[graphic header] Detroit: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary, National Park Service

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The Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District is Detroit's most outstanding community of multi-family housing units. Adjacent to the wooded area of Palmer Park, the Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District incorporates a suburban concept of living in an urban environment. The historic district is on a tract of land that was originally part of Thomas Palmer, Jr.'s estate, Walnut Lane. Palmer was an important national figure during the 1880s and 1890s and served as Ambassador to Spain, U.S. Senator, and President of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. His 650 acre estate would eventually be separated into the Palmer Woods subdivision, the Detroit Golf Club, and the Palmer Park Apartment Buildings. After Palmer's death in 1913, a portion of his estate was sold to Walter O. Briggs, a Detroit capitalist and philanthropist, who in 1925 engaged Albert Kahn to design the Walbri Court Apartments at 1001 Covington, the first building in the complex. From 1925 to 1965, 40 buildings were constructed, with the majority built in the 1920s and 1930s, to accommodate middle-class and upper middle-class tenants. The Palmer Park Apartment Buildings reflect the latest concepts and technology in multiple-family housing unit design from the time and are excellent examples of various exotic architectural styles such as the Egyptian, Spanish, Mediterranean, Venetian, Tudor, and Moorish Revival styles.

The Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District is located directly south of Palmer Park, in the triangle formed by the intersection of Woodward Avenue and McNichols Road. The buildings of the district are private residences and not open to the public.

Whitmore Plaza Whitmore Plaza

  Looking east on Merton Road Looking east on Merton Road
Photographs courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

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