Peterboro-Charlotte Housing Development

This historic district includes the block that is bounded by Woodward on the east, Peterboro to the north, Park on the west and Charlotte on the south in downtown Detroit

In the latter decades of the Nineteenth Century, a new group of merchants and professional people were emerging in Detroit.  Then, as now, prosperous individuals invested in spacious homes commensurate with their wealth and status, built in the architectural style popular at that time.  Recognizing the need for another upscale neighborhood in Detroit, but one that was sufficiently close to downtown before the installation of electric streetcars, real estate broker Edward C. Van Husan and developers Harry and John Edwards established this area.  Most of the homes are either elegant Victorian or variants of the Victorian style.

This Detroit 1701 website provides information about several of the impressive residences found in this historic district including:

   The Edward Van Husan – Dr. Robert Gillman residence at 61 Peterboro
   The William Van Moore – Robert Blyth Tanahill residence at 67 Peterboro
   The James Scott Mansion at the corner of Peterboro and Park

Robert Gillman was a prominent Detroit physician; WilliamVan Moore was a politician and lawyer.  Robert B. Tanahill served as a vice president of the J. L. Hudson department store firm.  This website does not currently show a picture of the Louise Spencer Residence at 39 Peterboro.  The Spencerand Van Husan-Gillman residences were recently remodeled into up-to-date condominiums or apartments.

I do not know the exact boundaries of this historic district.  Albert Kahn’s 1905, Addison Hotel at 14 Charlotte at the corner with Woodward may be within this district.  However, there is also a  Midtown Woodward Historic District that includes buildings along that thoroughfare.  The Addison Hotel may be within that district.  I believe that the Victorian residence at 25 Peterboro is also within the Midtown Woodward District rather than the Peterboro-Charlotte district.  Frankly, I am a little confused about the boundaries of the Peterboro-Charlotte and the Midtown Woodward Historic Districts.  If you are clear about this, I would like to hear from you.

City of Detroit Designated Historic District: Listed:   August 10, 1984
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places: Not Listed
Photographs: Ren Farley
Description Prepared: February, 2011

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