Beautiful Victorian homes & mansions in old Detroit (early 1900s)

House of Mrs. McGraw, 1085 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Mich c1910
Whether you think of it as Motor City or Motown, there’s no denying that the city of Detroit has a long and illustrious history.

The Detroit Historical Society notes that the area was very important to the Anishinabeg and other Native American groups — including the Wyandot, Iroquois, Fox, Miami and Sauk — as it’s proximity to rivers and lakes made it easy to reach, and thus, a natural meeting place. in 1701, Detroit was settled by a French explorer who also admired its location.

After years of growth through shipping, shipbuilding and various manufacturing businesses, Detroit became a major transportation hub. In fact, it was the active carriage trade that inspired a young man named Henry Ford to build a little something known as an “automobile” in 1896. Around this same time, many “Gilded Age” mansions were built to the east and west of what is now downtown Detroit.

Here’s a look at what once was the delightful, and most debonair, city of Detroit.

John B Ford house

Located at the time at 8192 East Jefferson Avenue

John B Ford house

 

1. The Whitney House in Detroit

This mansion built between 1890 and 1894 by the lumber baron David Whitney Jr, was restored in 1986, and is now home to The Whitney Restaurant. When it was built, the home reportedly offered 21,000 square feet of luxurious living in its 52 rooms (including 10 bathrooms).

Whitney Residence c1905

 

2. Residence of L.H. Jones, Detroit, Mich

House of L.H. Jones, Detroit, Mich. c1900

 

3. David Whitney Jr. House

From 1905, the David Whitney Jr. House at left; Detroit Athletic Club (largely obscured) at right

Residence and Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, Mich. c1905

 

4. Home of Dr TA McGraw, Detroit, Michigan

Mansion of Dr. T. A. McGraw, Detroit, Mich. c1900

 

5. George Gough Booth residence

Photographed on a snowy day in Detroit

George Gough Booth house Detroit, Mich. c1900

 

6. Home of A. Buhl, Iroquois Avenue from the northwest (c1910)

Home of A. Buhl, Iroquois Avenue from northwest, Detroit, Mich. c1910

 

7. Elizabeth Buhl residence

Located at 7850 East Jefferson Avenue (building has since been demolished — see what’s there now.)

Jefferson Avenue home Detroit, Mich. c1900

 

8. Henry Russel’s ivy-covered Victorian mansion (c1900)

Detroit, Mich., residence of Henry Russel c1900

 

Vintage Homes Adult Coloring Book #3: Beautiful Victorian Houses

 

9. Victorian residence of Mr. Dwight Cutler, Detroit, Michigan (c1910)

Residence of Mr. Dwight Cutler, Detroit, Michigan c1910

 

10. Mr. Swift’s residence, Detroit (c1905)

Mr. Swift's residence, Detroit, Mich. 1905

 

11. House of W.C. McMillan (c1905)

House of W.C. McMillan, Detroit, Mich. c1905

 

12. Victorian mansion of L.H. Jones (c1900)

House of L.H. Jones, Detroit, Mich. c1900

 

13. House of Mrs. McGraw, 1085 Woodward Avenue, Detroit (c1910)

See what’s here now! (Spoiler: it’s not this house.)

House of Mrs. McGraw, 1085 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Mich c1910

 

14. Home of Mrs. H.C. Parke (c1900)

Home of Mrs. H.C. Parke Detroit, Mich c1900

 

MORE: See our book, Luxurious Victorian Houses & Mansions

15. Home of Mr. Fair, 40 Putnam Avenue, Detroit, Michigan (c1910)

Home of Mr. Fair, 40 Putnam Avenue, Detroit, Mich c1910

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