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.

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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:12 PM | Michael Mowers

    James R. Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2008
    (Boston-Edison and selling homes)

    The foreclosure crisis has come as a sucker punch to thousands of neighborhoods across the U.S., from desolate cul-de-sacs in Las Vegas to thickets of mostly empty condo towers in South Florida. What's unusual about Boston-Edison is that the residents who remain are fighting back.

    Organized by an 87-year-old neighborhood association, some do unpaid duty mowing lawns, trimming hedges and picking up litter outside vacant houses. Others park their cars in the driveways of empty houses to make them appear to be lived in. The association's Web site promotes mansions in need of new owners.

    Download the rest of this article in pdf format.

  • Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:14 PM | Michael Mowers

    Cecil Angel, The Detroit Free Press, May 15, 2008
    (Cynthia Reaves receives 2008 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation)

    The leaky roof, cracked and crumbling plaster and overgrown landscape would have been enough to turn any potential homebuyer away from the 1917 mansion in the Boston-Edison Historic District in Detroit.

    But Cynthia Reaves believed she could bring the Nels Michelson House, also known as the Motown Mansion, back to life. Despite being a lawyer with almost no construction skills or money for the restoration, Reaves jumped into the project.

    "When I first started, I thought, 'What have I gotten myself into?' " said Reaves, 46. She purchased the 2-acre estate at 918 W. Boston Blvd. in 2001 from Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr.

    Today, Reaves will be one of seven recipients of the 2008 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation at a ceremony in the state Capitol rotunda in Lansing. Reaves is the only preservationist being honored from the tri-county area.

    Download the rest of this article in jpeg format or read the press release from the state of Michigan.

  • Sunday, April 06, 2008 4:16 PM | Michael Mowers

    Sharon Gittleman, The Detroit Free Press, April 6, 2008
    (An interview with Pam Miller Malone)

    Once upon a time, gentlemen in black tie and tails and ladies in silk gowns and pearls danced across ballrooms in elegant mansions, candlelight reflected in the glow of the homes' crystal chandeliers.

    The auto barons who founded the Motor City's claim to fame were sure to spot other members of Detroit's high society as they strolled along the broad, tree-lined streets of their neighborhood -- the Boston-Edison district.

    Pamela Miller Malone is doing her best to preserve that elegant ambience.

  • Sunday, July 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Michael Mowers

    Greta Guest, The Detroit Free Press, July 22, 2007
    (Restoring a 1901 house in Boston-Edison)

    In the dozen years before Steven and Tracy Harris purchased their 1901 Dutch colonial revival in Detroit, the home had been stripped of everything of value including the radiators.

    Now, a year after they purchased the home on Chicago Boulevard in the historic Boston-Edison neighborhood, they have almost finished restoring its former grandeur....

    Steven Harris, 38, an architect for Norr in Detroit, grew up in the city and said he always dreamed of living in one of the big houses in Boston-Edison....

  • Saturday, June 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Michael Mowers

    Greta Guest, The Detroit Free Press, June 23, 2007
    (Homes for sale in Boston-Edison)

    The Boston-Edison neighborhood, home to Detroit's most celebrated residents from Henry Ford to Berry Gordy Jr., has largely been insulated from the city's economic decline....

    The neighborhood, bounded by Boston Boulevard, Edison Avenue, Woodward Avenue and Linwood, was built primarily from 1900 to 1925 in an eclectic mix of architectural styles, including Prairie, Neo-Georgian and Tudor. The homes sell from $90,000 to $900,000....

    Steven Harris, 38, an architect, just moved to the neighborhood last year, buying a home that had sat vacant for more than a decade. He's been working on it ever since with his wife and three children. The family had been living in Troy, which was hard for his wife to give up, he said.

    "I dragged her back to Detroit kicking and screaming, but now she loves it," he said. "There is still some work to do with the social issues up on Woodward. I don't let my kids walk up there alone. The shopping isn't much. But the neighborhood association and block clubs are just great."

  • Monday, April 09, 2007 4:19 PM | Michael Mowers

    (Woodward Avenue: A journey through 200 years)
    Michael H. Hodges, The Detroit News, April 9, 2007

    As in so many things, Henry Ford was ahead of his time.

    Or perhaps we should credit Clara Ford, not her husband, since everyone agrees that Clara was always the one most interested in their homes.

    It was 1908 when the Fords and their teenage son, Edsel, became one of the very first families to move into the new "subdivision" we know as the Boston-Edison Historic District, their surprisingly modest 7,500-square-foot "Italian Renaissance Eclectic" house rising up among the empty fields....

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