DETROIT (WWJ) – Preservation Wayne is attempting to save a family home on Detroit’s west side known simply as the “McGhee House.”

The house has historical significance that dates back nearly 70 years and was at the center of one of the most important Supreme Court rulings of the 20th century.

In 1944, the McGhees filed suit after being told that they could not live in the white neighborhood on Seebaldt Street. They eventually won their case in a ruling that restricted who could live in certain neighborhoods.

Preservation Wayne President Melanie Markowicz said that the family faced several problems while living in the house, including one disturbing file that was found on record. “In one document I read, there was a cross burned in the front lawn,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil.

Markowicz said Preservation Wayne is hoping to save the storied home by starting a drive to restore it. She believes that community support will go a long way in making sure that the house stays in good shape.

“I think we really need to come together as a community to identify those things that are important to us, and I really think this is one of those sites,” Markowicz said. The house still needs extensive work, including a new gutter system, drywall, brickwork and repairs to the porch.

Neighbor Paul Trent said that restoring the house would be beneficial to local kids as well. “They can know that people went through a lot in order for them to live here.”

Citizens interested in helping to restore the home can visit for more informaton.

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