Left: 1230-1242 Michigan Ave., early 1970s. Courtesy Bruce Beresh. Right: The future look of 1236 Michigan Ave. Courtesy Detroit Institute of Bagels. The first landmark one encounters when getting into Corktown from the east is an unassuming shoe package of a building on the north part of Michigan Avenue. 30,000. The principle architect of the firm, Almon Clother Varney, was one of the most effective architects in Detroit at that time.
Some of the homes he created for wealthy Cass Corridor residents stand today, including the George W. Loomer House at 71 W Hanstick, the William C. Boydell House at 4614 Cass, and El Moore Apartments at 624 W Alexandrine. The sole surviving portion of this building, 1236 Michigan Avenue, was originally tackled as 350 Michigan Avenue.
The first outlined occupant was a furniture dealer, George W. Winterhalter, in 1885. Winterhalter was co-owner of Liphardt & Winterhalter, a contracting firm specializing in sewer construction. It’s not known why a sewer contractor would opt to enter the furniture business, but he wanted to profit from the family name perhaps. His father, George H. Winterhalter, have been very successful in the furniture trade but experienced retired by that true point.
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From 1898 to 1903, the three models occupied by Winterhalter were rented by The Sumner Company formerly, another furniture business. The proprietors were Charles Augustus Sumner of Detroit and his kid, Carl Sumner of Akron, Ohio. The elder Sumner transferred to Detroit in 1888 after faltering in business in Akron. After Sumner shifted, the three areas that included 350 Michigan Avenue were occupied by George C. Becker & Company, another furniture company yet. The proprietors were George C. Becker and, once again, George W. Winterhalter.
The partnership, however, was dissolved in February of 1905. Becker immediately reincorporated simply as the George C. Becker Company and continued to perform his business from the same location. April of 1907 In, Becker’s company consolidated with J. Brushaber & Sons, a furniture store on Gratiot Avenue. The store on Michigan Avenue was then known as Brushaber’s west side location, which Becker continuing to manage.
Becker ultimately went on to get vice leader of the Brushaber company. In 1910, Brushaber transferred its western part location to a larger building on the corner of Michigan and First. By 1911, the business still rented 350 Michigan Avenue (presumably for storage), but 348 and 352 Michigan Avenue were leased to other businesses. The following year, the store was occupied by McClintric & Yancey, a pool hall run by Samuel C. McClintric and Walter Yancey.
From 1916 to 1925, 350 Michigan Avenue was used for storage space for Glunz’s Store Fixture House. This business, possessed by Fred C. Glunz, was located one stop to the east at 302 Michigan Avenue and dealt in accessories for retail institutions, such as shelving, displays, and cash registers. The 1926 index lists a restaurant run by James Eglinton as of this address, which by then got transformed to 1236 Michigan Avenue. In 1927 and 1928, the address was listed as vacant. From 1929 to 1933, the Cut Rate Upholstering and Manufacturing Company, owned by Morris Becker of 3670 Rochester, controlled out of this space.
In 1934, the Clay Pipe Cafe, handled by a guy named Philip Slaght, setup shop at 1236 Michigan Avenue, but like the restaurant and pool hall before it, did not last for greater than a 12 months. THE REASON of–And Means to fix! After this true point, 1236 Michigan Avenue was to become drinking establishment for the others of its functional life.
Beginning in 1935, two years following the end of Prohibition, Preston E. Wood opened a beer garden as of this location. He ran the business at least through 1941, but the library’s assortment of city web directories is incomplete after that. The web directories for 1956 and 1958 list the Ferris Bar, controlled by Albert Ferris, at this address.
The last business to run out of 1236 Michigan Avenue was Musial’s Bar, an business of Ferdinand J. “Fred” Musial and his wife, Frances. The construction of the Lodge Expressway in the 1950s necessitated the demolition of the east fifty percent of the building that contained 1236 Michigan Avenue. The three staying units is seen in the aerial photograph below, taken not long after the freeway’s conclusion.