Ardelia Lee – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:35:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 House Of Aperios Seeks To Help Detroit Veterans With Mental Illness Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:51:54 +0000 Veterans are a group of heroes that often fall through the cracks in society. They’re overlooked by their communities most of the year.

They’re underserved by government agencies, stretched thin by budget concerns. Many of Detroit’s homeless population are veterans struggling to scratch out a life for themselves. Their struggle is only compounded by issues of mental health.

Donovan Patton, the founder of House of Aperios, plans to change that. Through clothing sales from the House of Aperios brand, Patton plans to provide resources, programs, and employment for Detroit’s veterans.

A Detroit native and artist, Patton has seen the impact that mental health and homelessness has had on the city’s veterans, and he has a plan to change it.

Photo: Jack Beaudoin

With the money House of Aperios receives from its clothing sales, the company will create workshops and programs to help veterans make the difficult transition to civilian life. By taking the time to help one of Detroit’s often-overlooked subsets, Patton hopes to help the city thrive.

Patton also plans to include music therapy in his resources for veterans. The field of music therapy is a clinical, evidence-based health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic setting to address problems like mental health issues. Treatment plans are created on an individual basis and usually include creating, singing, moving to, and listening to music. The end goal of music therapy is to create non-musical outcomes like enhanced social skills, communication skills, and coping skills.

You can help Patton and House of Aperios change the lives of Detroit’s veterans. The brand has a Patronicity page that offers great incentives for pledges. Contribution opportunities range from two dollars to $1,200. Any donations the campaign receives will go towards helping veterans in Detroit.

Photo: Marcel Brown
Photo: Marcel Brown

Rewards for pledges include clothing from House of Aperios line, spending the day with the House of Aperios team, and screen printing shirts you helped design.

The clothing from House of Aperios is stylish, edgy, and symbolic. The Beware of the Youth shirt is a reminder of the rebelliousness and open mind the youth possess. It’s a fitting reminder to a city looking to move forward that we shouldn’t be stuck in the past.

Photo: Marcel Brown
Photo: Marcel Brown

Patton has a vision that offers opportunity to Detroit’s veterans. Check out the House of Aperios Patronicity page to help him realize that vision.

Study Says Metro Detroit Young Adults Save More But Don’t Feel Life Ready Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:40:56 +0000 Young Adults in Metro Detroit have a different notion of adulthood and finances than previous generations, and they’re also worried about the economy.

In a report released by Bank of America and USA Today Better Money Habits, 18- to 26-year-olds in Metro Detroit as part of a national study had a lot to share.

Although three-quarters (73 percent) of young adults in metro Detroit feel somewhat or very optimistic about their financial prospects, they perceive the economy here (60 percent) and job market (41 percent) as poor.

Additionally, a majority (71 percent) report being worried about finding a career path that will support the lifestyle they’ve envisioned for themselves – 12 percentage points higher than the national average.

Health care costs are more important to Metro Detroit young adults than the national average – 20% list it as their top financial concern, where that number is 12% nationally.

So what is adulthood, in the eyes of 18-24 year olds?

Having achieved a financial milestone such as buying a car (34 percent of respondents said this). After that, moving out on your own (14 percent), getting married or starting a family (eight percent), or graduating from high school (seven percent).

Of the young adults who feel like adults, 62 percent say it’s because their parents helped prepare them. For those who don’t feel like adults, almost half say it’s because they still rely on their parents. That reflects a wider trend in the younger generation.

Only 30 percent of young adults do their own taxes, and just over half – 51 percent – pay their own cell phone bills. However, all of that extra money isn’t necessarily going to waste. 63 percent of young adults in Metro Detroit are saving their money, and 27 percent are contributing to a 401(k).

Another interesting statistic for the Metro Detroit area involves home ownership. Almost one in five young adults in Metro Detroit own a home. That figure is 11 percentage points higher than the national average.

“The fact that so many young adults are in a place where they can buy homes is impressive, and it’s great to see that so many are saving,” said Carol Guyton, market sales manager, Bank of America. “This shows a degree of financial responsibility that not all young people possess. At the same time, it is important that they strike the right balances between managing short-term costs while investing in the future.”

There’s a gap in resources when it comes to finances for the young. Only 40 percent of the survey respondents said their high school education did a good job teaching them strong financial habits. Of the topics they wish they’d learned about in high school,

  • 46 percent wish they had learned how to do taxes
  • 41 percent wish they had learned how to invest
  • 35 percent wish they had learned how to manage student loans.

This lack of knowledge led Bank of America to partner with Khan Academy to create Better Money Habits, a free educational resource aimed at empowering people to be more confident in their financial decision making. The site offers information on topics like retirement, taxes, and buying a home.

When it comes to the upcoming election, young voters prioritize pocketbook issues. The majority (65 percent) said that the economic issues are more important to them than social issues (34 percent) in how they vote. However, if they’re forced to choose between two candidates, one who is best for their personal finances and one who is best for the country, the majority (83 percent) would prioritize what’s best for the country.

10 Delightful Family-Friendly Halloween Events In Metro Detroit Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:19:57 +0000 Break out the costumes and the glow-in-the-dark candy buckets. It’s time to help your kids score big this Halloween. Metro Detroit has a lot of Halloween events going on, and we’ve picked some of the best family-friendly ones out there.

From trick-or-treating to movies to crafts, these events offer something different for everyone, so mark your calendars for Halloween fun.

1. Halloween Trick or Treat, Grosse Pointe


If you’re close to Grosse Pointe, head over to the Village on October 31 for a spooky good time. Halloween Trick or Treat runs from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. along Kercheval Avenue between Cadieux and Neff. Bring your kids, dressed in their Halloween costumes for an afternoon of fun.

Local businesses will hand out candy and treats to youngsters. The event is free and open to the public. It’s hosted by the City of Grosse Pointe Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Development Authority.

2. Downtown Trick or Treat, Belleville

Western Wayne County residents can head to Belleville on October 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for some family-friendly trick-or-treating. Businesses along Main Street will pass out candy to eager trick-or-treaters. There will also be a costume contest at the 4th Street Square.

The event is free and is hosted by the businesses of downtown Belleville and the City of Belleville.

3. Pumpkin Palooza, Plymouth

Picturesque downtown Plymouth is hosting its annual Pumpkin Palooza on Sunday, October 23 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be games and prizes, costume contests for pets and kids, live entertainment, and lots of candy. All ages are welcome at this free event, and attendees are encouraged to wear their costumes.

4. Spooktacular, Royal Oak


Downtown Royal Oak is once again hosting Spooktacular, now in its 33rd year. The event is sponsored by the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority and will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people are expected to join the Halloween fun.

Main Street will close between Second and Fourth streets to provide a safe place for kids to trick-or-treat from more than 60 local businesses. In addition to trick-or-treating, the event will feature a giant inflatable slide, an obstacle course, and free arts and crafts.

Live music performed by Popsicle Plus, the Dave Hamilton Band, and students from The Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music.

5. Halloween Fun, Downtown Rochester

On Saturday, October 22, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Rochester will host a variety of fun events for families. First up is trick-or-treating from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ghouls and goblins are invited to trick-or-treat at some of Rochester’s spookiest merchants.

A costume parade will start at 5:15 p.m. at the corner of water Street and University. Kids will march down Water Street to the Fire Department with the help of some spooky Halloween songs.

From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Firehouse Fun takes the stage. The Rochester Fire Department will host kids craft, a movie, and a spaghetti dinner to help area youth. Tickets for the dinner will be on sale at the event. The price is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. For more information, click here.

6. Zoo Boo, Detroit Zoo


Zoo Boo is the Detroit Zoo’s “merry-not-scary” Halloween celebration. The event will be held on October 14-16 and October 21-23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Time slots for the event are marked at every half hour. Advance tickets are $9 per person, ages two and older. Tickets at the gate are $13 and will only be sold from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Parking is $6 per car. You can purchase tickets online here.

Zoo Boo includes live entertainment, jugglers, extreme pumpkin carving demonstrations, and a trick-or-treat trail. You’ll need to bring your own bag for candy. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to see the animals at this event. Many of the habitats are closed after dark. Zoo Boo is a rain or shine event, so head out even if it’s raining.

7. Hallowe’en, Greenfield Village


Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village promises to be a spooky fun event. It takes place from October 20-23 and 27-30. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8: p.m., depending on the day. Over 1,000 carved jack-o’-lanterns will haunt the village. You’ll follow this trail of glowing pumpkins and meet classic costumed characters like the Headless Horseman. Dancing skeletons, witches, and wizards will also happen along your path.

Vaudeville acts like sword-swallowing and fire-breathing will also be featured. There will be treat stations, live music, snacks, and dramatic performances.

Tickets for non-members are $16 for adults and children. Kids under two are free. Parking is $6 per vehicle for non-members. Members may attend the event for $13.75 and park for free. Time slots for the event are every half hour. Purchase your tickets online here.

8. Haunted Halloween Family Party, Arab American Museum

If you’re looking for another “merry-not-scary” event for the family, check out the Haunted Halloween Family Party at the Arab American Museum. The party is on Saturday, October 29, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per child for museum members and $7 per child for the general public. Adults receive free admission to the party. Purchase your tickets to the party here.

Party events include seasonal craft activists, games, a meal, and trick-or-treating in the galleries. Kids are encouraged to come dressed in their costumes. Adults are welcomed to join in the holiday spirit by wearing their costumes.

9. Spooky Saturday, North Rosedale Park Civic Center

On Saturday, October 29, the North Rosedale Community House Parking Lot will become a trick-or-treat paradise for families. Trunk or Treat will run from 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the parking lot. Admission is free, so bring your costumes and bags for some fun.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. attendees will move inside to watch Hotel Transylvania. Admission to the movie is free, though concessions will be available to purchase. The suggested age for this movie is babies to 12 years old.

At 8:45 p.m., things will get a little scarier. A second movie, Lights Out, will play until 10 p.m. Admission to this movie is free, and the suggested age of viewers is 13 years and older.

10. Treats in the Streets


Join the Detroit Historical Museum on Sunday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for some trick-or-treat fun. Children 12 years old and younger can trick-or-treat in the Streets of Old Detroit, enjoy free refreshments, and make a Halloween craft to take home.

During the event, there will be magic performances by The Amazing Clark as well as a comedy Halloween show. Families can also test their detective skills by joining in the ghoulish history hunt for the chance to win a fun prize.

Both parents and kids are encouraged to come in costume. Admission to the museum and the event is free. However, parking fees will apply.

]]> 0
10 Impressive Detroit Firsts Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:57:28 +0000 In our 315-year history, Detroit has seen and done a lot. Its reputation for innovation and trendsetting is well-deserved. The city and its people have been on the cutting edge of advancements in multiple sectors throughout Detroit’s history. From the first paved road to the first try-colored traffic light, check out what awesome firsts Detroit gave the world.

1. First mile of paved road in America


With Detroit’s history in the automotive and manufacturing industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the city was a leader in the area of transportation. The city boasts the first mile of paved concrete road in the country. In 1909, the first mile of payment was laid between 6 and 7 Mile roads along M-1. At the time, the project cost $14,000 (around $2.17 million today).

With Detroit’s history in the automotive and manufacturing industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the city was a leader in the area of transportation. The city boasts the first stretch of paved concrete road in the country. In 1909, the first mile of payment was laid between 6 and 7 Mile roads along M-1. At the time, the project cost $14,000 (around $2.17 million today).

2. First urban freeway

Opening of the freeway in 1942. Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University
Opening of the freeway in 1942. Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

Davison Avenue was a vital road for Detroiters in the 1930s and 40s, but because of the road’s limited narrow lanes, people would often have to sit in traffic. To fix the problem and speed traffic flow, the Highland Park City Council proposed a six-lane, limited-access highway to replace the current street. Plans were subsequently approved, and by November 1942, Davison Avenue became the first urban freeway in the nation.

3. First Tri-colored traffic light

View of police officer standing in traffic tower ; two automobiles circle the tower.Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.
An example of a tri-color traffic tower at Woodward and Grand Boulevard. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

Traffic lights had been used for several years in major cities like London and Paris before they made their way to Detroit. Shortly after their arrival, Detroit Police Officer William Potts took the design and modified it to better suit the police officer’s needs. During the early 1900s, traffic lights were controlled by police officers, who decided when to switch the lights from green to red.

Potts realized that the officers couldn’t all change their lights from green to red at the same time, so he came up with a third color, the amber that completes the modern traffic light we see today. The first tri-colored traffic light was installed at the intersection of Michigan and Woodward Avenues in 1920.

4. Home To First National African American Hero

Portrait of boxer Joe Louis. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.
Portrait of boxer Joe Louis. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

Legendary boxer Joe Louis is widely regarded as the US’s first African-American to reach the status of a national hero. Though he was born in Lafayette, Alabama, Louis and his family moved to Detroit in 1926. It was in Detroit that Louis rose to fame as a boxer to contend with. He held the world heavyweight championship from 1937 to 1949, and he helped break color barrier in sports. Louis played an important role in integrating the golf. If you want to know more about the monument to Joe Louis downtown, click here.

5. First Pop-soul genre: Motown

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Motown was the first music genre of its kind to integrate soul music with pop. Founder Berry Gordy, Jr. created Motown label in 1959 in Detroit. Well known artists with the label include Mary Wells, the Supremes, the Four Tops, and the Jackson 5. In the 1970s, Gordy moved his headquarters to Los Angeles, but Motown’s Detroit roots remained. Today, the Motown Museum keeps the memory of Motown’s glory days alive with an impressive collection of paraphernalia.

6. First radio station to broadcast regular news

1922 Detroit News Orchestra broadcast. The large round unit atop the stand on the far right is the pick-up microphone.
1922 Detroit News Orchestra broadcast. The large round unit atop the stand on the far right is the pick-up microphone.

The first radio station licensed by the federal government was in Detroit. Originally known as 8MK, it’s now WWJ-Radio. The station started broadcasting on August 20, 1920 with a small listening base of 30 homes. The Detroit News owned the station and put Detroit on the map as a radio pioneer.

7. First use of police dispatch radio

View of police station on Belle Isle; ivy-covered Shingle style building with turrets; man and small child stand in rounded arch entrance. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.
View of police station on Belle Isle; ivy-covered Shingle style building with turrets; man and small child stand in rounded arch entrance. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

Detroit’s second radio first happened in 1928, when the Detroit Police Department sent the first successful one-way radio link between police headquarters and cruisers. Detroit Patrolman Kenneth Cox and engineering student Robert L. Batts built a stable radio receiver and antenna system. The Detroit Police were also the first department in the nation to dispatch patrol cars regularly by radio.

8. First use of city-wide phone numbers

View of telephone operators at switchboard on the 5th floor of the Union Guardian Building. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.
View of telephone operators at switchboard on the 5th floor of the Union Guardian Building. Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

Private telephone numbers had been around since the late 1800s, but there weren’t as popular as the party line. In a party line, multiple households share the same telephone line, and each household has its own ring pattern. Detroit changed the popularity of party lines by assigning individual phone numbers to households in the city. It was the first city to do so, and it paved the way for private phone numbers today.

9. First Van Gogh painting to enter a museum collection


The Detroit Institute of Art has an amazing collection, made even more awe-inspiring by the fact that it holds the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection. Van Gogh’s Self Portrait is part of the DIA’s notable collection. The museum acquired the painting during the tenure of DIA Director William Valentiner, which lasted from 1924 to 1945.

10. First capital of Michigan


When Michigan became a territory in 1805, Detroit was the territory’s first (and only) capital. Later, when the territory became a state in 1837, Detroit remained the capital, become the State of Michigan’s first capital. In 1847, the state capital was moved to Lansing.

]]> 0
Check Out These 12 Historic & Stunning Detroit Area Homes Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:57:52 +0000 Detroit is a city full of historic beauties, some better kept than others. From the Brush Park neighborhood of Detroit to Wyandotte, there are houses that are worth a visit. Though they all started as private residences, today they serve a variety of uses. Some are museums. Some are left vacant, and some remain in use as homes. Take a trip back in time and marvel at these gorgeous historic Metro Detroit homes.

1. Baker House

Baker House - Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0
Baker House – Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Henry W. Baker House at 233 South Main Street in Plymouth was built in 1875 . Henry Baker’s family moved to Plymouth in 1842. Baker went into business and eventually found success in 1888 when the Daisy Manufacturing Company, the company he founded with several other men, began producing the metal Daisy Air Rifle. Baker died at his house on November 24, 1919.

The Baker House was built in the Italianate design and was well-known in Plymouth because of its unique tower, shaped like a pagoda. In 1943, the pagoda tower was removed during a renovation. In the 1970s the house was used for commercial purposes. Today, the house serves as headquarters for a law practice.

2. Charles G. Curtiss House

Curtiss House - Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0
Curtiss House – Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Charles G. Curtiss House is located at 168 Union Street in Plymouth. The house was built around 1890 by its original owner, who was a builder by trade. Unfortunately, Curtiss didn’t get to live in his house very long. He died in 1893. His wife continued to live in the house until 1901.

3. Fair Lane Manor

Fair Lane Manor - Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0
Fair Lane Manor – Photo by Dave Parker. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

Fair Lane Manor at 4901 Evergreen Road in Dearborn, belonged to one of Detroit’s most recognizable citizens, Henry Ford. The house was built between 1913 and 1915 and saw five architects work on it. Frank Lloyd Wright helped with the initial design, but when he left to travel Europe, Marion Mahony Griffin revised and complete the design, using her interpretation of the Prairie Style.

When the Fords returned from their trip to Europe, they dismissed Griffin and hired William H. Van Tine to add more English Manor House details. In 1913, Joseph Nathaniel French helped complete the residence.

The house has 56 rooms and sprawls 31,000 square feet. At the time it was built, the house included an electrical power plan, a greenhouse, a boathouse, riding stables, a children’s playhouse, and landscape designs by Chicago landscape artist Jens Jensen.

In 1957, the estate was donated to the University of Michigan. Today the main house, powerhouse, and garage operate as a museum and is under renovation. You can follow the progress here.

4. Ford-Bacon House

Ford Bacon House - Photo by Andrew Jameson. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0
Ford Bacon House – Photo by Andrew Jameson. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at 45 Vinewood in Wyandotte, the Ford-Bacon House was built in 1897 and changed hands several times in a few short years. Edward Ford, the founder of the Michigan Alkalai Company and son of the plate glass pioneer John Baptiste Ford, hired Malcomson & Higginbotham to design the house for him and his wife.

The house is a beautiful four-story house built in the Queen Anne style. It has 27 rooms and 11 fireplaces as well as a four-story bell tower in the rear. Despite the beauty of the home, Edward Ford and his wife only lived in the house for three years before moving to Toledo in 1900.

From 1900 to 1902, Ford’s son, John B. Ford lived in the house. In 1902, Mary Ford Bacon, the granddaughter of Edward Ford, and her husband, moved into the house. They lived there until Mark Bacon’s death in 1942. Ford Bacon then gave the house to the Wyandotte Public School System. Today, the building now serves as the public library.

5. George P. MacNichol House

MacNichol House - Photo by Andrew Jameson. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0
MacNichol House – Photo by Andrew Jameson. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

The George P. MacNichol House, also known as the Ford-MacNichol House, is located at 2610 Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte, across the street from the Ford Bacon House. Edward Ford hired Malcomson & Higginbothom in 1896 to design the home as a wedding gift for his daughter Laura on her marriage to George P. MacNichol.

The MacNichols lived in the house for seven years before moving to Toledo to be closer to the Ford family. Jeremiah Drennen purchased the house, and his family owned it until the 1970s, when it was bought by Yvonne Latta. Latta restored the house and sold it to Wyandotte in 1977. Today, the house serves as the main historic house of Wyandotte Museums.

6. Col. Frank J. Hecker House

Col. Hecker House. Daily Detroit photo.
Col. Hecker House. Daily Detroit photo.

If you’ve driven down Woodward Avenue and have seen what looks like a smaller version of a castle, you’ve seen the Colonel Frank J. Hecker House. Located at 5510 Woodward Avenue, the house is hard to miss. It’s a reflection of the prestige its original owner achieved during his lifetime.

Hecker had served in the army, rising through the ranks. After the Civil War, he made his fortune in the railroad supply business. During the Spanish-American War, Hecker served in the Army again, and caught the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed Hecker to the Panama Canal Commission in 1904. Closer to home, Hecker served as Detroit Police Commissioner.


The house was built from 1888 to 1892 by Scott, Kamper & Scott in the French Chateauesque style. The Chateau de Chenonceaux near Tours, France, served as inspiration for the Col. Frank J. Hecker House. With a total 21,000 square feet and 49 rooms, the house is an imposing structure.

During his lifetime, Hecker hosted parties with guest lists that included presidents William McKinley and Rutherford B. Hays. After Hecker’s death in 1927, the Hecker family used the house as a boarding house for college students. Today, the building is owned by Wayne State University and houses the Alumni Relations Department staff. Learn more about the Colonel Frank J. Hecker House here.

7. Lucien S. Moore House



Located in the historic Brush Park neighborhood, the Lucien S. Moore House (104 Edmund Place) is stunning. Built around 1885 in the French Renaissance Gothic Revival style, the house makes great use of its 7,000 square feet. Lumber baron Lucien S. Moore was the original owner. Now, it’s for sale for a cool $3,300,000.

8. William Northwood House


The William Northwood House, also known as the Hunter House, is located at 3985 Trumbull Avenue in the Woodbridge Neighborhood Historic District. In 1890, William Northwood, the co-founder of the Howard, Northwood Malt Manufacturing Company, commissioned George F. Depew to design the home. It was designed in the Chateauesque style with influences of Queen Anne and Second Empire styles evident in its features.

Daily Detroit photo.
Daily Detroit photo.

The house was finished in 1891 and cost $13,500 to build. In 1903, James J. Sullivan bought the home and lived in it until 1957. In the 1960s the house was converted into a church. The side porch and conservatory were demolished in 1966. In the 1970s the Hunter family bought the house and used it as a private residence.

9. Elisha Taylor House

Brush Park. Daily Detroit photo.
Elisha Taylor in Brush Park. Daily Detroit photo.

William H. Craig, a Detroit lawyer, land speculator, and president of the Detroit Board of Trade had the Elisha Taylor House built in 1871 at 59 Alfred Street. Architects Koch & Hess oversaw the design and construction of the French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire Victorian home. In 1875, Craig sold the house to attorney Elisha Taylor, for whom it is named.

10. Thompson Home

Thompson Home
Thompson Home – Photo by Andrew Jameson. Available under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Thompson Home was built in 1884 as a home for elderly women. Upon his deathbed in the early 1870s, David Thompson, a wealthy Detroit businessman, told his wife to establish a charitable institution. Mary Thompson faithfully set aside $10,000 to build a home for aged women. However, construction didn’t start until almost 10 years later.

George D. Mason of the architectural firm Mason & Rice was commissioned to design the four-story home. The Thompson Home for Old Ladies, as the building was originally known, was 60 by 90 feet wide and had private rooms for 40 women. The Thompson Home enjoyed a few years as a prestigious retirement home for wealthy widows and saw several additions to it, including living quarters for the staff and a five-bed infirmary.

Unfortunately, the 1960s and 70s saw a decline in the number of residents, and in 1977 the home closed. Wayne State University bought the home in 1980.

11. David Whitney Mansion

The Whitney. Daily Detroit Photo.
The Whitney. Daily Detroit Photo.

Built in 1890, this is one of the few on our list that you can have dinner in today like you’re a baron as it’s a restaurant. David Whitney was at one point the wealthiest man in Detroit thanks to the lumber business, and his family has its name on another building – a skyscraper downtown that’s also been renovated – and this was his home. It’s built with a unique type of granite called South Dakota rose jasper, and clocks in at a stunning 22,000 square feet. It’s stood the test of time due to its sturdy construction and, for the most part, remaining occupied through much of its life. For an in-depth (but really good) story on this one, visit Historic Detroit and if you want to book dinner in this beauty, visit The Whitney website.

12. Ransom Gillis House

Ransom Gillis House before renovation in 2005. Creative Commons Photo by Jmk7 via Wikipedia.
Ransom Gillis House before renovation in 2005. Creative Commons Photo by Jmk7 via Wikipedia.
Ransom Gillis house today. Daily Detroit photo.
Ransom Gillis house today. Daily Detroit photo.

We saved what is probably the most widely recognizable house, at least nationally, for last. Featured on HGTV’s Rehab Addict and renovated by Nicole Curtis, this 4,800 square foot, 1876 Venetian Gothic beauty built for a dry goods merchant has been rescued from almost dead. The house was built for $12,000 in 1876 dollars, the equivalent of $1.8 million today. It’s now the architectural national poster child for a neighborhood that’s getting a ton of new development in the next few years. Many, many pieces have been devoted to this one – but here is a before and after gallery of the project.

]]> 0
Detroit Gymnast Wendy Hilliard Brings Affordable Gymnastics Programs to Her Hometown Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:20:26 +0000 Once every four years, little girls around the country are captivated by the United States women’s gymnastics team. Unfortunately, for many of the girls who live in underserved areas, dreams of becoming an Olympic gymnast won’t ever have the chance to get off the ground because of a lack of affordable, quality gymnastics programs.

In Detroit, that’s about to change. The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation (WHGF), a non-profit organization that offers free and low-cost gymnastics for inner-city youth, is coming to the city this fall. Founder and Detroit native Wendy Hilliard, Hall of Fame rhythmic gymnast and the first African-American to represent the U.S. in international competition, will host an open house to kick off the start of the new gymnastics programs.

The open house will be held at the Joe Dumars Field House (1120 W State Fair Ave) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. At the event, local youth can experience a complimentary gymnastics lesson, parents can sign their kids up for new classes, and visitors can hear Wendy Hilliard discuss her experiences and her recent trip to the Rio Olympics.

The WHGF has successfully served more than 17,000 youth in Harlem, developing elite athletes and international gymnastic performers over two decades. Hilliard is excited to be able to expand the programs to her hometown.

“I learned my gymnastics in the Detroit Recreation Department taught by excellent coaches and it changed my life. A sport is a powerful tool. I use gymnastics to teach good health, discipline and critical skills that give youth the confidence they need as they pursue their dreams in life,” said Hilliard. “Gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic sports but it is expensive and not very accessible in urban areas. The WHGF is changing that.”

Every Saturday, WHGF will provide low-cost gymnastics classes for boys and girls ages five through 17. Scholarships will be available to ensure those that want to take gymnastics can. The classes will be held at the Joe Dumars Field House.

Classes will be taught by local experienced gymnastics coaches in artistic, tumbling, and rhythmic gymnastics. In the next one to two years, WHGF plans to expand further with a designated 30,000-square-foot facility for gymnastics.

To register for the programs or for more information, visit

]]> 0
Tricycle Collective Aims To Help Detroit Families Keep Their Homes Through Online Fundraiser Thu, 15 Sep 2016 18:47:22 +0000 Tax foreclosure is a devastating issue in Detroit, especially for families. It turns neighborhoods on their heads and hampers the sense of community so vital to rebuilding the city.

The Tricycle Collective, a local non-profit, is currently raising money to help Detroit families avoid foreclosure by purchasing the house they already live in during this year’s tax foreclosure auction. The organization aims to raise $30,000 by September 30 to achieve its goal.

As of this article’s publication, the campaign had raised $6,065. To help The Tricycle Collective, make a donation through the organization’s Patroncity page. All donations made are tax-deductible. Regardless of whether or not the organization meets its fundraising goal, it will collect all the funds raised by October 1 at 11:45 p.m.

Each family partnered with The Tricycle Collective will receive a $500 donation to help them buy their home in the auction. The donations are handled by The Tricycle Collective’s partner organization, United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), which has helped to buy more then 1,600 homes in Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auctions.

If you’re wondering whether $500 makes a difference in a foreclosure auction, it does. 14 of the families that worked with The Tricycle Collective were able to buy their home for $500.

However, The Tricycle Collective does more than provide families with money to put towards purchasing their home. The organization also encourages families to become homeowner experts by sharing information and encouraging outreach. UCHC offers free counseling and legal services to ensure that new homeowners are set up for success.

Over the years, The Tricycle Collective has issued more than $28,000 in direct donations to families living in foreclosed homes. 40 families have successfully saved their home from foreclosure or bought their home in an auction with help from The Tricycle Collective.

Donate now to help The Tricycle Collective keep Detroit families in their homes.

]]> 1
Pair Of Motor City Streets Will Close To Cars And Open To People For First Ever Open Streets Detroit Wed, 14 Sep 2016 20:38:00 +0000 Get ready for family fun on the streets of Detroit this fall. Open Streets Detroit will temporarily turn two major city streets into safe, open, car-free zones for local families and the community to run, bike, shop, and play together. There has never before been an event like this in Detroit.

Open Streets Detroit, presented by DTE Energy will include free and fun activities, including yoga, soccer, dance workshops, and dog activities. The lineup of events is the result of more than 75 organizations that have been selected to partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP).

“The community’s response to our call for programming is a reflection of the excitement and anticipation leading up to Open Streets Detroit’s inaugural event,” said Eric Larson, CEO, DDP. “With nearly 75 programming partners throughout the four-mile route, we are continuously working with the City of Detroit on a variety of activities that will get people moving and connect them to their neighbors.”

The first Open Streets Detroit will take place along Michigan Avenue and West Vernor Highway from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 2. The events are free and open to participants of all ages. Families are encouraged to attend.

“We envision that Open Streets Detroit will connect our local neighborhoods, residents and businesses, and draw visitors from near and far to experience the culture and vitality of these communities,” said Faye Nelson, vice president, DTE Energy, and board chair and president, DTE Energy Foundation. “We are proud to support this inaugural Detroit event and join the ranks of 200 other global cities that participate in the Open Streets movement.”

Program highlights for Open Streets Detroit include dance workshops, cycling events, children’s activities, live bands, dog training classes, and art events. All activities are free and open to all ages. While programming will take place throughout the route, Open Streets Detroit will also have three key activity hubs at Campus Martius Park, Roosevelt Park, and Clark Park.

For more information on Open Streets Detroit, visit, or follow Open Streets Detroit on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

]]> 0
Murals In The Market Returns To Eastern Market Starting Sept. 15 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 15:03:07 +0000 Murals in the Market is back for another year of free art events, public art murals, art exhibitions, and more. 1xRUN has prepared an exciting lineup of events for attendees that the whole family will enjoy.

Murals in the Market will feature more than 50 local and international muralists will descend on the historic Eastern Market District during the 10-day festival. Detroiters will have the opportunity to attend more than 20 free art events, six special events, five afterparties, four art exhibitions, and three unique artists talks. A complete schedule of events is available here.

The art exhibitions will be on view during the festival, hosted by 1xRUN and Inner State Gallery. They’ll include limited edition prints as well as original artwork from all of this year’s participating artists. Additionally, Sheryo & The York will unveil their immersive auto shack which was created during their month-long residency in Detroit.

Artist talks will feature visiting artists Janette Beckman, Kevin Lyons, and Cey Adams, as well as local artists Sydney G. James and Tylonn J. Sawyer. Children’s workshops and food vendors will gather among Eastern Market’s unique shops to create an atmosphere of fun and festivity.

Slow Roll will be returning to Murals in the Market, bringing thousands to Eastern Market during bike tours. Those without a bike can join Feet on the Street’s walking tours, free of charge. These tours will provide festival goers with an opportunity to see all 50 murals as they are being created, as well as a look at previous murals created throughout the district.

Murals in the Market has partnered with local venues to host several afterparties for Detroiters. Nothing Elegant will showcase 90s hip-hop and pop jams at The Old Miami, and Slow Jams will bring classic soul and funk over at the Woodbridge Pub.

Eastern Market After Dark will light up the entire market with music, open studios, street vendors, and more, kicking off the Detroit Design Festival. More information on Murals in the Market is available on the event website, Instagram, or Facebook.

]]> 0
Join Gleaners and Weingartz to Mow Down Hunger Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:06:49 +0000 Meal assistance is a crucial service to families in the Metro Detroit area. Nearly 300,000 local kids rely on free or reduced-fee meals during the school year and often miss meals over the weekend. From Tuesday, September 13 through Tuesday, October 11, Gleaners and Weingartz are working together to provide healthy meals to these kids through Mow Down Hunger.

During the Mow Down Hunger Campaign, Weingartz will match every donation Gleaners receives with a goal of providing one million meals. Last year, Mow Down Hunger provided more than 1.8 million nutritious meals to Michigan kids.

“I am truly grateful for the Weingartz family’s longstanding commitment to solving child hunger in southeast Michigan,” said Gleaners President Gerry Brisson. “With their support, and the tremendous response that their generosity inspires from the community, Gleaners is able to nourish thousands of hungry children every month. Together we are giving these kids the nutritious food they need to succeed in school and in life, and improving the health of their families and neighborhoods.”

Mow Down Hunger helps alleviate the problem of childhood hunger by distributing frozen meat, fresh produce, and other nutritious food to 75-100 households. Gleaners anticipates providing 60 monthly distributions of 30-35 pounds each, serving 8,000 families.

The campaign will also support the BackPack program, a partnership with local schools to deliver backpacks on Fridays filled with nutritious food to kids who rely on free or reduced-fee meals at school during the week. The backpacks are filled by schoolchildren who volunteer for Gleaners’ Kids Helping Kids program.

To help Gleaners in the Mow Down Hunger Campaign, you can either make a monetary donation or donate nonperishable food. All Weingartz locations are accepting monetary and nonperishable food donations through October 11. Click here to view store locations and hours.

To donate money directly to Gleaners, either

  • Donate online here
  • Call 866-GLEANER (453-2637), or
  • Mail a check payable to Gleaners Community Food Bank (P.O. Box 44050 Detroit, MI 48244-0050).
]]> 0