Encyclopedia Of Detroit

New Center Area Historic District

The New Center Area Historic District is adjacent to Midtown, one mile north of the Cultural Center and approximately three miles north of downtown. This commercial and residential historic district is positioned just west of the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Grand Boulevard, and is approximately bounded by the Virginia Park Historic District to the north, the Ford Freeway to the south, John R. to the east, and the Lodge Freeway to the west.

The New Center Area Historic District developed as a part of the northward expansion of the city of Detroit, and the subsequent migration of the professional class. Between 1895 and 1920, many single- and multi-family residential structures were built in this district to accommodate the professional class. These homes were constructed in a variety of architectural styles, including Neo-Georgian, Arts and Crafts, Bungalow, and Neo-Tudor. Between 1915 and 1940, many of the single-family homes were replaced by moderately-sized apartment buildings.

The heart of the New Center Area Historic District was built in the 1920s as a business hub that offered convenient access to both downtown Detroit and to its many outlying factories. From 1923 to 1996, General Motors maintained its world headquarters in the district before relocating downtown to the Renaissance Center. In addition, before it became a division of General Motors, Fisher Body was headquartered in the Fisher Building. Other significant structures in the district include the Argonaut Building, the Albert Kahn Building, Cadillac Place, and Henry Ford Hospital, in addition to various other government and commercial office buildings, retail stores, and restaurants.

Edited by Julia Teran



Aerial view of the New Center area, 1965 - 2009.019.339

General Motors and the Fisher Building in New Center, 1982 - 2008.033.718

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