Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Park Avenue Historic District

The Park Avenue Historic District is located in Detroit, Michigan along Park Avenue, between Adams Street and I-75. Some of the most prominent buildings in this district include the Women’s City Club Building, the Detroit Building, the Park Avenue House, and the Kales Building. Other buildings in this district include a mixture of offices, apartments, hotels, social clubs, stores, and restaurants. The architectural styles of these buildings are varied and include Classical Revival, Beaux Arts, Late Victorian, and Early Commercial.

Park Avenue earned its significance in the city of Detroit during the automotive boom of the 1920s when commercial development in the city began to spill up Park Avenue from Grand Circus Park. The Park Avenue Association, which was formed in 1923, developed a plan for the street to concentrate its commercial and office space at the south end, while constructing prestigious residencies at the north end. As the Park Avenue District continued to develop, Detroiters began to perceive it as their city’s version of New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

Although Park Avenue experienced a decline in use and development during the Great Depression, it experienced a resurgence of interest after World War II when new social groups, multiple restaurant and entertainment hotspots, and new commercial industries including the Iodent Chemical Company, began moving to the area. The close proximity of the Park Avenue Historic District to the Fox Theater and other venues including Comerica Park has led to its increased revitalization into the twenty-first century. The district was designated as a Michigan State Historic Site in 1996, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Edited by Julia Teran



Women's City Club postcard, 1920s - 2012.020.123

Kresge/Kales Building postcard, 1920s - 2012.020.251

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