Encyclopedia Of Detroit

East Ferry Avenue Historic District

The East Ferry Avenue Historic District is a neighborhood containing mostly residential homes that, at the turn of the century, belonged to the upper middle-class and some of Detroit’s wealthiest residents.

The district is located on East Ferry Avenue between Woodward Avenue and Beaubien. The land originally belonged to the Ferry Seed Company farm and in the mid 1880s the company’s owner D.M. Ferry platted it into residential lots. The area quickly became populated by prosperous middle and upper middle class residents. In addition, the district was home to many well-known people, including Col. Frank J. Hecker, the founder of the Peninsular Car Company, and his business partner Charles Lang Freer, both of whose houses are separately designated as historic sites.

Around World War II, many professionals and business people began purchasing houses on East Ferry as well. The architectural styles of the houses included Romanesque, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Mediterranean styled houses. The East Ferry Avenue Historic District is home to a grouping of residences that are some of the least altered residential works of Detroit’s leading architects of the late nineteenth century including Louis Kamper, Malcomson and Higginbotham, John Scott, Mortimer Smith, and Rogers and McFarlane.

In recent years, many new homes have been built in the East Ferry Avenue Historic District, but they have been built to be architecturally congruent with the designs of the district’s preexisting nineteenth century homes.



The Charles Lang Freer House, 1920 - 2013.048.750

The George A. Owen House on East Ferry, 1925 - 2013.048.746

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