The Boston-Edison Historic District is a forty-five-block area of homes, the
majority of which were built between the years 1905 and 1925 and remain unchanged
today. While the basic architectural style is eclectic, a uniformity in roof line, scale and in set back from the street, as well as the presence of wide tree lined streets establishes an ambience of relaxed suburban living of an earlier age.
Four key factors influenced the character of the Boston-Edison area. First is the
construction of Henry Ford Hospital nearby in 1915. This undoubtedly accounts for the
large number of physicians, twenty-three, who built homes in the western part of the
district. A second factor is the lack of discriminatory regulations against Jews. As a
result, many Jewish families, some of them quite prominent in the affairs of Detroit,
located in the area. A third factor is the growth of extended family colonies. This is when several family members live within a close range. Three large colonies can be cited in the Boston-Edison district, those of the families Siegel, Wagner, and Fisher. A fourth and final factor that shaped the composition of the area’s inhabitants was a tendency for employees to cluster around their employer. For example, in this district, six S.S. Kresge employees located in the same neighborhood as Kresge himself.
An impressive number of famous Detroiters resided in the area, such as: Henry
Ford; four of the seven Fisher brothers; Joseph Moynihan, an influential Wayne County
Circuit Judge and later Michigan Supreme Court Justice; and composer Richard Whiting.
The Boston-Edison Historic District remains today an area whose atmosphere and
environment is reminiscent of the early twentieth century.