DetroitOld PhotographsRenderings

Brewster Projects – Detroit

Happy Friday everyone… Here we are again, and today we’ll head across the river to take a look at this great rendering of the original plans for the Brewster Projects.

The photo is dated April 11, 1936, and the caption of the back reads:

    Brewster – (East Side)
    slum clearance project –
    11 blocks, bounded by Rowena, Brewster, St. Antoine & Rivard

The project was planned as part of the Public Works Administration, during the great depression. George D. Mason was involved in the project, as the chief architect. He was formerly one of the partners in the Detroit firm of Mason & Rice. It was Mason & Rice who first employed a young draftsman by the name of Albert Kahn. Mason & Rice were the architectural firm behind the Hiram Walker Offices on Riverside Drive.

The first phase of the project was completed in 1938, and over the years many famous Detroiters came out of the Brewster, including: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Lily Tomlin, and Smokey Robinson. Wikipedia has some information here.


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According to the rendering the first phase was planned from Rowena on the north (Now called Mack), Brewster on the south (which is now only a block long). St. Antoine on the west side and Rivard on the east side, which is now across I-75. I suspect that many of the 1938 era buildings were demolished during the construction of the freeway.

Below are a few views of the complex today. Many of the newer townhouses are still occupied, most of the older sections and the highrises are vacant.


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Below is the view most people see of the Brewster that looms over the Stadiums and I-75…


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Have a good long weekend everyone, I’ll see you back here Monday.

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