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'Garden Of Eden' Appears Amid Detroit Blight

DETROIT (WWJ) - It's being called an oasis in the desert in one east side Detroit neighborhood littered with empty lots and abandoned homes.

WWJ Newsradio 950's Stephanie Davis Thursday stopped by to talk with the owner of the extravagantly built home with a pool-sized water feature in front.

Davis said it's really something to see on Lakewood Street, in the area of Mack Ave. and Chambers -- a new construction 4-story home. The front

4234 Lakewood construction
Construction underway at 4234 Lakewood (credit:

yard features a huge natural limestone fountain that's been named, "The Garden of Eden."

The homeowner, Rev. Charles Brooks owns a construction company. He did all the work himself with the help of a small crew.

He told WWJ Newsradio 950's Stephanie Davis the construction of this palace was led by God.  He gave her the tour.

"We're walking on land that hasn't always been here. There used to be mud, debris everywhere," Brooks said.

"Right now we're sitting at the Garden of Eden which has 3 huge fountains in it that hold about 100,000 gallons of water," he said. "We've got a 12-car garage behind us, an 8-car garage right next to it, and we built the house, too."

Brooks said the project is meant to be an "inspiration to the children and the people, not only of Detroit, but of the entire world."

One woman passing by just had to stop.

"My things that I love about it is he has the Bible verses in the brick, so you know it's a man of God. And I appreciate that utmost being in the neighborhood," she said.


Scripture is engraved everywhere -- including in stone above the home's front and back doors and on the pillars that line the property.

See more photos of the property at

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