Saturday, April 21, 2012

Brigg's Mansion Stone Hedge For Sale

Stone Hedge, the home automotive magnate Walter O. Briggs built in 1915 for his family is for sale at the bargain price of $450,000. Architects Chittenden and Kotting designed the pale fieldstone manor at 700 W. Boston Boulevard. 9,638 square feet, 11 bedrooms, 9 fireplaces, 7 bathrooms, copper gutters, a cold fur closet, a liquor safe, stained glass windows, Pewabic tile. Carved into the library mantel are famous Detroit Tigers and famous opponents - Hank Greenberg, Babe Ruth, Charlie Gehringer, Lou Gehrig. Mr. Briggs owned the team from 1920 to his death in 1952. Tiger Stadium was originally Briggs Stadium, home to both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, but despite being on the National Register of Historic Places, it was completely demolished in 2009. Neighbors in the Boston Edison neighborhood included Charles Fisher (next door on Boston Boulevard) and Henry Ford's family was around the block. Mark Hickey has some beautiful pictures of houses on the two streets. I've loved this part of Detroit for decades. My mother lived in a house there that was a home for working single women. My father courted her from the parlor - no men allowed anywhere else in the building. I wanted to buy a house on Boston back when the two streets were terribly neglected and unloved; boarded windows, fire-licked roofs, bedraggled gardens, only a few homes maintained. Since 1980, people have bought homes, repaired and planted, and the house I wanted to buy is now lovely and occupied. I hope someone who will love Stone Hedge buys it, lives happily in it, and doesn't change too much of the gorgeous history.

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