Edson, Moore and Company Building

1700 West Fort Street


In 1872, James L. Edson and George F. Moore founded a wholesale dry goods firm in Detroit.  The term dry goods has gone out of favor, but in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, every large city had many dry goods stores selling linens, bed clothing, and haberdashery items, including gloves.  I believe this company was originally located on East Jefferson close to Woodward. I do not know if that was the only home for this firm until the very large building you see was completed in 1920.  Presumably, salesmen from around the United States and Western Europe would visit this firm and solicit orders.  Once purchasers were made, I assume that Edson, Moore and Company displayed their wares for store owners from around the Midwest. The firm survived until 1944.    One of its officers of this firm in the late Nineteenth Century was Ransom Gyllis whose residence on Alfred Street in Brush Park became a symbol of Detroit’s decline in the provocative books written by urban theorist Jose Vergara.

In 2014, this large building was used by two firms linked to the computer age, not to the sale of dry goods.  Display Group Limited is a professional design services and marketing business.  Another occupant is Net Profit Marketing Limited, a firm devoted to website design and marketing.

Architects: Smith, Hinchman and Grylls
Date of Construction: 1920
Use in 2014:  Office space for several commercial firms.
City of Detroit Designated Historic District:  Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places: Not listed
Photograph:  Ren Farley, April 5, 2014
Description prepared:  April, 2014

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