Broadway Avenue Historic District (Detroit, Michigan)

Broadway Avenue Historic District (Detroit, Michigan)

Infobox_nrhp | name =Broadway Avenue Historic District
nrhp_type = hd

caption = Looking north along Broadway from Gratiot
location= Detroit, Michigan
lat_degrees = 42
lat_minutes = 20
lat_seconds = 6
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 83
long_minutes = 2
long_seconds = 46
long_direction = W
locmapin = Michigan
area =
built =1896
architect= Joseph E. Mills,
architecture= Early Commercial, Beaux Arts
added = July 01, 2004
governing_body = Private
refnum=04000656cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2008-04-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

The Broadway Avenue Historic District is an historic district located on a single city block along Broadway Avenue between Gratiot and East Grand River in Detroit, Michigan.

Description and significance

The Broadway Avenue Historic District is located along a single block of Broadway Avenue, and contains eleven commercial buildings built between 1896 and 1926. [ Rustin Quaide, Caridad Dela Vega, and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers,] "National Register Nominations," "Heritage Matters", National Park Service, December 2004, pp. 9-10.] Three of those buildings -- the Cary Building and the Breitmeyer-Tobin Building at the southern end, and the Merchants Building at the north end -- are listed on the National Register of Historic Places in their own right.

The architectural terra cotta used on these structures unifies the appearance of the district. The district is significant for its architecture, its commercial history, its affect on German, Jewish, and African-American heritage, and for its association with Philip Breitmeyer, mayor of Detroit from 1909-1911.


The area where the district is located was developed in the late 1800s as a commercial area catering to the women's trade, and included businesses such as hairdressers, florists, corset makers, and fashionable clothiers. A number of these women's trade shops were owned by ethnic Germans. During the 1910s, the area began transforming into a banking and financial center. The Breitmeyer-Tobin Building opened to African-American tenants in 1936, giving the area a professional African-American presence. In the 1950s, Jewish-owned shops moved into the area, with some of them still in the districs to the present day


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