About Indian Village
Indian Village is a historic neighborhood located on Detroit's east side and is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The district has a number of architecturally significant homes built in the early 20th century. A number of the houses have been substantially restored, and most others well kept up. Many of the homes were built by prominent architects such as Albert Kahn, Louis Kamper and William Stratton for some of the area's most prominent citizens such as Edsel Ford. Many of the homes are very large, with some over 12,000 square feet (1,100 m ). Many have a carriage house, with some of those being larger than an average suburban home. Some of the houses also have large amounts of Pewabic Pottery tiles. The neighborhood contains many historic homes including the automotive entrepreneur Henry Leland, founder of Lincoln and Cadillac, who resided on Seminole Street. Indian Village has a very active community including the Historic Indian Village Association, Men's Garden Club & Woman's Garden Club. The neighborhood hosts an annual Home & Garden Tour the first Saturday of June, a neighborhood yard sale in September, a holiday home tour in December, and many other community events.
The West Village Historic District, roughly bounded by Jefferson, Kercheval, Parker, and Seyburn Avenues, is immediately adjacent to Indian Village. During the turn of the 20th century, the areas adjacent to Jefferson Avenue were some of the most exclusive sections of Detroit. When West Village was platted, it incorporated restrictions on the cost of structures, use, setbacks, and building heights. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Between 1905 and 1925, the neighborhood rapidly filled with upper-middle-class homes, apartment buildings, and row houses. The neighborhood was home to a number of prominent Detroiters including Franz C. Kuhn, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Edwin C. Denby, Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Hinchman, president of the architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, and sculptor Julius Melchers. As in many Detroit neighborhoods, the racial tensions and white exodus to the suburbs following World War II led to a decline of the neighborhood. However, the resurgence of nearby Indian Village in the 1970s created a resurgence in interest in the neighborhood.The West Village Association, a neighborhood association, was formed in 1974.
Thinking of Jacksonville
As you’ve read through this article, you may wonder why a photo tour of a random inner city Detroit neighborhood is being featured on a site called Metro JACKSONVILLE.
My reason for showcasing this neighborhood isn’t diabolical. Inner city neighborhoods of architectural, cultural, and historical significance are largely overlooked in several metropolitan areas across the United States, including Jacksonville.
Always looking to see how things in various cities can relate back to Jacksonville, while driving through Indian Village, all my mind could focus on was our own overlooked neighborhoods and the potential they possess. While we’ve lost most of LaVilla and the Northbank’s historical fabric, nearby communities such as Durkeeville, Brentwood, Murray Hill, New Springfield, remain largely intact. Like Detroit’s Indian Village, they’ve all played a major role in the development of the city that we live in today. Like Indian Village, they offer urban settings and architecture that is now in limited supply locally. If you have not had the opportunity to tour these treasures, feel free to click on a link below and discover what exists in Jacksonville’s urban core.
Article by Ennis Davis