Mansions in Detroit's Historic Boston-Edison District

Walter O. Briggs Home, 700 Boston Boulevard, Detroit
Walter O. Briggs Home, 700 Boston Boulevard, Detroit | Source
Walter O. Briggs
Walter O. Briggs
Berry Gordy, Jr.
Berry Gordy, Jr.

Detroit's Historic Boston-Edison District

In the early 20th century a number of Detroit industry magnates including Sebastian Kresge, Benjamin Siegel, Charles Fisher and Water Briggs built their mansions on Boston Boulevard between Woodward Avenue and Hamilton Street a half-mile north of what is now called the New Center area which is marked by two major Albert Kahn buildings, the General Motors Building and the Fisher Building. Notable Boston Boulevard buildings include mansions built by Walter O.Briggs, founder of Briggs Manufacturing and long-time owner of the Detroit Tigers and, next door, by Charles T. Fisher of founder of Fisher Body. Later, Motown's Berry Gordy bought a historic Boston Boulevard mansion a couple of blocks west of the Briggs and Fisher family homes.

This article was prompted by an story last week in the Detroit Free Press, linked below, which was occasioned by the fact that the Briggs mansion is for sale for the first time in 36 years. The price: recently reduced to $445,000. The Briggs home was designed in 1915 by Chittenden and Kotting in the English manor style. It has 11 bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and 6,851 square feet with an exterior of pale fieldstone.

Many of the mansions on Boston Boulevard are occupied and carefully maintained. Others, like the Briggs mansion have been vacant and are in need of rehabilitation. They sell for a fraction of their replacement cost.

Berry Gordy's "Motown Mansion"
Berry Gordy's "Motown Mansion" | Source

Briggs Mansion Sold

The historic Boston-Edison residence of Walter O. Briggs at 700 W. Boston Blvd. in Detroit, also known as Stone Hedge, has sold for $395,650.

Betty Warmack, a Realtor with Real Estate One in St. Clair Shores, listed the home for sale in March at $465,000. It closed on June 22, she said, and was purchased by a couple with several children.

The English manor-style home was built in 1915 with a pale-colored fieldstone exterior. The 9,638-square-foot home features 11 bedrooms, seven bathrooms and nine fireplaces on more than an acre along the same street where other notable turn-of-the-century Detroiters resided such as Charles Fisher, Benjamin Siegel and Sebastian Kresge.

Briggs gained prominence supplying auto bodies to the fledgling car industry in the early 1900s. He also owned the Detroit Tigers from 1920 until his death in 1952.

The house later was donated to the Archdiocese of Detroit and then sold to the Bradley family in 1976.

Detroit Free Press July 3, 2012

Walter O. Briggs Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District, photos by Ralph Deeds

Source
Walter O. Briggs Home, 700 Boston Boulevard
Walter O. Briggs Home, 700 Boston Boulevard | Source
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home
Walter O. Briggs Home

Charles Fisher Home, Boston Boulevard, 1915 Detroit, Photos by Ralph Deeds

Charles T. Fisher Home--1915, architect  George D.  Mason
Charles T. Fisher Home--1915, architect George D. Mason

Berry Gordy's Motown Home on Boston Boulevard deedsphoto

Berry Gordy's 1917 Home on Boston Boulevard (also known as Motown Mansion).
Berry Gordy's 1917 Home on Boston Boulevard (also known as Motown Mansion). | Source

Other Historic Boston Boulevard Homes--photos by Ralph Deeds

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Benjamin Siegel House, 1914, Albert Kahn
Benjamin Siegel House, 1914, Albert Kahn | Source
Sebastian Kresge House, 1914, Meade & Hamilton
Sebastian Kresge House, 1914, Meade & Hamilton | Source
Henry Ford House, Edison Boulevard, 1908, Malcolm, Higginbotham and Clement (Henry & Clara Ford moved to Fairlane in Dearborn in 1914)
Henry Ford House, Edison Boulevard, 1908, Malcolm, Higginbotham and Clement (Henry & Clara Ford moved to Fairlane in Dearborn in 1914)

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Comments 14 comments

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Wow! I really enjoyed the shots. We don't think of homes like that when we think of Detroit around here. I understand that the region is pulling together more than ever. Maybe I will come and be a tourist soon.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. If you get to Detroit give me a call and we'll have a beer or a glass of wine.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

I enjoy Detroit very much and there's a lot more going positively there than some voices would have us believe. Rated Up and more.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Patty. I agree.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Great hub. Very interesting to see the English style homes in Detroit. Photographs are very good. It shows what money can do.

Graham.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks. Detroit has a wonderful architectural heritage of homes and public buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Albert Kahn, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Minoru Yamasaki and others.


pinocanna 3 years ago

Detroit will come around again, I,m from Canada and have invested heavily over the last 4 yrs in many desirable locations thru-out the U.S.

Looking to buy heavily in Detroit...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment expressing confidence in Detroit.


Kam profile image

Kam 3 years ago

Amazing Hubpage and Photos! I been to the outside of so many of them but had no idea whose houses were until I read your Hub today. Thanks for sharing.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment, Kam, and best of luck!


Jean 3 years ago

I love Detroit. Am in love with the Boston-Edison area. So much rich history. Nothing was spared when these homes were built.

They bring back the ingenuity and success that permeated this city for so many years. The grandeur is unfathomable to those who have not visited these homes.

Thank you for sharing these photos.


dk5 3 years ago

Hey Ralph, long time. How is Detroit doing? Heard they will be cutting the union pensions. Bummer . Have a good night old friend.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

The pension outlook for Detroit city employees doesn't look good. Good to hear from you dk, whoever and where ever you are. Thanks for your comment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 18 months ago Author

Detroit News 5-27-15 Berry Gordy Mansion for Sale $1.29 Million

‘Motown Mansion’ seeks buyer for Berry Gordy mansion who will preserve Detroit history

The 10,500-square-foot Boston-Edison District home sits on 2.2 acres and is listed for $1.295 million,making it the second-most expensive house for sale in Detroit right now. It costs a million more than many of the nearby houses..."

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