Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Woodbridge Neighborhood Historic District

Detroit’s Woodbridge Neighborhood Historic District is located to the north of Woodbridge Farms, and includes the area roughly bounded by Grand River Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the John C. Lodge Freeway, Trumbull Street, and the Edsel Ford Expressway. It was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and had subsequent boundary increases in 1997 and 2008. The Woodbridge Neighborhood is named after William Woodbridge, Governor of Michigan from 1840-1841, who owned the large farm on which much of the neighborhood was later built.

The Woodbridge Neighborhood is notable as an intact, turn-of-the-century streetcar suburb containing architecturally significant residential and commercial buildings. It is recognized for its primarily Victorian style homes, which stand as rare survivors of the Victorian Era. Most of the buildings in the Woodbridge Neighborhood were built after 1870, beginning with small cottages. Larger structures were later built, including the Eighth Precinct Police Station. Built in 1901, this police station was designed to imitate the style of the lavish upper-class homes of the surrounding Woodbridge Neighborhood. With the boom of the automotive industry in the early 20th century, the increase in demand for housing in the city of Detroit resulted in the construction of many new buildings in the neighborhood. Notable residents of the district include Ty Cobb of the Detroit TigersGeorge Booth, co-founder of Cranbrook, and Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., former Detroit City Council member and president, as well as former mayor of Detroit.

After World War II, when many residents of the Woodbridge Neighborhood began leaving their homes for the suburbs, the city of Detroit cleared several areas adjacent to the neighborhood in support of revitalization. Additionally, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Wayne State University was acquiring properties to demolish and use of expansion of the university. Because of this, the residents of Woodbridge organized a Citizen’s District Council which successfully preserved many of the remaining homes in the neighborhood. Notable historic structures in the neighborhood which are individually recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, include the Eighth Precinct Police Station, the Northwood – Hunter House, the Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Trumbull Avenue Presbyterian Church. 



Eighth Precinct Police Station, 1900s - 1939.069.022

Hunter-Northwood House, 1979 - 2008.033.321

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