Mr. Varney’s Neighborhood

AC Varney
Almon Clother Varney, architect and lifestlye guru!

As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the El Moore was designed in 1898 by local architect Almon Clother Varney.  Besides being an authority on gracious living in late 19th century Detroit (see Our Homes and Their Adornments , 1883), Varney was a prolific architect.  His creations, which included apartment buildings, factories and offices, hotels and private residences, popped up all over the city as well as in towns and cities across the state.  Interestingly, Varney is credited with designing the very first apartment building in Detroit, the Varney Apartments at Park and Montcalm (The building was, sadly, razed in 1996).  Although some Varney buildings have not survived to present day, many of them, like the El Moore, are, happily, with us still!

With that in mind, this week the Green Garage’s Tuesday walking group decided to do a “Varney Tour” of Midtown.  We’d like to share with our readers the gems that we found, all within easy walking distance of the El Moore.  Enjoy!  “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…”


George W Loomer House
George W Loomer House, 71 W Hancock, 1888. Loomer was a lumber dealer.
Judge Philip Van Zile House
Judge Philip Van Zile House, located on Forest between 2nd and 3rd, 1891.
Robt & Jennie Brown House
The Robert & Jennie Brown House, at Alexandrine and Cass, built in 1891. It once housed a funeral parlor.
Moss Double House
The Moss Double House is located on Alexandrine Street, across the street from the El Moore, 1891.



The Coronado
The Coronado Apartments, at Second Ave. and Selden, were built in 1894. Lovely!
William Boydell House
The William Boydell House, located on Cass just south of Forest Ave., was built in 1895. Boydell was a paint manufacturer.
Model D House
This lovely home houses Model D today and is located on 2nd Ave, just next to the Green Garage. This was only the second Varney-designed home in Detroit, dating from 1883.