It is a humble house on the city's west side. Tiny and unassuming, the white house on Clements near Rosa Parks Boulevard is an important piece of Detroit's past. Historians believe it was built between 1830 and 1850, based on public records, well before the land it sits on was annexed by the city in 1916. "There are very few properties in the city of Detroit that are that old. The oldest house in Detroit was built in 1826, so if it is that old, it’s in the running for one of the oldest existing properties," says Amy Elliot Bragg of Preservation Detroit.
Built by a farmer named James Smith, its rich history isn't the house's only secret. It's actually a log cabin, though the vinyl siding makes it hard to tell. A feature that Bragg says has likely helped it survive for so long "tucked away" and "hiding in plain sight." The neighbors help too, protecting it and taking pride in the slice of history on their street. "They're looking forward to having it revitalized. They're very warm and welcoming," says real estate broker James Bufalino of Premier Property Services.
A registered Michigan Historic Site, the cabin isn't a secret anymore. These days it is getting a lot of attention as the Detroit Land Bank Authority searches for a buyer who will preserve the cabin's history and make sure it has a bright future. It is also part of a package deal. The DLBA is selling the cabin along with the duplex next door, "It presents a great opportunity for a buyer to do a live/work space or do some type of community outreach program all on the same parcel," says Bufalino.
To make an offer on this property, please contact our broker James Bufalino 313-806-1303.