Corktown Home Tour, Mudgie’s Deli

10 Jun

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Every June we look forward to the Historic Corktown Home Tour. Unlike a lot of the other historic neighborhoods in Detroit, Corktown is mostly made up of workers homes but don’t be fooled by their modest exteriors , you will be surprised if not stunned by what awaits inside! The interiors are not elaborate, this is not an area you find crystal chandeliers, marble floors, pewabic tile or third floor ballrooms, which in my opinion makes it all the more interesting!

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The original settlers here were Irish immigrants who largely came from County Cork, which of course is how it got its name. As a matter of fact, by the mid 19th century the Irish were the largest ethnic group in Detroit. Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, established in 1834, it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

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Homes here can be very deceiving, from the front many of them look quite small, but look down the side and you will see  that they are also very long. There is a mixture of architectural styles here, some two stories with Queen Ann influences, tiny worker cottages reflecting a bit of the federalist style are also a common sight. Since there are not a lot of interior details each owner can make it their own. Being able to walk through the houses is a real treat, you never know what you will find behind the front door. There are Victorian treasures with lovely tiled fireplaces, the very contemporary with bright red walls, vintage with great 50’s glass works and furniture, and modern with exposed wooden beams and free form counters. It’s an eclectic array of styles and personalities.  VIEW PHOTOS HERE

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Conveniently located on the corner of Porter and Brooklyn is Mudgie’s Deli, the perfect place for us to have lunch. We have known the owner Greg for many years, he does a great job with the place from its cheery orange walls and vintage tin ceiling to the artisan sandwiches, homemade soups and salads. The menu features many local products and vegan selections as well. Our “usual” is the Ivey; a delicious vegetarian sandwich with Greg’s house-made spinach spread, avocado, and an assortment of veggies, topped off with cheese and sunflower sprouts, along with a house salad it’s enough for two. The house specialty desserts are waffles, either the Fudgie Mudgie, or the Sweet Ruth, we went with Ruth. A warm bread pudding waffle, Calder Dairy Butter pecan ice cream melting into the indentations, and decadent caramel sauce, all topped off with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon, lip-smacking good!

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We had finished touring the homes, but had one last stop on the tour; Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church. Most Holy Trinity parish was established in 1834 for the large Irish influx of the 1830’s, the current, larger building was built in 1855.  The interior comprises a nave and two side aisles divided by rows of Gothic arches. The rear balcony was added in 1890 and is where the 1867 tracker organ rests, it is the oldest existing organ built in the US, and the oldest still in it’s original location. We were lucky enough to have the pleasure of hearing the organist play as we walked the aisles of the church taking in the stained glass windows and magnificent architecture. Kris even got to go up in the tower and ring the church bells.

Corktown is a vital and stable community, residents are close knit and take pride in their property. In addition to the wonderful homes there are a number of restaurants and bars in this neck of the woods, with more to come in the near future, we’ll let you know !

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