Constructed in 1887, the historic residence at 110 East Ferry was built in what was once recognized as the most prestigious residential neighborhood in Detroit.

110 East Ferry is located in the cultural hub of Detroit, just two blocks North of the Detroit Institute of Arts and one block East of the Detroit Historical Museum and Public Library. The structure was built in 1887 as the primary residence for William A. Jackson, president of the Michigan State Telephone Company. Along with being a citizen of social and cultural importance in Detroit, Jackson was also credited with bringing the telephone to Michigan. Following its use as a single-family home, 110 East Ferry was occupied as a boarding house by the Merrill Palmer Institute and later utilized as a Heritage Museum of Fine Arts for Youth, before entering its current state of vacancy and disrepair. 
 
QEA designers are working with Midtown Detroit Inc. to rehabilitate the 8,000 square foot, single-family residence into three condominium units. The design required a nuanced approach to creating modern and functional living spaces while maintaining sensitivity to the historic elements of the home. Retaining the original coved ceilings, millwork, and fireplaces were imperative to maintaining the historic character of the spaces. The renovation includes a complete modernization of the HVAC system and electrical components, as well as the addition of two interior stairways and an exterior egress door.  

Sketch of back door.

Located adjacent to the renowned Historic Inn on Ferry Street, 110 East Ferry is a contributing building in the East Ferry Avenue Historic District. Given this designation, all proposed exterior work required review and approval from the City of Detroit Historic District Commission. The restoration of the exterior red sandstone, granite, and brick masonry garnered approval from the commission. Additional approvals included; a complete restoration of the original wood windows, and the proposal for a new exterior egress door, designed and located to match the character of the historic structure.

Original door knobs for 110 East Ferry

The adaptive use of 110 East Ferry will not only bring new life to the historic structure, it will also create more density in the neighborhood, and complete the row of skillfully restored Victorian-era homes on the block. Along with honoring the history and rich architectural heritage of the neighborhood, this long-vacant house will once again serve as a home.