Explore Eminem’s beloved teenage home after blaze (photos)

Eminem loved his teenage Detroit home so much that he took a model of it with him on tour.

The nondescript bungalow at 19946 Dresden is where he tapped into his lyrical talents and began to get noticed as a legitimate white hip hop artist.


Eminem LP2For most of his childhood, Marshall Mathers lived in the predominately white suburbs of Warren and Eastpointe and was called a “wigger” because he emulated the black rappers he had admired. At one point, the young teenager even wore a plastic kitchen wall clock on a fake gold chain.

Although his mom continued to send him to Lincoln High in Warren, Eminem gravitated toward black clubs and hangouts. While skipping school and handing out flyers at Osborn High in Detroit, Eminem met a young rapper named Proof. They’d become best friends before Proof’s untimely death in 2006.  

“He wanted to be part of the landscape, part of the environment. I think it was just him assimilating,” his manager Paul Rosenberg told the Los Angeles Times.

Eminem built a reputation as a gifted rhymer at open-mike contests and small clubs. His mom said her son, Marshall Mathers, spent countless hours in his second-floor bedroom accumulating piles of notebooks filled with lyrics.


“Even though we’d moved a lot, he always said the house on Dresden was his childhood home,” his mom, Debbie Nelson, wrote in her memoir, “My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem.”

But life at home was far from easy. He and his mom were at each other’s throats. His relationship with future wife Kim Scott was often turbulent. And he dropped out of high school in 1989.

The 41-year-old rapper paid homage to the home by featuring it on two album covers, “The Marshall Mathers LP” and “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” which was released last week.

Two days after “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” was released, someone intentionally set fire to the house. The blaze started in his second-floor bedroom.

Perhaps fittingly, Eminem wrote on Instagram last week that he visited his home “for the last time.”

In the mid-1990s, Eminem’s mom decided it was time to move after a neighbor’s house was firebombed.

eminem mansion“I couldn’t sell the house,” Nelson wrote. “The area was going downhill.”

Nelson eventually rented out the house, which has changed owners more than a dozen times since.

Most recently the 767-square-foot bungalow was selling for $32,885.

Most of the houses on his block are either burned out or falling apart.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Vick

    Welcome to the club. My childhood come is gone too.

  • Vick

    It’s been 22 years since my parents moved out of our Detroit house. Asked my parents for the address. Looked it up. Gone, as with most of that side of the street.

  • yeah_yeah_no

    It was torn down the other day.

  • Natalie Loren

    He said he visited it for the last time? Makes me wonder if he didn’t know it was going to be set on fire. Lord knows Detroit doesn’t have enough Arson Investigators to investigate anyway.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Well its toasty and burnt up. It will be knocked over soon. Marshal mathets lp 2 is from mov 2013.

      It nurnef two years after he said his last visit. The area has been rough for 20 years. Its not suspicious at all

      Its in south warren, not detroit.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Well its toasty and burnt up. It will be knocked over soon. Marshal mathets lp 2 is from mov 2013.

      It nurnef two years after he said his last visit. The area has been rough for 20 years. Its not suspicious at all

      Its in south warren, not detroit.

      • Jason Holloway

        Hate to tell you this but anything south of 8mile is Detroit or Actually Harper Woods a little spec of a city within the city of Detroit


    I think they should have just let the POS burn down completely. Now it just might attract predators and its a huge eye sore to the neighborhood. LOL who am I kidding, what fucking neighborhood. Tear it all down …

  • Nicole Carlton

    He loved it so much the multi-millionaire couldn’t be bothered to spend less than $50,000 to purchase it???

    Heck he could have bought it and moved it out of the city if it was that “dear” to him. Tired of people who claim to love Detroit – living in the affluent suburbs and leaving the city to rot.

    • Nico Kensing

      FYI just because something was dear to one doesn’t mean they’ll have feelings beyond that, per se a distant relative, doesn’t mean you want to see them all the time. In this case he’d have to save the whole block, to be fair at least; but I guess anyone with some common sense should know that.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Its in south warren, you can take off your defender of detroit cape and badge.

      You can go back to not caring.

      You cannot have nice things, that are well known, owned by rich people in poor areas.

      To many haters.

      • Nicole Carlton

        A) I wasn’t defending Detroit, but I will! I responded to this article which at the time was one of a constant barrage about “Eminem’s beloved childhood home burning in Detroit”. His actions belie that it wasn’t so beloved and it wasn’t as you stated in Detroit, so as someone who does live in the city and hates the way national and local media clump all bad things that seem to happen in Waybe County onto Detroit it made me upset. B) I don’t know what I can go back to not caring about? Eminem? Done! He claims to love the city sooooo much and claims it made him what he is, but where is his investment in it? Where are his philanthropic organizations or his donations to civic centers??? C)It wasn’t a nice thing when he lived in it and it wasn’t a nice thing when it burned. It wasn’t owned by he or his family, so your logic that for some reason his relationship to the house had something to do with it being destroyed when there is a house torched in this under funded city at least twice a day.

  • bebow

    Just when we convince ourselves the destruction is complete, a criminal arrives with a gas can. There is nothing to be done to, for, or with the violent, destructive, costly criminal menace except to force it out by any means necessary. This is the alternative solution in a city lacking the will and resources to effectively handle terrorists. “We” and “they” cannot coexist. So, it’s time for the city to choose between us, and a failure to make a deliberate choice followed by effective action is a decision to keep the criminals and wave goodbye to the decent majority. Marshall Mathers sat upstairs in his mother’s unimpressive, chaotic house on Dresden, in a declining neighborhood, with a limited education, and he created something. Criminals add nothing. They only subtract. On a side note: Marshall is showing clear signs of improvement. He can let it go now.