Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Sturtevant St Previous Next
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1st_sgt
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Username: 1st_sgt

Post Number: 136
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 9:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My Great Grand parents Grandma & Grandpa Haack lived on Sturtevant St. (late 1800's-1960's). It was considered the country when my Mom was little. They lived in a big house and the way it sounded, it was like paradise for her to visit.
Im sorry I never had the privilege to visit there or know them.
Can anyone tell me about this area past or present?
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6044
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Solidly Jewish Detroit in the 1940-50s.
Nice neighborhood. Full of life. Dexter Blvd. was a huge retail street. Livernois was automobile row, with many used and new car lots.
Lovely homes, signs of Detroit prosperity were all around. Many synagogues and Hebrew schools in the neighborhood. Tons of Jewish stores.

jjaba, Westside Bar Mitzvah Bukkor.
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Eric_c
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Username: Eric_c

Post Number: 1156
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...then some schmuck decided the neighborhood was "played out" and handed the keys over to people who couldn't afford to maintain the same level of vibrancy.

They sure as hell didn't leave because of lack of employment.

God forbid residents should build, keep and maintain a community.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3756
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 11:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have always wondered why white-ethnic groups have always been migratory in metro Detroit, as opposed to staying put in venerable ethnic enclaves for the better part of a century (per NYC, Chicago).
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Frankg
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Username: Frankg

Post Number: 175
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fury you should read: Oliver Zunz, The Changing Face of Inequality: Urbanization, Industrial Development, and Immigrants in Detroit, 1880-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6046
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This pattern of Detroit Jewish migration is now 200 yrs. old. Every generation, about 25 yrs., the community moves.

Jews lived on the lower Eastside, moved up to Hastings St., then up to Oakland Ave. on the Eastside, crossed Woodward, through 12th, Linwood, Dexter, then leapfrogged up to W. Six and Seven mile Rd. from Woodward Ave. to Lahser.

Then, to Oak Park, Southfield, and Farmington Hills in the suburbs. Today, there are about 80,000 Jews in this community.

Having said this, there are older Jewish neighborhoods in Huntington Woods, Grosse Pointes, and Troy who have remained longer.

The Orthodox community of N. Oak Park area is trying to remain stable over more than 25 yrs.
Jews have lived there since the 1950s era of first-tier suburbanization.

jjaba, Westside Torah bukkor.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 797
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any one know the history of the name of Sturtevant St. I have always liked that street name. A very Detroit sounding street name
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Sehender1
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Username: Sehender1

Post Number: 10
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My grandparents bought a house on Sturtevant in 1957 or 1958, and were among the first black families in the neighborhood. (Saul Green, the former U.S. attorney, also grew up in that neighborhood, and was living there when my family moved in.)

My family lived in the first block west of Dexter. A nice-sized place, four bedrooms, first-floor, wood-paneled office, leaded glass windows all over the place and crystal doorknobs.

I heard the story many times from my grandfather about the '67 riots, and how there was a sniper or something camped out in the Hebrew school at the corner of Dexter. The National guard (according to the stories) rumbled a tank down Sturtevant and deployed soldiers who fired into the building. Of course, you never know how much of that stuff is embellished!

By the time I was born in the 1970s, that neighborhood was predominantly black, but I remember it even then as solidly middle-class, and very tight-knit. The synagogue and Hebrew school at Dexter had been converted to a Baptist church and some outpost of DPS. But it was a great place, and I spent a lot of time over there as a young kid, playing in my grandparents' big yard with immaculate rose bushes, taking walks with my grandfather around to see the neighbors.

It turned during the 1980s, though... Last time I was over there, both the church and the school at Davison were empty. And many of the houses on the block, including my grandparents', were much worse for the wear. I think people just didn't have money to keep after those places, which didn't require super-duper maintenance investment, but do need a fair amount of TLC.

(Message edited by sehender1 on February 01, 2008)
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Nanska
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Username: Nanska

Post Number: 96
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 2:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Senender1, tanks most definitely were roaming that area during the '67 riots. One of my earliest memories is sitting on my knees on the couch watching the tanks go down Wildemere from the front window of our flat on Sturtevant. It was a great neighborhood a loong time ago. But while money is not all that it takes to make a good, safe neighborhood, it does make a huge difference. And now there are so many people who are either unemployed or under-employed it is next to impossible for most people on the block to maintain those big old 2-family flats. My great-grandparents started out as renters in our house back in the late '40s and when the Jewish owners decided to sell and move to Oak Park, they managed to come up with a down-payment and got a mortgage to buy the house. When I was growing up on Sturtevant most of the our neighbors were good honest hardworking African-American who were either City of Detroit employees or worked at the "plant". But things started changing dramatically in the late '70's and have been going down, down, down ever since. Since I only get back to Detroit every few years I am acutely aware of the deterioation that is taking place, that is when I can find a taxi driver out at Metro who is willing to even drive to the Dexter-Davidson area! I don't know if crime in the area is actually that bad, or is it because the area is so rundown that taxis don't want to go into the area? I wonder what it will take to regenerate this street, or for that matter, the many other streets in Detroit that were once full of lovely, well-maintained homes, in SAFE neighborhoods.
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Nanska
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Username: Nanska

Post Number: 97
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And Sehender1, sorry I misspelled your name in my previous post. Just a typo on my part.
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Nanska
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Username: Nanska

Post Number: 98
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fareastsider, Alfred Sturtevant was a geneticist. I don't know if the street was named for him, but it is possible I suppose. And your right, "Sturtevant" does have a nice Detrioty sound to it. But you have to say it correctly with the emphasis on the "Sturt" part to get it to sound just right, in my opinion.
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Masterblaster
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Username: Masterblaster

Post Number: 121
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The one block of Sturtevant between Dexter Avenue and Wildemere street is an absolute tragedy and an embarrassment. On the south side of the street their is a stretch of 12 straight all-brick 2-family flats that are vacant, abandoned, ALL in disrepair. 4 have been set on fire, another 4 have had their bricks stolen off of them. They are constantly being broken into, although there is nothing left to steal.

These beautiful 2-family flats are Detroit's equivalent to the beautiful rowhouses and brownstones of the East Coast cities, and its a shame that nobody wants to improve the neighborhood and restores those beauties.

(I may post some pictures at a later time.)

This neighborhood west of Dexter is still in serious decline, and its bringing the neighborhood east of Dexter, Russell Woods-Sullivan, with it.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3761
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This pattern of Detroit Jewish migration is now 200 yrs. old. Every generation, about 25 yrs., the community moves.

But Jjaba, that migration pattern is not prevalent in other places that I know of. Take NYC... Boro Park in Brooklyn has been dominantly inhabited by Orthodox Jews for many decades. Or are Orthodox Jews a whole different ballgame?
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Dds
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Username: Dds

Post Number: 530
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 3:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Or are Orthodox Jews a whole different ballgame?



Careful Fury, or he'll bring up Briggs Stadium and his girlfriend and the rest of that tiring old shtick.

(Message edited by dds on February 01, 2008)
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6047
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba lived in a two-flat growing up, but West of there on Northlawn and Schoolcraft. My parents mis-judged Jewish migration and we ended up the onliest Jews on the block near St. Brigit's Parish. Thus, two religions in the area; Catholics and Publics.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6048
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dds, classic post. jjaba LOL. If there is anybody who wants quality Briggs Stadium schtick, all's ya gotta do is ask jjaba.

Orthodox Jews in Metro Detroit have tried to maintain in N. Oak Park and they have a community in W. Bloomfield too. But over history, there have always been Orthodox Jews in each of the neighborhoods referenced earlier.

jjaba limits his comments to Detroit. Fury13 will have to dial up,

www.ilovenewyork.com

jjaba, Westsider in line at Grunt's Pickles.
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Stinger4me
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Username: Stinger4me

Post Number: 154
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

1st_sgt; Did you have any relatives who lived in Hamtramck? There was a Capt. Louis Haack on the Hamtramck P.D. This may have been in the late 20's or 30's.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 589
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 9:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of my favorite books "Detroit Free Press, The Detroit Almanac" has a full page picture of a gangster dead in the street, his head obviously full of bullets. The caption reads:

"This is what happened to Prohibition-era gangsters in Detroit when they tried to steal liquor from the Purple Gang. Ben Bronstein, 34, a.k.a. Harry B. Berns, died of multiple gunshot wounds in front of 3318 Sturtevant on June 21, 1931."

If you have access to a copy of the book, it is on page 482.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2651
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 9:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Senender1, tanks most definitely were roaming that area during the '67 riots"

They weren't tanks. They were armored personnel carriers (APC) loaned to the DPD from the manufacturer, Cadillac Tool and Guage. Plus two much older ones that the DPD had dating from 1955 or so.
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Softailrider
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Username: Softailrider

Post Number: 121
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 9:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The last couple if years haven't been good at all to that area . I see a lot of foreclosures on those blocks .Banks loaned out to much money , people took it and ran off . Area looked better during the Archer years .
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Masterblaster
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Username: Masterblaster

Post Number: 123
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 1:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NEGLECT. THIEVERY. ARSON. SAD.

These are all on the same block, on the same side of the street.

3241 Sturtevant

3241 Sturtevant


Bricks stolen, 33?? Sturtevant


Bricks stolen


32?? Sturtevant

32?? Sturtevant


Torched and Graffitied 3295 Sturtevant

Torched 3295 Sturtevant


More Bricks stolen

More bricks stolen


Another abandoned 2-family flat

abandoned


Even more bricks stolen

Even more bricks stolen
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6108
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 1:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So sad. Thanks Masterblaster for the memory tour.

jjaba.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 808
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 1:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The amount of wasted good housing stock in Detroit and even south east Michigan is amazing
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Nanska
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Username: Nanska

Post Number: 99
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 2:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for posting the pictures Masterblaster.
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 461
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 7:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Asswipes steal anything, even if nailed down and cemented into place. It ought to be legal and a bounty awarded to shoot the f*cking looters.
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Irunwscissors
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Username: Irunwscissors

Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's so sad to see these grand homes so neglected. I just imagine a time when this street was healthy and well. Thanks for the pics Masterblater.
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Goat
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Username: Goat

Post Number: 10098
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some could still say the looting that went on during the riot are still happening today.
I agree with Jrvass...shoot'em in the knees.
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Kevgoblu
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Username: Kevgoblu

Post Number: 48
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 12:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It does make you wonder why there is apparently NO regional planning in this area. Seemingly endless strings of developers having their building permits approved, when the regional population shows zero growth over the last 20+ years.

Soon many of the inner ring burbs will also start showing signs of decay and abandonment. Higher tax rates and reduced services. Their plight will be even worse than the city. At least many of the homes in Detroit have the attraction of architechural beauty, if there is an effort to repopulate the areas. I can't see much interest in renovating a standard 1000 sq ft 3 bedroom ranch in Livonia or Warren.
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Jgavrile
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Username: Jgavrile

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 2:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sort of changing the subject. I always wondered who the builders thought they were fooling when they would put the yellow bricks on the front of a house or structure and then use lower priced red brick on the sides. These really stand out as eyesores to me?? I never thought that this looked very good. I noticed a lot of it in Chicago neighborhoods, more so than Detroit. But to me it looks like crap. Also wondered why people bought those homes with that mismatch?? I would think it was a downsell, not a positive item to the buyer.
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 650
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 4:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jgavrile, the bricks used on the front of houses, face bricks, were meant to give a more individual look to each home. Less expensive, common bricks, were used for the sides and rear where they would not be see. The reason bricks are being scavenged from only the sides and backs of these houses is that common bricks are all the same and can be mixed and matched with common bricks from other structures. Face bricks are distinctive and do not easily match with other scavenged bricks so there is almost no demand for them.

If you look a newly built subdivisions, you will frequently see the same thing is happening today. The front of houses tend to be more expensively decorated than the rear. The only difference is that today old common brick is highly regarded as homey or quaint. That's why it's being striped off our abandoned houses.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6114
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 4:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jgavvrile, location, location, location.
Then price is a factor. Perhaps scarcity was a factor. All's jjaba can say is that those houses pictured are incredible two flats, each with front porches, up and down.

jjaba grew up in one on Northlawn and Schoolcraft but not that pretty or well-built.
Dad took out a mortgage in 1941 with payments of $55/mo. We lived in the smaller 5-room upper flat, renting the lower for $52.50/mo. Then he worried us silly about coming up with $2.50/mo. balance to pay the mortgage.
In six yrs. he burned the $8,500 mortgage.
So all those yrs. until 1968, we owned that house free and clear. The current owner who bought from us still lives there and is well enough to not even rent the upstairs flat.

jjaba, Westside memories.
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Macknwarren
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Username: Macknwarren

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 5:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just curious, Jjaba: Where is the Jewish community in Grosse Pointe?
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6117
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Jewish community in Grosse Pointe meets in a church.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Jman
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Username: Jman

Post Number: 122
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 5:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember reading an article in one of the Sunday magazines, Times or Free Press in the late 50's early 60's. A reporter had a questionair from a Grosse Pointe realty company. There was a restriction on selling homes in the Pointes to Jews. Title of the article was "Jesus Christ not qualified to live in the Pointes."
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Jgavrile
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Username: Jgavrile

Post Number: 10
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 8:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No matter about the individual look of those "baby shit yellow" bricks, they clashed terribly with the common brick in color, and looked like hell to me.
I remember living on Appoline near Schoolcraft about 2 years after I got married. Lived in a lower flat there around 1968. Pretty quiet neighborhood. They had just started to buy up homes for the I-96 freeway to come through around Davison mear Myers. I was going to WSU back then.
Don't remember what the rent was but less than $100.00 per month for sure.

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