Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Lancaster Avenue's Backwards Houses Previous Next
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 10:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi everyone! New to the forum - great stuff, well-researched facts and people passionate about the city. Some background: I lived in Harper Woods from 1994-2003, then went back to school to change careers. I just started my dream job in Downtown Detroit and am proud and happy to come back home!

For my senior research thesis, I'm delving a bit into the history of Harper Woods. One thing that intrigues me: how did so many of the houses on Lancaster, west of Harper, get built backwards?
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking at the plat maps, it looks like the street was part of another sub. (would love to upload the plat maps, but it's tough to make legible with the upload limitations). Perhaps this is how someone got the notion that the street-easment-street pattern wasn't right.

Also: anyone know who was Arthur J Scully? And I find it curious in 1925 when the subdivision was platted they called it "Eastern Super-Highways Subdivision".
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 116
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Never having seen Lancaster, I'm rather curious as to what you mean by "backwards."
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 1542
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am looking at Lancaster on Google but can't really make out what you speak of. Are there some cross streets you could provide, North or South side of Lancaster?
This is interesting. The blocks do not look wide enough for a street in between them.

Welcome to the Forum Ntrance.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3184
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Arthur Scully was a real estate developer in the 1920s-1950s. Lived in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Eastern Super-Highway is probably a reference to Mack Avenue, once planned to be a superhighway like Eight Mile, Fort, Telegraph, etc.
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The houses in question run from Harper (I-94 service drive) almost to the cul-de-sac at Beaconsfield.

The houses were built on both sides of the street. They are fairly large 1-1/2 story bungalows and were built with their family rooms (with large picture windows) and front porches facing the back yards. From the street, entering the "front" door puts you right in the kitchen.

I had a friend who was a realtor and explained either the postwar construction was happening so fast that the homes and streets were being built at the same time, and someone lost track.

Not all of the homes were built this way. As you approach Beaconsfield the style changes to a mix of ranches and bungalows, and the fronts of the homes face the street.

There are a lot of creative things people have done. Many have added on to the living rooms (facing the back yards) and have built elaborate porches on the sides facing the street.

(Message edited by Ntrance on March 11, 2007)
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikem: thanks for the information. Makes sense now.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 229
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Try this out you can look up any sub in the state. The sub is called "Arthur J Scullys Eastern Super Highway Sub." I have seen his name on other plats. Maybe he was a builder like Robert Oakman who has alot of subs named after him. I love the old Subdivision names were very original or related to a local industry my favorite is one in Dearborn called "Detroit Cold Seemless Steel Tube Companys Subdivision"!
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The site is http://www.cis.state.mi.us/pla tmaps/sr_subs.asp

Arthur Scully had several subdivisions, Eastern Super Highways One through Five (and one called Rifle Range Subdivision, apparently after a National Guard shooting range).
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 231
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks! i forgot to add the link!
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fareastsider: I just caught your thread regarding backyards facing roads. Need a few minutes to peruse...
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ah, completely different subject.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3185
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is that Rifle Range sub in the vicinity of Balfour/Buckingham, north of Mack?



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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 211
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow that rifle rangle looks a lot like a strip farm, doesnt it? Wonder if it's history involves a strip farm purchase!
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes. The link to the plat map is:
http://www.cis.state.mi.us/pla tmaps/dt_image.asp?BCC_SUBINDE X=18434
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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Ntrance
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Username: Ntrance

Post Number: 10
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 12:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The subtitle of the plat map reads, "Of a Part or Tract or Parcel of Land Known As the Michigan National Guard Target Range Which Tract or Parcel Being Formed by Parts of Private Claims 126 and 127 North of Mack Ave. in the City of Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan"
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3187
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 12:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks!

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