Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 James Ct. a unique pedestrian street? Previous Next
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 125
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 7:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found this interesting group of homes near Gratiot&I-94. Does anyone know about this spot. The subdivision name? What Private Claim it would be in? I found it while looking around on Google Earth I got the aerial image and some ground shots. I know that some of you guys can come up with some older maps of the area.
Google earth close up
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/jamesCt. jpg
further out
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/JamesCt2 .jpg
ground shot
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/Detroit2 08.jpg
ground shot
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/Detroit2 07-1.jpg
1949 aerial for fun
http://techtools.culma.wayne.e du/media/wayne/1949/ha-3-136.p df
1956 aerial...look at the mark from I-94 excavation!
http://techtools.culma.wayne.e du/media/wayne/1956/ga-1-61.pd f
The links are the best way i know how....i know that the pros can find the street in the old aerials...
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 560
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is very very unusual, esp. for Detroit. Most ordinances require that every property have access to street frontage!
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 460
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 2:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The houses on Shipherd Court in West Village are also built on a court rather than a streetfront. There is also another in northwest Detroit. I don't remember exactly where; but I read about it here on DY and went to see it. The homes on these two courts are much more similar to their neighbors and closer together than the James Court houses appear to be.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6176
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 2:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it looks like an enterprising developer figured out how to make a few bucks from a planning anomaly.

The 1915 Map, shows the chunk of land as a strange "no-mans land" between Holcomb, Belvidere and Lambert.

*As an o/t side note it would appear that the Arcadia Theatre at Gratiot and Lambert is still standing. The book "Motor City Marquees" doesn't even list an Arcadia theatre on the east side.*





The next map in the series isn't until 1949. By then James Ct. is full of houses, and according to the map it was a street. I'm guessing the roadway was too narrow and at one point it was filled in.





And Today:





A close up of the 1949 Maps shows that there were 9 houses on the Court. It looks like 7 are still standing as well as the "Awning Factory". Of note the two most southern houses were assigned Lambert Ave. addresses. Architecturally, it looks like the houses are post WWI era. Probably built around 1918-1925.



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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 137
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 6:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Guessing since it was platted all around it in 1915 it was probably unplatted until someone bought it later. Perhaps it held a original land owners home until later. I wish I had a subdivision name or knew what Private Claim it was in so I could look it up on the State Subdivision Website. great maps! thanks!
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3107
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice find! Try the Christy Sub - if not report back here.
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 140
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 6:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nope Christys Sub is the one to the East of this small court. There is a possibility the site is a metes and bounds description and would not technically be in any sub. You can See in the Christy sub wraps around the site where James Ct. is. here is a link
http://www.cis.state.mi.us/pla tmaps/dt_image.asp?BCC_SUBINDE X=9765
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 141
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 7:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It appears to be in Private claim 10 the Alley west of belvidere is the Westerly Private Claim line and my search in P.C. 10 doesnt find it.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3108
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 7:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That link is useless unless you want to share your password. Looks like it's part of private claim 10 or maybe Strom's Sub.
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1448
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That link worked for me, It asked if I would accept and unsigned certificate, I clicked yes, then it loaded java. A Acrobat looking page opened and allowed you to scroll around and zoom. No save button though.
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Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3109
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All I get is this pop-up:


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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1449
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Try this page:
http://www.cis.state.mi.us/pla tmaps/sr_subs.asp

thats the main search page
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Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3110
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, that works fine, and it displays a list of results. When I click on any subdivision in the results page, the pop-up window appears. That's as far as I can get.
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1450
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

bummer
I will reboot and clear all my cookies... see what happens.
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1451
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

works fine. I blew out my cookies too, even selected no for trusting the certificate. I don't have PS on the laptop, so I cant get a screen cap for you.
Anyone else having problems seeing the plat from the above link?
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3702
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^^ Read the rats at Taco Bell thread if you need to clear you cookies.

Interesting find. I never saw that 'street' in all my Sears delivery former life years. Deliverymen hated courts like that -- had to wheel every thing in from the street, like apartments with deep courts.
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Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1602
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I received some kind of "this site's digital signature has an error" notice so I clicked "Cancel" and the map loaded regardless. Also, my system is blocking a popup from this site.

Mikem, more than anyone else, deserves access to this resource!
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Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3111
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I've cleared my cookies too. Still get the pop-up. I never get this option either, like it says first time users might see:





Are any of you using IE7? Can you post a print-screen image of what I'm missing?
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1452
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just tried it with IE7 and all I got was the header and a little box with a red x.
It didn't have any popup boxes.
I use Firefox, and XP Media on the this laptop.
Do you have Java installed?

Lowell, Taco Bell, makes me run to the ..... and it isn't the boarder!
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Mikem
Member
Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3112
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Java was the problem. Got it working now.
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Hornwrecker
Member
Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1776
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are there any maps online showing the subdivision names?

You can get an alphabetical list if you just use the search by county.

(Message edited by Hornwrecker on February 25, 2007)
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Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1604
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 9:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whew.
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Planner_727
Member
Username: Planner_727

Post Number: 91
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the problem here is that there wouldn't be room for a cul-de-sac, etc. All of the homes had access to alleys (although it appears that homes on the NW side don't have them anymore. The sidewalk space and gap in between is likely public right-of-way similar to typical sidewalk and curb lawns. Interesting that these houses are all still around and most neighbors are cleared...

I am constantly amazed, even having experienced and driven through countless east- and west-side neighborhoods with 60, 70, 90, 100% of homes gone, that neighborhoods can have such a short life cycle. By examining these aerials, most of the homes around this court were built in the 40's... and 60 years later they have gone through a full life cycle of new home, recently built home, remodeled home, aging home, derelict home, abandoned home, razed home, and cleared lot. How the City handles the reconstruction of the areas that are present-day 70%+ cleared lots will define it's future in the next 10-40 years. Just an aside.
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 142
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 8:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Planner_727 I agree completely it is AMAZING! these homes could easily last about 150 years if well taken care of....I guess it just shows our throw away society. If only we knew what would happen to our cities after WWII at that time....
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Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 629
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I guess it just shows our throw away society.



Nobody throws away equity. What this shows is that the property owners lost the equity in their property and walked away from it. Why did they lose their equity? Too few buyers and too many properties for sale. Why the imbalance? Answer that question and you are a lot closer to the root cause than the "throw away society" excuse.

Personally, I would answer it by saying that it was a combination of crime/fear of crime and taxes that were too high for the level of services provided.
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 148
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because we built a new urban environment in the suburbs cause it was strongly subsidized and profitable. Another aspect of a throw away society. Why invest in a city when we can build more over here? To say it is because of a throw away society is a very generalized statement I understand but it is certainly part of the problem.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 630
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 5:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Why invest in a city when we can build more over here?



Why "invest in a city" when there is no return on your investment? Most people understand that basic bit of economics and they vote with their feet. To blame it on new construction elsewhere means that there is no hope for the future of Detroit - or any other city, for that matter - and I strongly reject that argument.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 571
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First of all Mikeg, it's only economically feasible to move out into the cornfields because it is subsidized by several levels of government.

Secondly, the city of detroit is one of the only places in the metro area that has a rising real estate value. it doesn't take a genius to find those neighborhoods in the city that have to best opportunity of a return on that investment.

DetroitYES!
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 151
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My point is that is what our regions have done. I think by building elsewhere is WAY to simple of an argument. It is just one of many reasons that our region is in the state it is. The more I think about it the more your equity argument makes sense. After all look at NYC people keep moving in and investing and look at the value of the land!
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Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 634
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

...it's only economically feasible to move out into the cornfields because it is subsidized by several levels of government.



Apparently Charlottepaul believes that only certain cities like Detroit should receive subsidies from higher levels of government.

What has happened to cause the vast areas of abandoned neighborhoods in Detroit had nothing to do with a "throw away society" and everything to do with negative equity.

There are many intact neighborhoods in Detroit where property values bottomed out and have since risen strongly. How can that be, despite all of those cornfields out in the subsidized hell of suburbia, ready and waiting for them to flee? I think you will find that they have a strong neighborhood association that keeps a lid on petty crime and blight and which provides the services the city still charges for but no longer provides.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3164
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, I can't remember the year of the atlas I found this in; 1904 seems to ring a bell:


James Ct 1904


Mr Robert Watson apparently held out as long as he could.
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 202
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent Find!!!

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