The Boston-Edison Historic District is one of the City's oldest and most beautiful historic neighborhoods.
(Full disclosure: we bought our Boston-Edison home in 2002...that's why this neighborhood is my first post of this "Detroit Neighborhood" series!)
Located in a 36-block area of approximately 900 homes, Boston-Edison was originally platted with a land grant by the Territory of Michigan to John R. Williams in 1822, and three land grants to Thomas Palmer in 1828 and 1834. (John R. Williams was an early mayor of Detroit; "John R" street is named after him. Palmer Park was named after Thomas Palmer.) The first homes in Boston-Edison were built starting in 1915.
Boston-Edison is bordered by Woodward Avenue on the east, Linwood Street on the west, Boston Boulevard on the north, and Edison Street on the south. The north-south John C Lodge (also known as state highway M-10) freeway goes through the neighborhood, providing easy access to Downtown Detroit, the suburbs, and all other major freeways.
The developers of the current Boston-Edison area were some of Detroit's most prominent, wealthy, and well-known citizens of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Edward Voight, Truman and John Newberry (of Packard Motors), Henry B. Joy (also of Packard Motors and for whom "Joy Road" was named), Henry Ford, James Couzens, the Fisher Brothers (manufacturers with early General Motors and built the Fisher Building), John W. Drake (Hupp Motor Company), W. O. Briggs (former Detroit Tigers owner after whom Briggs Stadium was named, and the owner of Briggs Manufacturing Company), Sebastian Kresge (Kresge Stores, now K-mart), J. L. Webber (nephew of J. L. Hudson of Husdon's Department Store), Benjamin Siegel (B. Siegel's Department Store), and Rabbi Leo M. Franklin (Temple Beth El, Michigan's oldest Jewish Congregation).
After the Henry Ford Hospital (1915) and the Fisher Building (1927) were opened on nearby West Grand Boulevard, the Boston-Edison neighborhood attracted many of Detroit's business and religious leaders, doctors, dentists, pharmacists (including Sidney Barthwell, one of Detroit's most influential African-American pharmacists).
In 1974, Boston-Edison received historic designation from the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and the Federal Government, ensuring B-E's neighborhood viability and architectural distinctiveness. Historic District Ordinances are strictly enforced.
Today, the homes of Boston-Edison are owned and occupied by people of diverse ages, races, professions, and occupations. Several times each year, there are parades, holiday parties, home tours, picnics in Voight Park, other cultural and social events.
Boston-Edison is one of the 25 Detroit Neighborhoods designated as Neighborhood Enterprise Zones (NEZ), in which many homes qualify for reduced tax assessments of up to 15 mils.
For more information about the Boston-Edison Historic District, including many homes currently for sale, check out the Historic Boston-Edison Association website, from which much of the information in this post was obtained. The HBEA, the oldest continuous neighborhood association in the City, was founded in 1921.