Learn more about why an updated historic district ordinance would benefit Dearborn and its residents.
Stories From the Sidewalk, a hefty new hardcover book at nearly 380 pages published by the Museum Guild of Dearborn, is on sale now at the Dearborn Historical Museum gift shop or available online at https://thedhm.org/books.
To say the least it is an oversized stocking stuffer for the holiday season that every fan of architecture and devotee of history will treasure.
Three years in the making, it is the work of a passionate group of history buffs and researchers. This coffee table book documents over 360 houses and buildings in Dearborn’s Arsenal and Riverbend neighborhoods. With the belief that every house and building has a story to tell, the editors organized the book by neighborhood and street address along with a full-color photograph and details on the history and architecture of each historic resource.
Subtitled, A Walk Through 137 Years That Shaped Dearborn (1833 – 1970) the book is designed as a walking tour of these two charming and historic west Dearborn neighborhoods. It surveys and preserves for future generations the story of Dearborn’s growth from a village on the Chicago Road (Michigan Avenue) to a bustling and thriving city as the area became the automotive capital of the world and the manufacturing epicenter of the Ford Motor Company.
Co-authors and editors Christopher Merlo and L. Glenn O’Kray undertook this project with a sense of urgency to document and preserve the stories of these historically significant houses and buildings before they are either razed or drastically renovated – a fate that has befallen several houses and buildings in the Arsenal and Riverbend neighborhoods.
All income from the sale of the book will go to the Museum Guild of Dearborn.
Preservation Dearborn advocates for the beautifully diverse historic homes and buildings of Dearborn, Michigan.
To learn more, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, join our mailing list, or come to an upcoming meeting.
“Dull, inert cities, it is true, do contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration….” -- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
This North Brady house, which was built in 1953 as a showplace home in the just-developing Country Club Estates neighborhood, has been skillfully “regenerated” for more modern tastes. In May of 1953 a feature in the Detroit Free Press described the home: “Five-level house is under construction on North Brady Street near Cherry Hill in Dearborn. On main level are kitchen, dining room. Few steps above this are two bedrooms, bath. Living room is on a third level, large activities room on fourth. Basement contains laundry. Richard B. Pollman is builder. Brook runs near house.”
The Richard B. Pollman company was headquartered in Detroit and built prestigious homes throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area. Advertisements for the company at the time used the marketing slogan: “Let us custom design a Convenient Living home for you on your lot or ours.” They offered over 400 home designs to choose from.
The first owners of the home were Alf E. and Florence Dietrich. Alf was living in Highland Park and working for Dietrich Funeral Car Service when he left to serve in World War II. In 1950, he was back in Highland Park living with a brother and running his own Detroit-based business, London Luggage. The year 1953 was a big one for the Dietrichs – they were married at Greenfield Village and bought the house on North Brady. Alf and Florence raised two daughters and two sons in the home. Alf was 100 years old at the time of his death in Florida in 2019.
📸 Zillow, research by Sharon Morton
Visit Preservation Dearborn on Facebook or Instagram for all our features on historic homes and buildings!