Project Description

The Somerset was an apartment building that was built in 1921 and was located at 1523 East Jefferson Avenue, near the intersection of St. Aubin Street, on Detroit’s east side.  On the west side of the building, the Somerset Apartments bordered the Greening of Detroit Park.  The Somerset Apartments is a long, four-story, brick building that was designed in Neo-Georgian architectural style designed by C. Howard Crane.  The front façade is quite symmetrical, faced with limestone on the first story and red brick above.  Each window along the first floor was an arched design.  At eighty units, the Somerset Apartments were five interconnected rectangular buildings that were built in a row, running rearward from East Jefferson Avenue.  The inside apartments were all pretty similar in size and pretty standard, but the lobby at the Somerset Apartments had some immaculate detail, including some nice Neo-Georgian columns.

Throughout the years, the Somerset Apartments were very nice and only the upper middle class could afford to live in such a luxurious apartment building.  At some time around the 1980’s, Somerset Apartments changed owners and was renamed the Parkcrest Apartments.  It was around the 1990’s that the former Somerset Apartments became a transient hotel.  It stayed as a transient hotel until it’s final days.  The Somerset Apartments closed for good in 2001.

The owner of the Somerset Apartments tried to sell the building off in in the 2000’s, but it remained vacant.  In 2008, it was scheduled to be demolished after it made Kwame’s death list.  It never happened, so the Somerset Apartments suffered damage from vandalism, scrapping, and fire.

In 2013, a massive arson-fire swept through the entire structure, and gutted the entire Somerset Apartments. Demolition was completed in 2014.

As of 2015, a nice empty lot sits where the Somerset Apartments stood for almost 100 years.