6441 Sterling
Detroit, MI

Background

  • Connector.

    1875

    The City of Detroit annexes land increasing its boundaries to the north

  • Connector.

    1876

    In an attempt to partake in the City Beautification Movement that was sweeping the nation, citizens of Detroit express their desires to have a boulevard that would encircle the city and mimic those roadways found in Paris

  • Connector.

    1909

    The Warren Motor Car Co. building is constructed and currently sits at 1331 Holden Avenue. While the original owner Homer Warren was not able to profit from his 30 hp 4 cyl roadsters, a later owner by the name of Henry Leyland who had been influential in the Cadillac Motor Co is rumored to have built the Lincoln Motor Co in this building.

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    1910

    Just blocks away from the Warren Motor Co, the North West Goldberg neighborhood where the property is located at 6441 Sterling was being developed for residential houses

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    1915

    Henry Ford opens the hospital bearing his name on the edge of the city limits at Hamilton and West Grand Blvd directly to the north of Milton H Smith’s new home. It is a 48 patient hospital and is staffed with doctors from Johns Hopkins.

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    1927

    William Durant decides to construct a 15 story permanent home for the General Motor’s company that he founded in the new center area on West Grand Blvd in between Cass and Second. The building was to be named after Durant but was renamed the General Motor’s building. It served as the World Headquarters until 2001 when it moved the last of its employees to the Renaissance Center.

  • Connector.

    1928

    The Fisher Brothers commission Albert Kahn to design a 30 story skyscraper to be located adjacent to the general Motors Building. The location of the building was due in part to their interests in General Motors, having just sold the Fisher Body Company to them.

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    1953

    The first leg of the John C Lodge Freeway was constructed and it nearby I-94 connection was the first freeway-to-freeway interchange in the United States. The Highway was dedicated on November 7, 1957.

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    1959

    Approximately 12 mile away from 6441 Sterling, Berry Gordy purchases the property which will become known as Motown’s Hitsville USA.

Occupancy

  • Connector.

    1910

    Frank McCaley, a clerk for the Wabash Rail Road is the first known occupant of this house at 6441 Sterling Street

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    1915

    Joseph Napolitano moves into the home and would remain here into the 1950s

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    1956

    Clara Yelland is listed as occupying the house for the next twelve years

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    1968

    Betty Blackburn moves into the house and is the only know occupant for nearly thirty years

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    2000

    The last known occupant owns the property for the next twelve years.

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    2012

    The Detroit Land Bank Authority takes ownership of the property

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    2013

    The once neglected house at 6441 Sterling Street was properly deconstructed and its building materials are put to use once again

Sources: 

City of Detroit Buildings and Safety Department

City of Detroit, Assessment Division, (Detroit, MI)

Detroit, MI, City Directories, 1890-1960, (Detroit, MI; The Burton Historical Collection)

The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 1 By Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, Gordon K. Miller

Wayne County, Treasurer’s Office, (Detroit, MI)