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April 05, 1991 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I CLOSE-UP I

E

d Rose always told
his sons his greatest
claim to fame was
that he didn't file for
bankruptcy during the Great
Depression.
He told everybody else
his finest achievement in
life were his sons; Irving, a
lawyer; Sheldon, an engi-
neer; and Leslie, also a
lawyer.
As young boys, they got
on-the-job training in their
father's home building
business. And after
finishing college, each
joined their father to create
what later became a family
empire — the Edward Rose
Building Enterprise.
Today, 66 years after Ed
Rose built his first single-
story frame house on the
west side of Detroit, and
two years after his death at
the age of 93, the Rose
company is one of the
largest residential builders
and apartment managers
in the Midwest.
Ed Rose built about 800
houses in the old Jewish
neighborhood of Oak Park,
most between Greenfield
and Oak Park Boulevard
and others between
Coolidge and Nine Mile
Road. Coolidge Terrace, an
apartment complex on
Coolidge, also is a Rose
product.
He also built houses in
Detroit, St. Clair Shores,
Allen Park, Lincoln Park,
River Rouge and Trenton.
And he constructed apart-
ment complexes in other
suburbs — among them,
Cordoba in Farmington
Hills and Sutton Place in
Southfield.
Since 1925, Edward Rose

22

FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 1991

The

OSE DYNASTY

Building Enterprise has
constructed more than
100,000 houses and apart-
ment complexes in 14
states — an amount ap-
proached only by a small
percentage of companies
nationwide.
Because of his contribu-
tion to the building in-
dustry, Ed Rose was named
to the National Housing
Hall of Fame. And because
of his charitable giving, his
name is displayed on an
outside wall at the Maple-
Drake Jewish Community
Center, at Sinai Hospital's
diagnostic imaging center
in Farmington Hills, and
at a school, a senior center
and a library in Israel.
Yet he was shy of the
public eye. Accordingly, his
family requested a small
graveside service for his

In the 1920s,
a young Ed Rose
broke ground
for his future
building
empire.

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

funeral and a short
obituary in all the news-
papers.
"You can compare the
Roses to the Rothschilds,"
says Irvin Yackness, execu-
tive vice president and
general counsel for the
Builders Association of
Southeastern Michigan.
"Just as the Rothschilds
started the banking dynas-
ty, Ed Rose started a dynas-
ty of his own."

The story of the Roses'
beginnings mirrors the
humble tales of other
families who came to
Detroit with nothing in the
early 1900s. A 21-year-old
Ed Rose was lured to
Detroit during World War I
by Henry Ford's offer to
pay princely $5-a-day
wages.
Ed and his older brother,

Louis, were sent to the
United States from a small
village in Poland to live
with an uncle named Streir
on a farm in Denver in
1907. Their father had died
in Poland in 1902.
The young boys didn't
like the uncle, who alleged-
ly forced them to work
under unfair labor practices,
and they ran away to
Denver. The Rose boys told
their children they took
their uncle to a labor court
and won.
After hearing about
Ford's offer, the young boys
came to Detroit. Louis
worked there for one day,
but Ed never secured a job.
While waiting outside on a
January day, a ruckus
erupted in the line for
interviews at Ford head-
quarters.
Employees then turned
fire hoses on the people,
and a tall and rugged Ed
Rose, drenched with water,
walked away humiliated.
Both Louis and Ed were
determined to prosper. Ed
became a junk peddler,
buying anything to sell to
dealers. He bought a horse
and wagon and journeyed
through alleys in search of
tires, bottles and other
items that could bring in
cash.
Louis was fascinated by
the bar business. Like Ed,
he would become a builder.
But he also spent his
lifetime investing in bars
and clubs.
During Prohibition, the
brothers and their friend,
Max Rosenfeld, joined the
ranks of many busi-
nessmen and opened a

N

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