Conant Gardens Historic District

Bounded by Nevada, Conant, and Seven Mile Road in northern Detroit

Before Emancipation in 1863, anti-slavery societies developed and became quite active in most northern towns. Shubael Conant was the founder and first president—in 1837—of Detroit's Anti-Slavery Society. He originally owned the land in this area.

Similar to other areas lying far beyond Grand Boulevard, this section of Detroit was sparsely populated until the automobile boom of the 1920s. A developer sought to build attractive homes for white-collar Ford workers, but was unsuccessful. The boom of the 1920s created a much larger prosperous African American population but, with the exception of a neighborhood near Tireman and Grand River, blacks were confined by violence and restrictive covenants to the Hastings Street neighborhood. About 1928, some blacks realized that the lack of white demand meant they would face few difficulties if they moved to the Conant Gardens area. They did so. Many built their own homes. After 1934, the Federal Housing Administration approved federally backed loans for this area since it is a segregated one. A neighborhood association from that era survives in Conant Gardens.


City of Detroit Local Historic District: Listed
State of Michigan Register of Historic Buildings:
National Register of Historic Sites:
Use in 2004: Residential neighborhood
Photo: Andrew Chandler, December, 2004


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