Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Blenheim Apartments

The four-story Blenheim Apartments stands at the southeast corner of Park and West Columbia. The symmetrically-arranged brick building features an ornate center arched entrance and sets of double-sashed windows running up the center in a column.

On each floor, two sets of single-sashed windows flank the column, and each edge of the building are again respective sets of double-sashed windows. Above the second floor these are framed in quoined brick. The brick parapet is capped with cut stone.

Baxter and O'Dell were the architects of the Blenheim, erected in 1909. That firm mastered this type of building in the early 20th Century; in addition to the Blenheim, Baxter & O'Dell designed several apartment buildings in the North Cass Corridor, including the Forest Apartments, a court apartment building at Second and West Forest (1905); the Rosalie Flats (4632 Second Avenue, 1905); the Renaud Annex (W. Hancock, 1905); the Touraine Apartments (4746 Second, 1906); the Chesterfield Apartments (3566 Cass Avenue, 1911), and the LaBelle Apartments (4727-4729, Second Avenue, 1912).

The building permit for the Blenheim Apartments was issued to Baxter & O'Dell on January 25, 1909, and the owner was listed as Frank Munger. At the time, Munger was the senior partner of the prominent Detroit wholesale dry-goods firm Edson, Moore & Company. Its estimated cost of construction was $26,900.

The building is owned by the Illitch family and has been sitting empty and boarded up for a long time with no signs of potential redevelopment.