“ Work together in volunteer efforts to address community concerns, meet needs, and solve problems within the MorningSide Community„

The Neighborhoods
Building MorningSide
Small Business Owners
home Ownership
MorningSide Citizens United

MorningSide

MorningSide is a neighborhood on the east side of Detroit, Michigan. The area is bounded by Harper Avenue and Interstate 94 on the north, Mack Avenue to the south, East Outer Drive and Whittier on the east and Alter Road and East Outer Drive to the west. The local association that shares the name Morningside with the community is a collaboration of residents working together to take care of this area.

History

MorningSide began as a French settlement of ribbon farms late in the 1700s. Since the only reliable method of travel was by boat or canoe, access to Lake Saint Clair and the Detroit River was a necessity. French settlers established “ribbon farms” which were long narrow strips of land that stretched inland for miles. These narrow farms each provided access to waterways for drinking water, fishing and transportation; and to the land for timber, farming and game. Some of the ribbon farms that would later become part of MorningSide were owned by Alec Trombly, P. Trombly, Robert Trombly, Mrs. L. Brown, Mrs. Turner and G. Martin.
These ribbon farms were collectively part of Grosse Pointe Township, until the end of the 19th century, when Detroit annexed “large portions of the township of Grosse Pointe.” Detroit’s population had grown in response to auto manufacturing. Jobs were plentiful and working wages supported middle-class mobility. Ribbon farms, which had been farmed for decades, now were redeveloped into sub-divisions for housing. The MorningSide neighborhood blossomed in response to Detroit’s middle-class housing needs into a collection of real estate sub-divisions.

Architecture

Initially constructed in 1935, the Art Moderne style Alger Theater is one of two unchanged neighborhood movie theaters left in Detroit. The historic theater sits on the northwest corner of East Warren Avenue and Outer Drive. It stands as a representation of Detroit’s historic past, retaining much of its historic building materials and served its purpose of film watching for fifty years. It opened its doors on August 22, 1935 to roughly 1200 excited Detroiters who lined up eagerly for a viewing of “The Girl from Tenth Avenue” starring Bette Davis.
Originally opened by George W. Trendle, who later purchased radio station WXYZ, the theater was named after Michigan Governor Russell A. Alger, who served in the American Civil War and held the post of Secretary of War under PresidentWilliam McKinley in 1897. In 1983, a non-profit group, the Friends of Alger Theater, formed to save the theater from being demolished and held music events and fundraisers to renovate the theater.