Detroit Association of Colored Women's Club/Detroit Association of Women's Club

William Lennane Home
The Detroit Association of Colored Women's Club
The Detroit Association of Women's Club

5461 Brush at the corner of East Ferry in Detroit's Cultural Center

William Lennane lived from 1872 to 1841. He became very prosperous in the pre-World War I era as a building contractor who specialized in sewer systems, paving streets and working in concrete. As prosperous neighborhoods developed in Detroit just after the turn of the century, William Lennane and his firm helped to build Arden Park, Indian Village and the Boston-Edison neighborhood. In 1913, he asked the Smith, Hinchman and Grylls firm to design a home for him in the prestigious Ferry Park subdivision. They designed a rectangular Colonial Revival style home in two-and-one-half stories with a gabled roof. There is a pilastered entrance with pedimented corners. Along the East Ferry Street side of the home, there is an attractive column supported side porch.

The labor force participation rates of extensively educated women have risen sharply since the late 1960s. Earlier in the 20th century, the highly-educated wives of prosperous men often devoted much effort to charitable organizations. The wives of well-to-do African-American husbands similarly often spent much time on charitable work. On April 8, 1921, eight African-American women's clubs banded together to form the Detroit Association of Colored Women's Clubs. They focused on philanthropic, educational and social programs. The Association was incorporated in 1941. In that same year, William Lennane died and his home was purchased by the Detroit Association of Women's Club then led by Mrs. Rosa Gragg. By 1945, this Association included 73 clubs with 3,000 members.

Architect: The Smith, Hinchman, Grylls firm
Architectural style: Colonial Revival
Date of Completion: 1931
Use in 2003: Apparently empty but reasonably well preserved.
Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: P25162, Listed: December 19, 1984
Michigan Historical Marker: Erected: September 23, 1986


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