He designed hundreds of buildings, including some of the most conspicuous commercial buildings and spectacular mansions during Detroit’s Gilded Age from the 1890s through the 1920s.
Stories and photos about people, places and events from Michigan's past
Bela Hubbard made his mark on Detroit, as a geologist, lumber baron, land agent, lawyer, farmer and historian. His lasting imprint is Grand Boulevard, inspired by his trips to Paris.
By Neal Rubin / The Detroit News In the good old days, you could make a compelling case that beer was better for you than water. We’re talking about the mid-1800s, a time when only the richest individuals or finest hotels had indoor toilets. So there was a trade-off, but still: “Water could be tainted … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / The Detroit News The names are still familiar on street signs in Detroit: Rivard. St. Aubin. Dubois. Chene. Dequindre. Charlevoix. Cadieux. Riopelle. And many others. A legacy of the city’s French beginnings, several of the streets mark the location of ancient family “ribbon” farms, narrow strips of farmland that ran from … Continue Reading →
There’s new life in the old towers of the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in Detroit: An American flag now flies from one of the turrets; the plywood that covered the windows has been replaced with plate glass; there is a new roof, and temporary fencing now surrounds the ground floor.
When Eva Nelson-McClendon first moved to Detroit’s Birwood Street in 1959, she didn’t know much about the wall across the street. At 6 feet tall and a foot thick, it wasn’t so imposing, running as it did between houses on her street and one over. Then she started to hear the talk.
By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News It was not long after the first steamboat, “Walk in the Water,” docked in Detroit in the summer of 1818 that emigrants from Europe and New England, tourists, soldiers and other visitors began pouring into the small town. By 1835 there were hundreds of newcomers daily; … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News Summer Saturdays in Detroit means it’s time to shop at the venerable and still popular Eastern Market, a destination drawing untold thousands of bargain hunters for more than 125 years. Yet perhaps few shoppers today know that the market, bracketed by Gratiot Avenue, the I-75 service … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News Celebrations of Christmas in Detroit over the centuries have been highlighted by feasts and charity, toys and trees — and fires caused by lighted candles on those trees. Although Protestant churches in Detroit did not embrace the Christmas holiday until the 1840s, it was long celebrated … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News “Mrs. Gertrude Klinck is a milk peddler, and yesterday she left her horse wagon and cans on Russell Street while she entered a grocery store to make some purchases. She desires to know now where her horse and wagon are,” said a notice on Dec. 8, … Continue Reading →