Detroit is one of the oldest cities in America. It’s been around for over 300 years and survived major fires, riots, downturns in the economy, etc. In its prime, the city’s neighborhoods were packed solid with houses; some build so close there was only a walkway between them. Most of the densely populated neighborhoods had a corner store that people could easily walk to for general household items. I stumbled upon such a store the other day in a nearby Westside community.
This vintage brick beauty I saw probably went up in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. At that time, bricks were easy to manufacture, cheap, and commonly used for construction during this period of rapid growth in Detroit. The charming old place was undoubtedly built as a bakery, candy store or a common general store that served the residents of the community long before the automobile made it easier to shop downtown and elsewhere.
One of the many things I like about old buildings is the brickwork and unique architectural details. This place has both. The simple, yet somewhat ornate brickwork above the second story windows, along the roofline and outer edges of the building create an interesting arch. The upper windows on the two-story section and on the single story part of the building are arched as well, a classic feature of the era. In its prime, the building’s two large windows that bookend the main entry door were more than likely used for display purposes.
It’s good to see this old, well-constructed brick beauty is still standing, in use, and overall it looks to be in pretty good shape.