free Press, October 29, 2008
    (A profile of Ava Tinsley and community service)

    A resident of Detroit's historic Boston-Edison district, Tinsley lives in a house that has been in her family for three generations. She wants the neighborhood to be like it was when she was a kid and used to walk long blocks to Sanders for a Bumpy Cake. Back then, all the neighbors watched out for the kids, and the children had few worries....

    Tinsley went through the Department of Corrections to link people sentenced to community service with neighborhood clean-up. The crews started in her neighborhood, but now they work all over the city.

    "Now I'm out six days a week with the community service workers," said Tinsley. "I make sure the neighbors support them with water and meals if they work more than four hours."

    In September, the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp., a neighborhood development nonprofit, recognized Tinsley for her efforts. She belongs to more than a dozen community organizations.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:11 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Tom Hendrickson, Model D, October 14, 2008
    (A video piece on living in Boston-Edison)

    Boston-Edison has been getting a lot of attention lately from national media. 

    The neighbors in this historic neighborhood of grand homes have been working together to keep their district among the premier places to live in the city. 

    Here's a look at why they love it so from Model D video producer/director Tom Hendrickson.

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