The home of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia is getting relocated to Detroit's Eastern Market. As part of the Eastern Market Garden project, the house will be moved from the former state fairgrounds.
The Michigan History Center, the Eastern Market Partnership and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources have been developing plans for the move for years. The house has sat at the now-closed state fairground since its relocation from its original address at 253 East Fort Street in 1936.
“The fact that Detroiters remembered that this was his house when he died, they remembered enough that this was his house to move it to the state fairgrounds to preserve it, tells me this house belongs to Detroit and its really important that we take care of it,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center.
Clark said the house didn’t get a lot of visitors at the fairground, so they hope to create a community space with it at Eastern Market.
“We really are trying to create a gathering place,” she said. “And we hope it will be an educational place; where kids can experience something different, feel a little pride that there was a president that live in their city once up a time.”
The Michigan History Center will be hosting forums with Detroit residents to hear what they'd like to see done with the home, according to Clark.
The relocation and restoration process is expected to take two years. Dan Carmody, president of the Eastern Market Partnership, says the project will cost an estimated $150,000. The Michigan State Housing and Development Authority provided a grant to cover the move.
As part of the Eastern Market Garden Project and an ode to the home’s famed garden, the plot around the home will include gardens and a small orchard.