Detroit Now & Then: Unrest

1943: Street Fighting in Brush Park

"While a Negro's car burns fiercely at right after being set afire by white rioters, Police fire tear gas bombs in white mob in an attempt to disperse them."

Once an enclave for Detroit's wealthy elite, the neighborhood of Brush Park and its victorian mansions had become an overcrowded slum neighborhood by the 1930's. At right is 63 Alfred Street, also known as the Ransom Gillis House. It's one of the last remaining houses on Alfred Street, which was all but vacated after the Second World War. Today the building has been mothballed and stabilized by the city, awaiting sale.

John Kossik has documented the history of this house and the Brush Park neighborhood in his book 63 Alfred Street: Where Capitalism Failed."

Original photo: June 22nd, 1943. Courtesy of Kevin Mueller, via John Kossik
Current photo: January, 2014