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.

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

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    (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....

  • Friday, December 16, 2005 4:20 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Suzette Hackney, The Detroit Free Press, December 16, 2005
    Article on Boston Edison's Annual Holiday Home Tour)

    It's one of the city's most striking neighborhoods: Historic Boston-Edison. Once home to Detroit's high society - from auto barons to politicians to Motown pioneers - the 900 homes tucked off Woodward Avenue are a sight to see. And for the 30th year, some of the homes will be open to the public for the 2005 BostonEdison Holiday Home Tour.

    The walking and bus tour is a great way to admire the breathtaking architecture of the early 1900s. Bordered by Boston Boulevard, Edison Avenue, Woodward and Linwood, houses list for prices in the $100,000s to nearly $1 million....

    The Historic Boston-Edison Association was founded in 1921 and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the family neighborhood it serves. Aside from whatt the association does all year, members sponsor one of the best holiday tours in the region. (I've gone in previous years.)

    Experiencing the craftsmanship, architecture and unique features of each home is well worth the cost to get inside the doors.

  • Monday, August 01, 2005 4:21 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Elizabeth Suh, The Detroit Free Press, August 1, 2005
    (Article on Boston-Edison's centennial celebration)

    Through a century of change, the Boston-Edison Historic District in Detroit has remained a neighborhood with a classy reputation that holds an attraction for the curious.

    On Sunday, the Historic Boston-Edison Association celebrated the 100th anniversary of the district's six oldest homes with walking tours and activities at Voigt Park. The centennial homes sit on Longfellow between Third and Woodward, and have occupancy records that date to 1905....

    [Neighbors] are proud of the homes' history and look to maintain the beauty, integrity and security of the neighborhood, said James Hamilton, association president.

    Emma Holmes-Farris, who moved into her home on Longfellow in 1951, said she sees more prosperity ahead for the neighborhood as Detroit's downtown prospers. The old home takes work to maintain, she said, but it is her "nest." "To me, it's just an oasis in the inner city," she said.


  • Wednesday, June 05, 2002 4:22 PM | Michael Mowers (Administrator)

    Sarah Klein, The Metro Times, June 5, 2002
    (A profile of the neighborhood)

    Tucked away near burned factory shells and the fluorescent glare of strip-mall convenience lies one of Detroit's richest sources of history.

    The Boston-Edison district is one of the most appealing neighborhoods in Detroit, and remains a sort of residential oasis in a city that is far too often concrete and gray.

    Although many Detroiters might have peeked into the neighborhood for a brief glimpse of the striking mansions, many underestimate its expanse. Boston-Edison is an elongated rectangle, a 30-block district containing more than 900 homes, and is bounded by Boston, Edison, Linwood and Woodward. Another well-kept secret? It's the largest residential historic district in the nation....

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