The Monroe Avenue Commercial Buildings, also known as the Monroe Block, is a historic district located along a block-and-a-half stretch at 16-118 Monroe Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, just off Woodward Avenue at the northern end of Campus Martius. The district was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1974 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The thirteen original buildings were built between 1852 and 1911 and ranged from two to five stories in height. The National Theatre, built in 1911, is the oldest surviving theatre in Detroit, a part of the city's original theatre district of the late 19th century, and the sole surviving structure from the original Monroe Avenue Commercial Buildings of the Antebellum period.History and significanceThe early buildings on the block were constructed in Victorian commercial style, designed by architects such as Sheldon and Mortimer Smith during the mid-to-late 19th century. The Johnson block, in particular, constituted what was at the time one of the last remaining blocks of pre-Civil War buildings in Detroit. In the nearby Randolph Street Commercial Buildings Historic District, the building at 1244 Randolph St. is a rare survivor from the 1840s. The Victorian styled Odd Fellows Building (1874) is located at the corner of Randolph and Monroe.
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