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Detroit
—  City  —
Top: International skyline. Middle: Woodward Avenue, Renaissance Center (General Motors World Headquarters), Lobby of the Detroit Institute of Arts Bottom: Ambassador Bridge, Old Wayne County Building, One Detroit Center

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): The Motor City, Motown, The Renaissance City, The D, Hockeytown
Motto: "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus"
(Latin for, "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes")
Location in Wayne County, Michigan
Detroit is located in the USA
Detroit
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°19′53″N 83°02′45″W / 42.33139°N 83.04583°W / 42.33139; -83.04583Coordinates: 42°19′53″N 83°02′45″W / 42.33139°N 83.04583°W / 42.33139; -83.04583 [1]
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
Founded 1701
Incorporation 1806
Government
 - Type Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Dave Bing (D)
 - City Council
Area
 - City 143.0 sq mi (370.4 km2)
 - Land 138.8 sq mi (359.5 km2)
 - Water 4.2 sq mi (10.9 km2)
 - Urban 1,295 sq mi (3,354 km2)
 - Metro 3,913 sq mi (10,134.6 km2)
Elevation [1] 600 ft (183 m)
Population (2008)[2]
 - City 912,062
 Density 6,571.0/sq mi (2,537.1/km2)
 Urban 3,903,377
 Metro 4,425,110
 - CSA 5,354,225
 - Demonym Detroiter
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 313
FIPS code 26-22000 [3]
GNIS feature ID 1617959 [1]
Major airport Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
Website DetroitMI.gov

Detroit (pronounced /dɛˈtrɔɪt/) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. Located north of Windsor, Ontario, Detroit is the only major [4] U.S. city that looks south to Canada. It was founded on July 24, 1701, by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Its name originates from the French word détroit (pronounced: [detʁwa]  ( listen)) for strait,[5] characterizing its location on the river connecting the Great Lakes.

Known as the world's traditional automotive center,[6] "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown.[7][8] Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including City of Champions beginning in the 1930s for its successes in individual and team sport,[9] Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II),[10] The D, D-Town, Hockeytown (a trademark owned by the city's NHL club, the Red Wings), Rock City (after the Kiss song "Detroit Rock City"), and The 3-1-3 (its telephone area code).[11][12]

In 2008, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 912,062 residents.[13] At its peak in 1950, the city was the fourth-largest in the USA, but has since seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs.

The name Detroit sometimes refers to the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region with a population of 4,425,110[14] for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the nation's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,354,225[2] for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2008 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit-Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000.[15]

Contents

History

The city name comes from the Detroit River (French: le détroit du Lac Érié), meaning the strait of Lake Erie, linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; in the historical context, the strait included Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.[16] Traveling up the Detroit River on the ship Le Griffon (owned by Cavelier de La Salle), Father Louis Hennepin noted the north bank of the river as an ideal location for a settlement.

There, in 1701, the French officer Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, along with fifty-one additional French-Canadians, founded a settlement called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit, naming it after the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans.[17]

François Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719–1793) was the last French military commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760), surrendering the fort on November 29, 1760 to the British. The region's fur trade was an important economic activity. Detroit's city flag reflects this French heritage. (See Flag of Detroit, Michigan).[18]

During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac's Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to this, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included restrictions on white settlement in unceded Indian territories. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796). In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive.[19]

The City of Detroit (from Canada Shore), 1872, by A. C. Warren

From 1805 to 1847, Detroit was the capital of Michigan. As the city expanded, the street layout plan developed by Augustus B. Woodward, Chief Justice of the Michigan Territory was followed. Detroit fell to British troops during the War of 1812 in the Siege of Detroit, was recaptured by the United States in 1813 and incorporated as a city in 1815.[18]

Prior to the American Civil War, the city's access to the Canadian border made it a key stop along the underground railroad.[20] Then a Lieutenant, the future president Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in the city. His dwelling is still at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Because of this local sentiment, many Detroiters volunteered to fight during the American Civil War, including the 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment (part of the legendary Iron Brigade) which fought with distinction and suffered 82% casualties at Gettysburg in 1863. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying Thank God for Michigan! Following the death of President Abraham Lincoln, George Armstrong Custer delivered a eulogy to the thousands gathered near Campus Martius Park. Custer led the Michigan Brigade during the American Civil War and called them the Wolverines.[21]

Corner of Michigan and Griswold, circa 1920

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many of the city's Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose. Detroit was referred to as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison.[18] Strategically located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit emerged as a transportation hub. The city had grown steadily from the 1830s with the rise of shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industries. In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue.

In 1904 Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. Ford's manufacturing—and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit's status as the world's automotive capital; it also served to encourage truck manufacturers such as Rapid and Grabowsky.[18]

With the introduction of Prohibition, smugglers used the river as a major conduit for Canadian spirits, organized in large part by the notorious Purple Gang.[22] Strained racial relations were evident in the 1920s trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black Detroit physician acquitted of murder. A man died when shots were fired from Ossian's house into a threatening mob who gathered to try to force him out of a predominantly white neighborhood.[23]

Cadillac Motor Co..(c.1910)
Cass Ave. at Amsterdam St.

Labor strife climaxed in the 1930s when the United Auto Workers became involved in bitter disputes with Detroit's auto manufacturers. The labor activism of those years brought notoriety to union leaders such as Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther. The 1940s saw the construction of the world's first urban depressed freeway, the Davison[24] and the industrial growth during World War II that led to Detroit's nickname as the Arsenal of Democracy.[25]

Industry spurred growth during the first half of the twentieth century as the city drew tens of thousands of new residents, particularly workers from the Southern United States, to become the nation's fourth largest. At the same time, tens of thousands of European immigrants poured into the city. Social tensions rose with the rapid pace of growth. The color blind promotion policies of the auto plants resulted in racial tension that erupted into a full-scale riot in 1943.[26]

Consolidation during the 1950s, especially in the automobile sector, increased competition for jobs. An extensive freeway system constructed in the 1950s and 1960s had facilitated commuting. The Twelfth Street riot in 1967, as well as court-ordered busing accelerated white flight from the city. Commensurate with the shift of population and jobs to its suburbs, the city's tax base eroded. In the years following, Detroit's population fell from a peak of roughly 1.8 million in 1950 to about half that number today.[18]

The gasoline crises of 1973 and 1979 impacted the U.S. auto industry as small cars from foreign makers made inroads. Heroin and crack cocaine use afflicted the city with the influence of Butch Jones, Maserati Rick, and the Chambers Brothers. Renaissance has been a perennial buzzword among city leaders, reinforced by the construction of the Renaissance Center in the late 1970s. This complex of skyscrapers, designed as a city within a city, slowed but was unable to reverse the trend of businesses leaving Downtown Detroit until the 1990s.[18]

In 1980, Detroit hosted the Republican National Convention which nominated Ronald Reagan to a successful bid for President of the United States. By then, nearly three decades of crime, drug addiction, and inadequate policies had caused areas like the Elmhurst block to decay.[27] During the 1980s, abandoned structures were demolished to reduce havens for drug dealers with sizable tracts of land reverted to a form of urban prairie.[28]

In the 1990s, the city began to receive a revival with much of it centered in Downtown Detroit. Comerica Tower at Detroit Center (1993) arose on the city skyline. In the ensuing years, three casinos opened in Detroit: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino which debuted as resorts in 2007-08. New downtown stadiums were constructed for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions in 2000 and 2002, respectively; this put the Lions' home stadium in the city proper for the first time since 1974.The city also saw the historic Book Cadillac Hotel and the Fort Shelby Hotel reopen for the first time in over 20 years.[29] The city hosted the 2005 MLB All-Star Game, 2006 Super Bowl XL, 2006 World Series, WrestleMania 23 in 2007 and the NCAA Final Four in April 2009 all of which prompted many improvements to the downtown area.

The city's riverfront is the focus of much development following the example of Windsor, Ontario which began its waterfront parkland conversion in the 1990s; in 2007, the first portions of the Detroit River Walk were laid, including miles of parks and fountains. This new urban development in Detroit is a mainstay in the city's plan to enhance its economy through tourism.[30] Along the river, upscale million dollar condominiums are going up, such as Watermark Detroit, some of the most expensive the city has ever seen. Some city limit signs, particularly on the Dearborn border say "Welcome to Detroit, The Renaissance City Founded 1701."[12][29]

Geography

The Detroit skyline as viewed from Malden Park in Windsor, Ontario.

Topography

A simulated-color satellite image of the Detroit metro area, including Windsor across the river, taken on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.
A view of the city from Belle Isle Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.0 square miles (370 km2); of this, 138.8 square miles (359 km2) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 km2) is water. Detroit is the principal city of the Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan regions.

The highest elevation in the city is in the University District neighborhood in northwestern Detroit, west of Palmer Park, sitting at a height of 670 feet (200 m). Detroit's lowest elevation is along its riverfront, sitting at a height of 579 feet (176 m). Detroit completely encircles the cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park. On its northeast border are the communities of Grosse Pointe.

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international wildlife preserve in North America, uniquely located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. The Refuge includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles (77 km) of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline.

Three road systems cross the city: the original French template, radial avenues from a Washington, D.C.-inspired system, and true north–south roads from the Northwest Ordinance township system. The city is north of Windsor, Ontario. Detroit is the only major city along the U.S.-Canadian border in which one travels south in order to cross into Canada.

Detroit has four border crossings: the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel provide motor vehicle thoroughfares, with the Michigan Central Railway Tunnel providing railroad access to and from Canada. The fourth border crossing is the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, located near the Windsor Salt Mine and Zug Island. Near Zug Island, the southwest part of the city sits atop a 1,500-acre (610 ha) salt mine that is 1,100 feet (340 m) below the surface. The Detroit Salt Company mine has over 100 miles (160 km) of roads within.[31][32]

Climate

Detroit and the rest of southeastern Michigan have a continental climate which is influenced by the Great Lakes. Winters are cold, with moderate snowfall[33] with temperatures at night sometimes dropping below 10 °F (−12 °C), while summers are warm with temperatures sometimes exceeding 90 °F (32 °C). Average monthly precipitation ranges from ca two to four inches (50 to 100 mm). Snowfall, which typically occurs from November to early April, ranges from 1 to 10 inches (2.5 to 25 cm) per month.[34] The highest recorded temperature was 105.0 °F (40.6 °C) on July 24, 1934, while the lowest recorded temperature was −24 °F (−31 °C) on December 22, 1872.[35]

Climate data for Detroit
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 31.0
(-0.6)
34.4
(1.3)
45.2
(7.3)
57.8
(14.3)
70.2
(21.2)
79.0
(26.1)
83.4
(28.6)
81.4
(27.4)
73.7
(23.2)
61.2
(16.2)
47.8
(8.8)
35.9
(2.2)
58.4
(14.7)
Average low °F (°C) 17.8
(-7.9)
20.0
(-6.7)
28.5
(-1.9)
38.4
(3.6)
49.4
(9.7)
58.9
(14.9)
63.6
(17.6)
62.2
(16.8)
54.1
(12.3)
42.5
(5.8)
33.5
(0.8)
23.4
(-4.8)
41.0
(5)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.91
(48.5)
1.88
(47.8)
2.52
(64)
3.05
(77.5)
3.05
(77.5)
3.55
(90.2)
3.16
(80.3)
3.10
(78.7)
3.27
(83.1)
2.23
(56.6)
2.66
(67.6)
2.51
(63.8)
32.89
(835.4)
Snowfall inches (mm) 11.3
(287)
9.2
(233.7)
6.8
(172.7)
1.7
(43.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(7.6)
2.9
(73.7)
11.1
(281.9)
43.3
(1,099.8)
Avg. snowy days 10.9 7.9 5.5 2.1 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 3.5 9.0 39.2
Avg. precipitation days 13.4 11.3 12.7 12.6 11.6 10.1 9.6 9.5 9.9 9.8 12.3 13.9 136.7
Source: NCDC[36] February 2010

Cityscape

Architecture

Cadillac Place (1923) left, with the Fisher Building (1928) are among the city's National Historic Landmarks.
St. Joseph Catholic Church (1873) is a notable example of Detroit's ecclesial architecture.
Wayne County Building (1897) downtown by John and Arthur Scott.

Seen in panorama, Detroit's waterfront shows a variety of architectural styles. The post modern neogothic spires of the Comerica Tower at Detroit Center (1993) were designed to blend with the city’s Art Deco skyscrapers. Together with the Renaissance Center, they form a distinctive and recognizable skyline. Examples of the Art Deco style include the Guardian Building and Penobscot Building downtown, as well as the Fisher Building and Cadillac Place in the New Center area near Wayne State University. Among the city's prominent structures are the nation's largest Fox Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.[37][38]

While the downtown and New Center areas contain high-rise buildings, the majority of the surrounding city consists of low-rise structures and single-family homes. Outside of the city's core, residential high-rises are found in neighborhoods such as the East Riverfront extending toward Grosse Pointe and the Palmer Park neighborhood just west of Woodward.

Neighborhoods constructed prior to World War II feature the architecture of the times with wood frame and brick houses in the working class neighborhoods, larger brick homes in middle class neighborhoods, and ornate mansions in neighborhoods such as Brush Park, Woodbridge, Indian Village, Palmer Woods, Boston-Edison, and others.

The oldest neighborhoods are along the Woodward and East Jefferson corridors, while neighborhoods built in the 1950s are found in the far west and closer to 8 Mile Road. Some of the oldest extant neighborhoods include Corktown, a working class, formerly Irish neighborhood, and Brush Park. Both are now seeing multi-million dollar restorations and construction of new homes and condominiums.[29][39]

Many of the city's architecturally significant buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and the city has one of the nation's largest surviving collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings.[38] There are a number of architecturally significant churches, including St. Joseph Catholic Church and Sainte-Anne de Détroit Catholic Church.[37]

There is substantial activity in urban design, historic preservation and architecture.[40] A number of downtown redevelopment projects—of which Campus Martius Park is one of the most notable—have revitalized parts of the city. Grand Circus Park stands near the city's theater district, Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, and Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.[37]

The Detroit International Riverfront includes a partially completed three and one-half mile riverfront promenade with a combination of parks, residential buildings, and commercial areas from Hart Plaza to the MacArthur Bridge accessing Belle Isle (the largest island park in a U.S. city). The riverfront includes Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor, Michigan's first urban state park. The second phase is a two mile (3 km) extension from Hart Plaza to the Ambassador Bridge for a total of five miles (8 km) of parkway from bridge to bridge. Civic planners envision that the riverfront properties condemned under eminent domain, with their pedestrian parks, will spur more residential development. Other major parks include Palmer (north of Highland Park), River Rouge (in the southwest side), and Chene Park (on the east river downtown).[41]

Neighborhoods

Historic homes in the Indian Village neighborhood on the east side.

The National Register of Historic Places lists several area neighborhoods and districts such as Lafayette Park, part of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe residential district. Lafayette Park is a revitalized neighorhood on the city's east side.[42] The 78-acre (32 ha) urban renewal project was originally called the Gratiot Park Development. Planned by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell it includes a landscaped, 19-acre (7.7 ha) park with no through traffic, in which these and other low-rise apartment buildings are situated.[42]

On Saturdays, about 45,000 people shop the city's historic Eastern Market.[43] The Midtown and the New Center area are centered around Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital. Midtown has about 50,000 residents, yet it attracts millions of visitors each year to its museums and cultural centers;[44] for example, the Detroit Festival of the Arts in Midtown draws about 350,000 people.[44]

The University Commons-Palmer Park district in northwest Detroit is near the University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College which anchors historic neighborhoods including Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, Green Acres, and the University District. In 2007, Downtown Detroit was named among the best big city neighborhoods in which to retire by CNN Money Magazine editors.[45]

Detroit has numerous neighborhoods suffering from urban decay, consisting of vacant properties. Estimates during the recession in 2009 reported around 33,000 vacant houses in the city. The city states it costs about $10,000 to demolish one, where necessary, and it requires many legal steps to do so.[46]

In April 2008, the city announced a $300-million stimulus plan to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods, financed by city bonds and paid for by earmarking about 15% of the wagering tax.[47] The city's working plans for neighborhood revitalizations include 7-Mile/Livernois, Brightmoor, East English Village, Grand River/Greenfield, North-End, and Osborn.[47] Private organizations have pledged substantial funding to the efforts.[48][49]

Immigrants have contributed to the city's neighborhood revitalization, especially in southwest Detroit.[50] Southwest Detroit has experienced a thriving economy in recent years, as evidenced by new housing, increased business openings and the recently opened Mexicantown International Welcome Center.[51]

Culture and contemporary life

CityFest in the New Center with Cadillac Place in the background.

Lifestyles for rising professionals in Detroit reflect those of other major cities.[52] This dynamic is luring many younger residents to the downtown area.[52][53] Luxury high rises such as the three Riverfront Towers have views of Hart Plaza and Canada. The New Center area contains examples of historic housing redevelopment. The newly re-opened Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel includes a number of luxury condos. The east river development plans include more luxury condominium developments. A desire to be closer to the urban scene has attracted young professionals to take up residence among the mansions of Grosse Pointe just outside the city. Detroit's proximity to Windsor, Ontario, provides for views and nightlife, along with Ontario's minimum drinking age of 19.[54]

Entertainment and performing arts

Fox Theatre lights up 'Foxtown' in downtown Detroit

Live music has been a prominent feature of Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s, bringing the city recognition under the nickname Motown. The metropolitan area has two nationally prominent live music venues: DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Theatre District is the nation's second largest.[55][56] Major theaters include the Fox Theatre, Music Hall, the Gem Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, the Fisher Theatre and Orchestra Hall which hosts the renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The Nederlander Organization, the largest controller of Broadway productions in New York City, originated with the purchase of the Detroit Opera House in 1922 by the Nederlander Family and continues to operate to this day.[12]

Movie studios are planned for the metro area. Detroit Center Studios will debut at the downtown building which was the start-up casino for MGM Grand to create digital animation and visual effects.[57] Motown Motion Picture Studios with 600,000 square feet will produce movies at the Pontiac Centerpoint Business Campus for a film industry expected to employ over 4,000 people in the metro area.[58]

Important music events in the city include: the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz festival.[12]

The city of Detroit has a rich musical heritage and has contributed to a number of different genres over the decades leading into the new millennium.[12]

In the 1940s, blues artist John Lee Hooker became a long-term resident in the city's southwest Delray neighborhood. Hooker, among other important blues musicians migrated from his home in Mississippi bringing the Delta Blues to northern cities like Detroit. During the 1950s, the city became a center for jazz, with stars performing in the Black Bottom neighborhood.[59] Prominent emerging Jazz musicians of the 1960s included: trumpet player Donald Byrd who attended Cass Tech and performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers early in his career and Saxophonist Pepper Adams who enjoyed a solo career and accompanied Byrd on several albums. The Graystone International Jazz Museum documents jazz in Detroit.[60][61]

Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records which rose to prominence during the 1960s and early 1970s with acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas and Marvin Gaye. The Motown Sound played an important role in the crossover appeal with popular music, since it was the first record label owned by an African American to primarily feature African-American artists. Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue film production, but the company has since returned to Detroit. Aretha Franklin is another Detroit R&B star who carried the Motown Sound; however, she did not record with Berry's Motown Label.[12]

During the 1960-70s, popular rock bands performed regularly at venues such as the Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theater. Local bands producing and performing music included artists like: the MC5, The Stooges, Bob Seger, Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Rare Earth, and Alice Cooper. The group Kiss emphasized the city's connection with rock in the song Detroit Rock City and the movie produced in 1999. In the 1980s, Detroit was an important center of the hardcore punk rock underground with many nationally known bands coming out of the city and its suburbs, such as The Necros, The Meatmen, and Negative Approach.[62]

In recent times, the city has produced a number of influential artists, for example Eminem, the hip-hop artist with the highest cumulative sales. Detroit is also cited as the birthplace of techno music.[18][63] Prominent Detroit Techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. From the late 1990s into the new millennium, the band Sponge toured and produced music, with artists such as Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker.[12][62] The city has an active garage rock genre that has generated national attention with acts such as: The White Stripes, The Von Bondies, The Dirtbombs, Electric Six, and The Hard Lessons.[12]

Tourism

Greektown in Detroit.

Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighborhood around Wayne State University. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights include Motown Historical Museum, Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. Important history of Detroit and the surrounding area is exhibited at the The Henry Ford, the nation's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex.[64][65] The Detroit Historical Society provides information about tours of area churches, skyscrapers, and mansions. The Eastern Market farmer's distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses.[66] Other sites of interest are the Detroit Zoo and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle.[37]

The city's Greektown and casino resorts serve as an entertainment hub. Annual summer events include the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival, and Woodward Dream Cruise. Within downtown, Campus Martius Park hosts large events such as the Motown Winter Blast. As the world's traditional automotive center, the city hosts the North American International Auto Show. Held since 1924, America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the nation's largest.[67] The Motown Winter Blast, and the summer River Days, a five-day festival on the International Riverfront, leading up to the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival fireworks can draw super sized-crowds of hundreds of thousands to over three million people.[12][68][69]

Dotty-Wotty House - a part of the Heidelberg Project.

An important civic sculpture in Detroit is Marshall Fredericks' "Spirit of Detroit" at the Coleman Young Municipal Center. The image is often used as a symbol of Detroit and the statue itself is occasionally dressed in sports jerseys to celebrate when a Detroit team is doing well.[70] A memorial to Joe Louis at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues was dedicated on October 16, 1986. The sculpture, commissioned by Sports Illustrated and executed by Robert Graham, is a twenty-four foot (7.3 m) long arm with a fisted hand suspended by a pyramidal framework.[71]

Artist Tyree Guyton created the controversial street art exhibit known as the Heidelberg Project in the mid 1980s, using found objects including cars, clothing and shoes found in the neighborhood near and on Heidelberg Street on the near East Side of Detroit.[12]

Sports

Looking towards Ford Field the night of Super Bowl XL.

Detroit is one of 13 American metropolitan areas that are home to professional teams representing the four major sports in North America. All these teams but one play within the city of Detroit itself (the NBA's Detroit Pistons play in suburban Auburn Hills at The Palace of Auburn Hills). There are three active major sports venues within the city: Comerica Park (home of the Major League Baseball team Detroit Tigers), Ford Field (home of the NFL's Detroit Lions), and Joe Louis Arena (home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings). A 1996 marketing campaign promoted the nickname "Hockeytown."[12]

In college sports, Detroit's central location within the Mid-American Conference has made it a frequent site for the league's championship events. While the MAC Basketball Tournament moved permanently to Cleveland starting in 2000, the MAC Football Championship Game has been played at Ford Field in Detroit since 2004, and annually attracts 25,000 to 30,000 fans. The University of Detroit Mercy has a NCAA Division I program, and Wayne State University has both NCAA Division I and II programs. The NCAA football Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is held at Ford Field each December.

Sailboat racing is a major sport in the Detroit area. Lake St. Clair is home to many yacht clubs which host regattas. Bayview Yacht Club, the Detroit Yacht Club, Crescent Sail Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, The Windsor Yacht Club, and the Edison Boat Club each participate in and are governed by the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association or DRYA. Detroit is home to many One-Design fleets including, but not limited to, North American 40s, Cal 25s, Cuthbertson and Cassian 35s, Crescent Sailboats, Express 27s, J 120s, J 105, Flying Scots, and many more.

The Crescent Sailboat, NA-40, and the L boat were designed and built exclusively in Detroit. Detroit also has a very active and competitive junior sailing program. The junior sailing program at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is renowned for producing world class sailors such as Carrie Howe and Jack Wheeler.

Comerica Park 2007

Since 1916, the city has been home to an Unlimited hydroplane boat race, held annually (with exceptions) on the Detroit River near Belle Isle. Often, the race is for the APBA Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the Gold Cup (first awarded in 1904, created by Tiffany) which is the oldest active motorsport trophy in the world.[72]

Detroit is the former home of a round of the Formula One World Championship, which organized the race on the streets of downtown Detroit from 1982 until 1988, after which the sanction moved from Formula One to IndyCars until its final run in 2001.[73] In 2007, open-wheel racing returned to Belle Isle with both Indy Racing League and American Le Mans Series Racing.[74]

In the years following the mid-1930s, Detroit was referred to as the "City of Champions" after the Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings captured all 3 major professional sports championships in a 7 month period of time (the Tigers won the World Series in October, 1935; the Lions won the NFL championship in December, 1935; the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in April, 1936).[9] Gar Wood (a native Detroiter) won the Harmsworth Trophy for unlimited powerboat racing on the Detroit River in 1931. In the next year, 1932, Eddie "The Midnight Express" Tolan, a black student from Detroit's Cass Technical High School, won the 100- and 200-meter races and two gold medals at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Joe Louis won the heavyweight championship of the world in 1937. Also, in 1935 the Detroit Lions won the NFL championship. The Detroit Tigers have won ten American League pennants (The most recent being in 2006) and four World Series titles. In 1984, the Detroit Tigers' World Series championship, after which crowds had left three dead and millions of dollars in property damage. The Detroit Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups (the most by an American NHL Franchise),[75][76] the Detroit Pistons have won three NBA titles, and the Detroit Shock have won three WNBA titles. In 2007, Detroit was given the nickname "Sports City USA" in recognition of its numerous sports teams with good game statistics and the high amount of dedicated sports fans.[77]

Detroit has the distinction of being the city which has made the most bids to host the Summer Olympics without ever being awarded the games: seven unsuccessful bids for the 1944, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1972 games. It came as high as second place in the balloting two times, losing the 1964 games to Tokyo and the 1968 games to Mexico City.

Detroit hosts many WWE events such as the 2007 WWE's WrestleMania 23 which attracted 80,103 fans to Ford Field; the event marking the twentieth anniversary of WrestleMania III which drew a reported 93,173 to the Pontiac Silverdome in nearby Pontiac, Michigan in 1987. On May 31 and June 1 of 2008, The Red Bull Air Race took place along the Detroit River.

Media

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News are the major daily newspapers, both broadsheet publications published together under a joint operating agreement. Media philanthropy includes the Detroit Free Press high school journalism program and the Old Newsboys' Goodfellow Fund of Detroit.[78] In December, 2008, the Detroit Media Partnership announced that the two papers would reduce home delivery to three days a week, print reduced newsstand issues of the papers on non-delivery days and focus resources on Internet-based news delivery.[79] These changes went into effect in March, 2009.

The Detroit television market is the eleventh largest in the United States;[80] according to estimates that do not include audiences located in large areas of Ontario, Canada (Windsor and its surrounding area on broadcast and cable, as well as several other cable markets in Ontario, such as the city of Ottawa) which receive and watch Detroit television stations.[80]

Detroit has the eleventh largest radio market in the United States,[81] though this ranking does not take into account Canadian audiences.[81]

Economy

The Renaissance Center is the world headquarters of General Motors.
Labor force distribution in Detroit by category:
     Construction      Manufacturing      Trade, transportation, utilities      Information      Finance      Professional and business services      Education and health services      Leisure and hospitality      Other services      Government

Detroit and the surrounding region constitute a major manufacturing center, most notably as home to the Big Three automobile companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The city is an important center for global trade with large international law firms having their offices in both Detroit and Windsor. About 80,500 people work in downtown Detroit, comprising 21% of the City's employment.[82][83]

There are about four thousand factories in the area.[84] The domestic auto industry is primarily headquartered in Metro Detroit. New vehicle production, sales, and jobs related to automobile use account for one of every ten jobs in the United States.[85] The area is also an important source of engineering job opportunities. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Windsor-Detroit region and $13 billion in annual production depend on the City of Detroit's international border crossing.[86]

The Detroit area is accustomed to the economic cycles of the auto industry.[87] A rise in automated manufacturing using robotic technology has created related industries in the area; inexpensive labor in other parts of the world and increased competition have led to a steady transformation of certain types of manufacturing jobs in the region with the Detroit area gaining new lithium ion battery plants.[88][89][90] Local complications for the city include higher taxes than the nearby suburbs, with many unable to afford the levies on property.[91] In January 2010, the Department of Labor reported metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate rose to 15.3%.[92] Since 2009, the areas total employment contracted 1.7%.[93] An Investor's Business Daily editorial stated the unemployment rate at 50%; however, this is not the city's official unemployment rate which the Labor Department reported at 24.3% for December 2009.[94][93]

The city has cleared large swaths of land while retaining a number of historically significant vacant buildings in order to spur redevelopment;[95] though the city has struggled with finances, it issued bonds in 2008 to provide funding for ongoing work to demolish blighted properties.[47] In 2006, downtown Detroit reported $1.3 billion in restorations and new developments which increased the number of construction jobs in the city.[29]

The Detroit automakers and local manufacturing have taken heavy hits as a result of market competition from foreign rivals. The 2000s energy crisis, the subsequent Late-2000s recession, and the increasingly unwieldy burden of employee retirement and healthcare costs have all been implicated.[96][97] Concern among analysts over restored profits has fueled economic uncertainty in the metro Detroit area.[98]

In January 2009, President Barack Obama formed an automotive task force in order to help the industry recover. The severity of the recession required Detroit's automakers to take additional steps to restructure, including idling many plants. With the U.S. Treasury extending the necessary debtor in possession financing, Chrysler and GM emerged from 'pre-packaged' Chapter 11 reorganizations in June and July 2009 respectively.[99]

GM plans to issue an initial public offering (IPO) of stock in 2010.[100] General Motors has invested heavily in all fuel cell equipped vehicles,[101] while Chrysler is focusing much of its research and development into biodiesel.[102] In August 2009, Michigan and Detroit's auto industry received $1.36 B in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.[103]

Firms in the suburbs pursue emerging technologies including biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, cognotechnology, and hydrogen fuel cell development. The city of Detroit has made efforts to lure the region's growth companies downtown with advantages such as a wireless Internet zone, business tax incentives, entertainment, an international riverfront, and residential high rises. Thus far, the city has had some success, most notably the addition of Compuware World Headquarters, OnStar, EDS offices at the Renaissance Center, PricewaterhouseCoopers Plaza offices adjacent to Ford Field, and the 2006 completion of Ernst & Young's offices at One Kennedy Square.

On November 12, 2007, Quicken Loans announced its development agreement with the city to move its world headquarters, and 4,000 employees, to downtown Detroit, consolidating its suburban offices, a move considered to be a high importance to city planners to reestablish the historic downtown.[104] The construction sites reserved for development by the agreement include the location of the former Statler on Grand Circus Park and the former Hudson's location.[104] Some Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Detroit include General Motors, auto parts maker American Axle & Manufacturing, and DTE Energy.[105] Other major industries include advertising, law, finance, chemicals, and computer software. Medical service providers such as the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Hospital are major employers in the city.[12]

Casino gaming plays an important economic role, with Detroit the largest city in the United States to offer casino resorts. Caesars Windsor, Canada's largest, complements the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino in Detroit. Though the casinos have brought new tax revenue and jobs to the city, the city still has high unemployment. Gaming revenues have grown steadily, with Detroit ranked as the fifth largest gambling market in the USA for 2007. When Casino Windsor is included, Detroit's gambling market ranks third or fourth. In an effort to support spending within the city, certain business owners set up "mints" to distribute the Detroit Community Scrip. The scrip is used at local clubs and bars to ensure some dollars stay within the city by establishing a note that is only legal tender at certain places.

Demographics

Per Capita Income by location. Dotted line represents city boundary.

In 2009, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 912,062 residents.[13] The name Detroit sometimes refers to Metro Detroit, a six-county area with a population of 4,425,110[14] for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the nation's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,354,225[2] for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2008 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit-Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000.[15] Immigration continues to play a role in the region's projected growth.[106]

Historical populations
Census City[107] Metro[108] Region[109]
1820 1,422 N/A N/A
1830 2,222 N/A N/A
1840 9,102 N/A N/A
1850 21,019 N/A N/A
1860 45,619 N/A N/A
1870 79,577 N/A N/A
1880 116,340 N/A N/A
1890 205,877 N/A N/A
1900 285,704 542,452 664,771
1910 465,766 725,064 867,250
1920 993,678 1,426,704 1,639,006
1930 1,568,662 2,325,739 2,655,395
1940 1,623,452 2,544,287 2,911,681
1950 1,849,568 3,219,256 3,700,490
1960 1,670,144 4,012,607 4,660,480
1970 1,514,063 4,490,902 5,289,766
1980 1,203,368 4,387,783 5,203,269
1990 1,027,974 4,266,654 5,095,695
2000 951,270 4,441,551 5,357,538
2008* 912,062 4,425,110 5,354,225
*Estimates [13][2]
Metro: Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Region: Combined Statistical Area (CSA)

Metro Detroit suburbs are among the more affluent in the U.S. in contrast to lower incomes found within the city limits.[110] The city's population increased more than sixfold during the first half of the twentieth century, fed largely by an influx of European, Lebanese and Southern migrants to work in the burgeoning automobile industry.[111] However, since 1950 the city has seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs. Large numbers of migrants from the South, especially African Americans, arrived in Detroit after 1900 as factory production increased rapidly. In 1910, fewer than 6,000 blacks called the city home;[112] in 1930 more than 120,000 blacks lived in Detroit.[113] The thousands of African-Americans who flocked to Detroit were part of the Great Migration of the 20th century.[114]

The city population dropped from its peak in 1950 with a population of 1,849,568 to 916,952 in 2007. This is partly attributable to the construction of an extensive freeway system during the 1950s and white flight, while many residents have relocated to the Sun belt.[115] In the 2000s, 70% of the total Black population in Metro Detroit lived in the City of Detroit.[116]

As of the 2000 Census, there were 951,270 people, 336,428 households, and 218,341 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,855.1 people per square mile (2,646.7/km²). There were 375,096 housing units at an average density of 2,703.0 units per square mile (1,043.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.6% Black, 12.3% White, 1.0% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.5% other races, 2.3% two or more races, and 5.0 percent Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican and Mexican). The city's foreign-born population is at 4.8%. Estimates from the 2005-2007 American Community Survey showed little variance.[117]

There were 336,428 households out of which 33.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.7% were married couples living together, 31.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families, 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.45.

There is a wide age distribution in the city, with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

For the 2000 Census, median household income in the city was $29,526, and the median income for a family was $33,853. Males had a median income of $33,381 versus $26,749 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,717. 26.1% of the population and 21.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.5% of those under the age of 18 and 18.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

A 2007 Social Compact report showed the city of Detroit's median household income at $34,512, a 12% increase over the Census estimate.[118] The 2008 Census estimate placed the median household income $28,730, a 2.7% increase from 2000.

Law and government

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center houses the City of Detroit offices.
The historic Guardian Building is Wayne County headquarters.
Guardianinterior.jpg

The city government is run by a mayor and nine-member city council and clerk elected on an at-large nonpartisan ballot. Since voters approved the city's charter in 1974, Detroit has had a "strong mayoral" system, with the mayor approving departmental appointments. The council approves budgets but the mayor is not obligated to adhere to any earmarking. City ordinances and substantially large contracts must be approved by the council. The city clerk supervises elections and is formally charged with the maintenance of municipal records. Municipal elections for mayor, city council and city clerk are held at four-year intervals, in the year after presidential elections (so that there are Detroit elections scheduled in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, etc.).[119] Following a November 2009 referendum, seven council members will be elected from districts beginning in 2013 while two will continue to be elected at-large.[120]

Detroit's courts are state-administered and elections are nonpartisan. The Probate Court for Wayne County is located in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit. The Circuit Court is located across Gratiot Ave. in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, in downtown Detroit. The city is home to the Thirty Sixth District Court, as well as the First District of the Michigan Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Politics

Politically, the city consistently supports the Democratic Party in state and national elections (local election are nonpartisan). According to a study released by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Detroit is the most liberal large city in America,[121] measuring only the percentage of city residents who voted for the Democratic Party.[122]

In 2000, the City requested an investigation by the United States Justice Department into the Detroit Police Department which was concluded in 2003 over allegations regarding its use of force and civil rights violations.[123] The city proceeded with a major reorganization of the Detroit Police Department.[124]

Urban development in Detroit has been an important issue. In 1973, the city elected its first black mayor, Coleman Young. Despite development efforts, his combative style during his five terms in office was not well received by many whites.[125] Mayor Dennis Archer, a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice, refocused the city's attention on redevelopment with a plan to permit three casinos downtown.[126]

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned his office effective September 19, 2008,[127] after pleading guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to one count of assaulting and obstructing a police officer.[128][129] Kilpatrick was succeeded in office on an interim basis by City Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. until a May, 2009 special election in which businessman and former Detroit Pistons star Dave Bing was elected Mayor for the remaining duration of Kilpatrick's term.

Crime

Although crime has declined significantly since the 1970s, the city had the sixth highest number of violent crimes among the twenty-five largest US cities in 2007.[130] The rate of violent crime dropped 11 percent in 2008, though Wayne County Prosecutor questions the finding.[131] The decline follows a national trend, while Police Commissioner William Dwyer implicates stepped up police initiatives for the drop.[132] The chances are roughly 1 in 16 to be a victim of a property crime (12.83 per 1000 population), and 1 in 60 for a crime of violence (.41 per 1000) (compared to national figures of 7.27/1000 for property crimes and .06/1000 for violent crime) [133]

The city's downtown is far safer by comparison with a 2006 study showing crime in downtown Detroit to be much lower than national, state and metro averages.[134] According to a 2007 analysis, Detroit officials note that about 65 to 70 percent of homicides in the city were drug related.[135]

Education

Colleges and universities

Old Main, a historic building at Wayne State University.

Detroit is home to several institutions of higher learning, including Wayne State University, a national research university with medical and law schools in the Midtown area. Other institutions in the city include the University of Detroit Mercy with its schools of Law and Dentistry, the College for Creative Studies, Lewis College of Business, Marygrove College and Wayne County Community College. In June 2009 the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine will be opening a satellite campus located at the Detroit Medical Center. The Detroit College of Law, now affiliated with Michigan State University, was founded in the city in 1891 and remained there until 1997, when it relocated to East Lansing. The University of Michigan was established in 1817 in Detroit and later moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. In 1959, University of Michigan–Dearborn was established in neighboring Dearborn.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

With 94,054 students[136] the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) district is the largest school district in Michigan and consists of 220 schools. The city is also served by various charter schools.

In the mid- to late 1990s, the Michigan Legislature removed the locally elected board of education amid allegations of mismanagement and replaced it with a reform board appointed by the mayor and governor. The elected board of education was re-established following a city referendum in 2005. The first election of the new eleven-member board of education occurred on November 8, 2005.[137] Due to declining enrollment the city planned to close 95 schools, and the state mandated deficit reduction plan calls for the closure of a total of 110 schools.[138][139] State officials report a 68% graduation rate for Detroit's public schools adjusted for those who change schools.[140][141]

Private schools

Detroit is served by various private schools, as well as parochial Roman Catholic schools operated by the Archdiocese of Detroit.[142] The Archdiocese of Detroit offers a number of primary and secondary schools in the within the city including two high schools, along with those in the metro area.[143]

Infrastructure

Health systems

Within the city of Detroit, there are over a dozen major hospitals which include the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Henry Ford Health System, St. John Health System, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. The DMC, a regional Level I trauma center, consists of Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute.[144] The DMC has more than 2,000 licensed beds and 3,000 affiliated physicians. It is also the biggest non-governmental employer in the City of Detroit.[145] The center is staffed by physicians from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the largest single-campus medical school in the United States.[146] The metro area has many other hospitals, among which are William Beaumont Hospital, St. Joseph's, and University of Michigan Medical Center, mostly in suburban counties.

Transportation

With its proximity to Canada and its facilities, ports, major highways, rail connections and international airports, Detroit is an important transportation hub. The city has three international border crossings, the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. The Ambassador Bridge is the single busiest border crossing in North America, carrying 27% of the total trade between the U.S. and Canada.[147]

Air

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), the area's principal airport, is located in nearby Romulus and is a primary hub for Delta Air Lines and a secondary hub for Spirit Airlines. Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint, Michigan is the second busiest commercial airport in the region. Coleman A. Young International Airport (DET), previously called Detroit City Airport, is on Detroit's northeast side. Although Southwest Airlines once flew from the airport, the airport now maintains only charter service and general aviation.[148] Willow Run Airport, in far-western Wayne County near Ypsilanti, is a general aviation and cargo airport.

Mass transit

People Mover train comes into the Renaissance Center station

Mass transit in the region is provided by bus services. Ridership on the region's mass transit systems increased by 8.4% in 2006.[149] The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) provides service to the outer edges of the city. From there, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) provides service to the suburbs. Cross border service between the downtown areas of Windsor and Detroit is provided by Transit Windsor via the Tunnel Bus.[150] It is also possible for those who cross to Detroit on the tunnel bus to use a Transit Windsor transfer for transfers onto Detroit Smart buses, allowing for travel around Metro Detroit from a single fare.

An elevated rail system known as the People Mover, completed in 1987, provides daily service around a 2.9 miles (4.7 km) loop downtown. The Woodward Avenue Light Rail, beginning in 2013, will serve as a link between the Detroit People Mover and SEMCOG Commuter Rail which extends from Detroit's New Center area to The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor[151][152] Amtrak provides service to Detroit, operating its Wolverine service between Chicago and Pontiac. Baggage cannot be checked at this location; however, up to two suitcases in addition to any "personal items" such as briefcases, purses, laptop bags, and infant equipment are allowed on board as carry-ons. The Amrak station is located in the New Center area north of downtown. The J.W. Westcott II, which delivers mail to freighters on the Detroit River, is the world's only floating post office.[153]

From 1976 until June 21, 2003, Detroit operated a one mile narrow-gauge trolley along an "L-shaped" route from Grand Circus Park to the Renaissance Center along Washington Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue, with the trams coming from Lisbon, Portugal. The tram was originally just 3/4 miles long, but was extended 1/4 mile to the Renaissance Center in 1980. The tracks were removed in November 2003 following the extensive reconstruction of Washington Boulevard, and the carbarn (building that housed the trolleys) was demolished in 2004. With the advent of the People Mover, trolley ridership had eventually plummeted to less than 3000 per year (from its peak of 75,000 riders per year) before the trolley suspended operations indefinitely. Its trolleys are currently being refurbished in Seattle.[154][155][156]

Freeways

Metro Detroit has an extensive toll-free expressway system administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Four major Interstate Highways surround the city. Detroit is connected via Interstate 75 and Interstate 96 to Kings Highway 401 and to major Southern Ontario cities such as London, Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. I-75 (The Chrysler and Fisher Freeways) is the region's main north-south route, serving Flint, Pontiac, Troy, and Detroit, before continuing south (as the Detroit-Toledo and Seaway Freeways) to serve many of the communities along the shore of Lake Erie.

I-94 (The Edsel Ford Freeway) runs east-west through Detroit and serves Ann Arbor to the west (where it continues to Chicago) and Port Huron to the northeast. The stretch of the current I-94 freeway from Ypsilanti to Detroit was one of America's earlier limited-access highways. Henry Ford built it to link his factories at Willow Run and Dearborn during World War II. A portion was known as the Willow Run Expressway. I-96 runs northwest-southeast through Livingston, Oakland and Wayne Counties and (as the Jeffries Freeway through Wayne County) has its eastern terminus in downtown Detroit.

I-275 runs north-south from I-75 in the south to the junction of I-96 and I-696 in the north, providing a bypass through the western suburbs of Detroit. I-375 (The Chrysler Spur) is a short spur route in downtown Detroit, an extension of the Chrysler Freeway. I-696 (The Reuther Freeway) runs east-west from the junction of I-96 and I-275, providing a route through the northern suburbs of Detroit. Taken together, I-275 and I-696 form a semicircle around Detroit. Michigan State highways designated with the letter M serve to connect major freeways.

Surrounding municipalities


The cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park both lie entirely within the boundaries of the city of Detroit.

Sister cities

Detroit has ten sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Detroit has a long and very close relationship with nearby:

See also

Images:

Lists:

References

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Further reading

  • Bak, Richard (2001). Detroit Across 3 Centuries. Thompson Gale. ISBN 1585360015. 
  • Burton, Clarence M (1896). Cadillac's Village: A History of the Settlement, 1701–1710. Detroit Society for Genealogical Research. ISBN 0-943112-21-4. 
  • Burton, Clarence M (1912). Early Detroit: A sketch of some of the interesting affairs of the olden time. Burton Abstracts. OCLC 926958. 
  • Catlin, George B. (1923). The Story of Detroit. The Detroit News Association. 
  • Chafets, Zev (1990). Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit. Random House. ISBN 0-394-58525-9. 
  • Farley, Reynolds, et al. (2002). Detroit Divided. Russell Sage Foundation Publications. ISBN 0-87154-281-1. 
  • Farmer, Silas (1889). History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan. Omnigraphics Inc; Reprint edition (October 1998). ISBN 1-55888-991-4. 
  • Gavrilovich, Peter and Bill McGraw (2000). The Detroit Almanac. Detroit Free Press. ISBN 0-937247-34-0. 
  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 
  • Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4. 
  • Parkman, Francis (1994). The Conspiracy of Pontiac. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-8737-2. 
  • Poremba, David Lee (2003). Detroit: A Motor City History (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2435-2. 
  • Powell, L. P (1901). "Detroit, the Queen City," Historic Towns of the Western States (New York).
  • Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3270-6. 
  • Sobocinski, Melanie Grunow (2005). Detroit and Rome: building on the past. Regents of the University of Michigan. ISBN 0933691092. 
  • Stahl, Kenneth (2009). The Great Rebellion: A Socio-economic Analysis of the 1967 Detroit Riot. ISBN 978-0-9799157-0-3. 
  • Sugrue, Thomas J (1998). The Origins of the Urban Crisis. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05888-1. 
  • Woodford, Arthur M. (2001). This is Detroit 1701–2001. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2914-4. 

External links

Municipal government and local Chamber of Commerce

Visitor's Guide

Historical research and current events

Other links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Detroit is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
Detroit city skyline
Detroit city skyline

Detroit, [1] a major metropolis in the US state of Michigan, has had a profound impact on the world. From the advent of the automotive assembly line, to the Motown sound, to modern techno and rock acts, Detroit continues to shape both American and global culture. The city has seen many of its historic buildings renovated, and is bustling with new developments and attractions that complement its world class museums and theatres. The city offers a myriad of things to see and do. Detroit is an exciting travel destination filled with technological advance and historic charm.

Downtown
The city's central business district. It is home to several nice parks, a large theatre district, great architecture, and many of the city's attractions. It is Detroit's center of life!
Midtown-New Center
The city's cultural center, home to several world class museums and galleries. The area is also home to some great 1920s architecture. It is probably the most unique destination in Detroit.
East Side
This part of the city includes much of the riverfront, Belle Isle, the historic Eastern Market, Pewabic Pottery, and more.
Southwest Side
Home to many of the city's ethnic neighborhoods, such as Mexicantown and Corktown. The area is mostly known for its cuisine in these ethnic neighborhoods; however it is also home to many historical sites, such as the Michigan Central Station, Tiger Stadium, and Fort Wayne.
West Side
Home to many historic neighborhoods, the University District, the Michigan State Fair, and much of the infamous 8 Mile. It will be the home of Detroit's only shopping mall.
Hamtramck-Highland Park
While not part of the City of Detroit, the cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park are entirely surrounded by Detroit, with the exception of where they each border one another. Hamtramck is sometimes referred to as "Poletown" because of the large Polish population and influence in the city. Highland Park is home to many historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Understand

Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. to offer casino resorts. The three major casino resorts include MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown, and MotorCity. A fourth major casino is just across the river in Windsor, Canada. Detroit Metro Airport is one of the few to offer world class hotel and meeting facilities inside the terminal. The Renaissance Center and the Southfield Town Center are among the nation's finest mixed use facilities for large conferences. Downtown Detroit serves as the cultural and entertainment hub of the metropolitan region, Windsor, Ontario, and even for Toledo, Ohio residents, many of whom work in metropolitan Detroit. While most of the region's attractions are in the city of Detroit, tourists will find that nearly all of the shopping malls are located in suburbs, such as Troy. The Detroit-Windsor metro area population totals about 5.9 million; it jumps to 6.5 million if Toledo is included. An estimated 46 million people live within a 300 mile (480 km) radius of Detroit. The city's northern inner ring suburbs like Ferndale, Southfield, Royal Oak, and Birmingham provide an urban experience in the suburbs complete with dining, shopping and other attractions. The Detroit area has many regal mansions especially in Grosse Pointe, Bloomfield Hills, and Birmingham. Troy and Livonia provide the best of American suburbia while Ann Arbor provides the nearby experience of a world renowned college town.

Detroit is an international destination for sporting events of all types; patrons enjoy their experience in world class venues. The Detroit Convention and Visitors bureau maintains the Detroit Metro Sports Commission [2]. The city and region have state of the art facilities for major conferences and conventions.

Detroit is known as the world's "Automobile Capital" and "Motown" (for "Motor Town"), the city where Henry Ford pioneered the automotive assembly line, with the world's first mass produced car, the Model T. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt called Detroit, the "Arsenal of Democracy." Today, the region serves as the global center for the automotive world. Headquartered in metro Detroit, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all have major corporate, manufacturing, engineering, design, and research facilities in the area. Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, among others, have a presence in the region. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is a global leader in research and development. Metro Detroit has made Michigan's economy a leader in information technology, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing. Michigan ranks fourth nationally in high tech employment with 568,000 high tech workers, including 70,000 in the automotive industry. Michigan typically ranks among the top three states for overall Research & Development investment expenditures in the U.S. The domestic Auto Industry accounts directly and indirectly for one of every ten jobs in the U.S.

Downtown Detroit is unique - an International Riverfront [3], ornate buildings, sculptures, fountains, the nation's second largest theater district, and one of the nation's largest collection of pre-depression era skyscrapers. Two major traffic circles along Woodward Avenue surround Campus Martius Park and Grand Circus Park, both gathering points. The city has ample parking much of it in garages. Many historic buildings have been converted into loft apartments, and over sixty new businesses have opened in the Central Business District over the past two years. Downtown Detroit features the Renaissance Center, including the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere, the Detroit Marriott, with the largest rooftop restaurant, the Coach Insignia. Many restaurants emanate from the Renaissance Center, Greektown, the arts and theatre district, and stadium area. Joining the east riverfront parks, the city has the 982-acre (3.9 km²; 2.42 sq mi) Belle Isle Park with the large James Scott Memorial Fountain, historic conservatory, gardens, and spectacular views of the city skyline. Visitors may reserve a public dock downtown at the Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor. Great Lakes Cruises are also available. Surrounding neighborhoods such as Corktown, home to Detroit's early Irish population, New Center [4], Midtown, and Eastern Market [5] (the nation's largest open air market), are experiencing a revival. Detroit has a rich architectural heritage, from the restoration of the historic Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel downtown to the Westin Detroit Hotel surrounded by the golden towers of the ultra-contemporary Southfield Town Center [6]. In 2005, Detroit's architecture was heralded as some of America's finest; many of the city's architecturally significant buildings are listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as among America's most endangered landmarks.

Orientation

Detroit is bordered to the south by the Detroit River, which divides the U.S. and Canada (Detroit is the only place in the continental U.S. where you have to go south to enter Canada!). Downtown is on the riverfront, so the rest of the city expands north, east, and west from downtown. The Cultural Center, home to most of the city's museums, is just north of downtown, in Midtown.

Get in

By plane

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) [7] is in Romulus, about 20 minutes west of the city proper, located at the junction between I-275 and I-94 with many nearby hotels. The airport is a major Northwest hub (expected to be a major Delta hub) and operational headquarters, so it offers direct flights to and from a surprising variety of cities, from Seattle to Osaka. The terminal offers World Clubs as well as a Westin Hotel and conference center. The massive, recently completed midfield McNamara Terminal serves Northwest, Continental, Delta, and major international carriers; all other carriers utilize the new North Terminal. For convenience, the McNamara Terminal has both domestic and international gates in the same terminal. An enclosed light rail system shuttles travelers in the McNamara Terminal. There is a free shuttle between the terminals – look for blue and white vans that say "Westin - Terminal." The airport is one of the most recently modernized in the U.S. with six major runways.

The quickest way to get to downtown Detroit is to rent a car or take a taxi-cab. Standard cab fare to downtown is $45-$50. You can also get to Detroit using the SMART (suburban) mass transit bus system [8]. Route 125 serves the airport approximately every half hour, beginning alternately at the Smith and McNamara terminals (no bus serves both terminals), and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get downtown. The fare is $2.00. Familiarize yourself with the route map and schedule before you try this–-it is more commonly used by workers at the airport than tourists.

By car

Several interstates converge in downtown Detroit. I-75/the Chrysler (N. of Downtown)/the Fisher (S. of Downtown) Freeway North/South runs from Toledo through downtown Detroit to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I-94/the Ford Freeway runs East/West from Chicago to Detroit and continues up to Sarnia. I-96 East/West heads from Detroit to Lansing, Michigan. I-696/the Reuther Freeway runs along about 3 miles north of city limit (8 Mile), connecting the eastern suburbs (e.g. St. Clair Shores) to Southfield. I-275 connects with the suburb of Livonia. Highways, the Lodge Freeway, M-14, M-23, and the Southfield Freeway are major freeways which interconnect with the Interstates in the Detroit metro area to ease navigation. The Southfield Freeway, connects Dearborn to Southfield. The Lodge Freeway, connects Southfield to downtown. Highway M-14 connects Ann Arbor to Detroit via the Jeffries Expressway. Bypassing Ann Arbor, highway M-23 connects I-94 to I-96.

The metro area's major Interstates and freeways were overhauled in preparation the 2006 National Football League Super Bowl XL in Detroit and are in good condition.

As with any major city, traffic during rush hour can make travel really slow. This is especially aggravated during shift changes at the local automotive plants. But due to economic hardships for the region, rush hour traffic lasts less than an hours, and some freeways are clear all day. The Mixing Bowl (see Get around, By Car), 75/696 Interchange the 94/Ford Freeway through Detroit, and the Southfield Freeway can be slow in late afternoons.

For smaller streets, the Detroit area is laid out in wheel-and-spoke, grid, and strip-farm configuration. This was due to first French development (strip farms along the river), early city layout (wheel and spoke from the river's edge), followed by the modern North/South grid. Mile roads run east-west, starting at downtown Detroit and increasing as you travel north. These mile roads may change name in different cities, so pay attention. There are also several spoke roads, including Woodward Ave, Michigan Ave, Gratiot Ave, and Grand River Ave. Only in the old downtown business district is the original Washington D.C./L'enfant style wheel and spoke layout found (it is quite confusing, with several one-way streets added for fun). In areas along the River and Lake St. Clair, the colonial-era French practice of allocating strips of land with water access is seen as main roads parallel the water, and secondary roads perpendicular to it. This is very confusing to non-residents.

  • Greyhound [9]. Service west to Chicago (5-8 hours, $35) , east to Toronto (5-6 hours), and south to Toledo (1 hour, $15), as well as all over Michigan. The terminal is near downtown at 1001 Howard St.
  • Megabus [10]. Discount bus service to and from Chicago (6 hours, $1-$25), with connections at Chicago to many Midwestern cities. Part of the reason why it's so cheap is that there is no terminal–-the bus simply stops at a street corner, either Cass and Warren, near Wayne State University and the museum/cultural district, or at the Rosa Parks Transit Center at Cass and Michigan.
  • Transit Windsor [11]. Running seven days a week for $3.75. Service from 300 Chatham St West in Windsor into, and around downtown Detroit.
  • Amtrak [12]. Train service to and from Chicago on the "Wolverine" route (5-6 hours, $25-$50), with many connections in Chicago. Deeply discounted tickets at short notice are often available at Amtrak's Weekly Specials page [13]. For travel to the east, a bus connection is available to the Toledo Amtrak station, with trains to New York (21 hours, $75-$150) and Washington, D.C. (16 hours, $65-$130), but travelers may find the middle-of-the-night departures unappealing. The train station is conveniently located at 11 W. Baltimore at the corner of Woodward Ave., in the midtown area of the city.

Get around

Detroit's street layout is truly unique, combining wheel-and-spoke, grid, and strip-farm (near the River) layouts. Six major spoke roads radiate out from downtown; they are, in clockwise order, Fort Street, Michigan Avenue, Grand River Avenue, Woodward Avenue, Gratiot Avenue, and Jefferson Avenue. Woodward Avenue runs northwest-southeast (more or less) and divides the northern half of Detroit into east and west; West Warren Street, for instance, becomes East Warren Street when it crosses Woodward. Smaller streets generally conform to a strict grid pattern, although the orientation of the grid and the size and shape of blocks frequently varies to fit better with the spoke roads. Downtown, the layout abandons the grid design, with the spoke roads converging in a confusing but oddly logical arrangement of diagonal, mostly one-way streets.

By car

Detroit spreads over a large area, and getting around may prove to be difficult without a car. Nonetheless, an extensive freeway system and ample parking make the region one of the most auto-friendly in North America. Detroit has one of America's most modern freeway systems. See the Michigan Department of Transportation [14] website for a current listing of downtown road closures and construction projects. Downtown has parking garages in strategic locations.

Greektown Casino, located downtown, has a free 13 floor parking garage. Visitors are welcome to pay to park at the Renaissance Center garage. There are plenty of pay-to-park garages, lots, and valet near the Greektown/stadium areas. Premium parking right next to the stadium is well worth the extra price and usually available during a game. Downtown has an ease of entry from the freeways which may surprise new visitors. Valet parking is available at four Renaissance Center locations, the main Winter Garden entrance along the Riverfront, the Jefferson Avenue lobby, Marriott hotel entrance west, and Seldom Blues entrance west.

Detroit has an abundance of taxi, limo, and shuttle services. Car rental prices are reasonable.

While MDOT has since discontinued emphasis on the names of freeways, most locals still are clinging onto their names. Here they are: I-75, The Chrysler Freeway, The Fisher Freeway, "The DT" Expressway ("DT" stands for Detroit-Toledo); I-96, from downtown to the 275 Junction: The Jeffries Freeway; I-94, through Detroit: The Ford Freeway, through Macomb and St. Clair Counties: The O'Hara Freeway; I-696, entire way: The Reuther Freeway; M-10, from Detroit to the Mixing Bowl: The Lodge Freeway, north of the Mixing Bowl Northwestern Highway; M-8, entire way: The Davison Freeway; M-39: The Southfield Freeway; M-53: The Van Dyke Expressway (commonly called, but not "officially designated").

The Mixing Bowl is the confluence of the Lodge/Northwestern, the Reuther, Telegraph Rd, and Franklin Rd. The Spaghetti Bowl is the confluence of 96/275, the Reuther, the M-5, and the Haggerty Connector. The Junction is the confluence of the Jeffries, 275, and M-14 on the far west side suburbs. The Triangle is the beginning of the Jeffries at the Fisher Freeway. The Interchange is the interchange of the Reuther and the Chrysler Freeways.

On foot or by bicycle

A car is helpful for getting around the rest of the city, but due to the unusual layout and large number of one-way streets, getting out and walking for a few blocks is a good way to see downtown. Bike rentals are available in downtown Detroit along the International Riverfront at Rivard Plaza from Wheelhouse. Downtown and the riverfront are usually bustling with visitors.

By bus

The Detroit Department of Transportation [15] provides mass transit bus service within the city of Detroit. Downtown has a the new Rosa Parks Transit Center. DDOT buses are yellow and green. For safety, DDOT buses may be patrolled by the Wayne County sheriff's deputies. 17 routes serve the central bus terminal, which is downtown at Griswold and Shelby streets. The standard fare $1.50; transfers are $0.25.

People Mover
People Mover

Completed in 1987, the People Mover [16] is a fully automated, elevated rail system that runs a three mile loop in the downtown area. It is the best way to get around the downtown area. A round trip excursion, covering thirteen stations, takes approximately 20 minutes and offers great views of the city's downtown landmarks. Signature stops include the Renaissance Center (GM HQ & Retail Complex), Greektown, Joe Louis Arena (Home of the Detroit Red Wings), Cobo (Convention) Center, and Cadillac Center (Campus Martius Park). The stations feature original works by local artists. Standard fare $0.50 in cash, a token can also be bought at the same price.

See

This is only a small list of some of the biggest attractions and even though they are listed here, their info is brief. Make sure to check out the district articles for more.

The Renaissance Center
The Renaissance Center
  • Renaissance Center, also known as the Ren Cen, is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers whose central tower is the tallest building in Michigan and the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere. Built in 1977, it has the world's largest rooftop restaurant that can be reached by a glass elevator ride. The headquarters of General Motors, it is on the Detroit International Riverfront. See: Downtown.
  • Fisher Building is an historic Art-Deco building designed by Albert Kahn in 1928. It has been called Detroit's largest art object. See: Midtown-New Center.
  • Guardian Building is a bold example of Art Deco architecture, including art moderne designs. The interior, decorated with mosaic and Pewabic and Rookwood tile, is a must-see. See: Downtown.
  • Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is a recently renovated architectural gem first built in 1928. See: Downtown.
  • Wayne County Building is America's best surviving example of Roman Baroque architecture. See: Downtown.
  • Corktown is Detroit's oldest neighborhood. It was settled by Irish people from County Cork, hence the name Corktown. Many historic landmarks are located in the neighborhood, such as the Michigan Central Station and Tigers Stadium. See: Southwest Side.
  • Greektown is probably Detroit's most famous neighborhood. It has an endless amount of Greek restaurants and is home to Greektown Casino. See: Downtown.
  • Mexicantown is the fastest growing neighborhood in Detroit. It is famous for its Mexican cuisine, which is evidenced by its vast number of restaurants. See: Southwest Side.
  • Palmer Woods is a private historic neighborhood in the city of Detroit west of Woodward Avenue and north of Palmer Park. See: West Side.
  • Woodbridge is an historic district home to many architecturally significant houses, most of which are Victorian-style. The neighborhood was one of the few that were not affected by Detroit's decay a few decades back. See: Southwest Side.
  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History holds the world's largest permanent exhibit on African American culture. See: Midtown-New Center.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the most significant museums in the United States. It has an art collection worth more than one billion dollars. See: Midtown-New Center.
  • Hitsville U.S.A. was Motown Records' first headquarters. Berry Gordy founded it in 1959, and all of the Motown hits were recorded here. Today, the building houses a museum of the history of Motown Records. See: Midtown-New Center.
  • Campus Martius Park is Detroit's main park. Several skyscrapers surround this park and the adjacent Cadillac Square Park, which was made in 2007 to increase the amount of park space. The park is also home to several monuments, such as the Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' monument, a Civil War monument. See: Downtown.
  • Hart Plaza is a park located on Detroit's riverfront. It offers great views of the city's skyline and also has several monuments, such as Dodge Fountain and the Joe Louis Fist. See: Downtown.
  • Grand Circus Park is a park that connects the financial district to the theatre district. It is also surrounded by many skyscrapers, many of which are abandoned. The park also has many monuments and statues. See: Downtown.

Do

This is only a small list of some of the some key activities and events to enjoy and even though they are listed here, their info is brief. Make sure to check out the district articles for more.

  • Casinos The three major casinos include, MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City and Greektown. Check for performances.
  • Concerts, and more Detroit is the birthplace of American electro/techno music, with Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick Mays all hailing from the area. Although other cities around the world have picked up Detroit's torch and carried it further in some ways, Detroit is still a great place to dance and see the masters at work.
  • Cruise Ships, the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition [17] The Dock of Detroit [18] receives major cruise lines on the Great Lakes. Adjacent to the Renaissance Center on Hart Plaza. Local tours include Diamond Jack's River Tours [19]. Chartered tours are also available.
  • Detroit's Night Life includes a multitude of clubs throughout the metropolitan area.
  • Detroit's Vibrant, Underground Arts Scene Detroit is home to over 80 galleries, with artists hailing from around the world. Artists are attracted to Detroit due to its abundance of raw, under-utilized industrial space and its inspiring environment of pre-depression era buildings. Detroit's public information campaign, "The World is Coming, Get in the Game" [20] features an online tour [21] of this arts scene.
  • Detroit's Music Scene The Detroit sound is the sound of the world. It is shaped by Detroit's unique past, its cultural diversity, its energy and its future. Detroit's public information campaign, "The World is Coming, Get in the Game" features an online tour of this music scene. Keep in mind that unlike some cities, there is no central entertainment district (Greektown only partially counts) and many up and coming groups play at venues scattered throughout the area. Website Motor City Blog [22] lists music events happening in the Detroit area.
  • International Freedom Festival [23] Begins the last week of June.
  • Motown Winter Blast [24] Held in January or February in Campus Martius Park, includes ice skating, concerts, and a street party in Greektown.
  • North America International Auto Show [25] Cobo Hall, Detroit. NAIAS is held in January.
  • Spirit of Detroit Thunderfest [26] Hydoplane races on the Detroit River. Mid-July.
  • Theater [27] See a performance, Detroit's theaters include the Fox Theater, Fisher Theater, Masonic Theater, Gem Theater & Century Club, Detroit Opera House, and Orchestral Hall.

Learn

Located in Ann Arbor, about 45 miles west of Detroit, the University of Michigan ranks as one of America's best. Former alumni include President Gerald Ford and Google co-founder Larry Page. Others include Wayne State University (alumni include legendary White House Correspondent Helen Thomas and comedian/actress Lily Tomlin), University of Detroit-Mercy, Lawrence Technological University, Oakland University, Oakland Community College which is one of the largest Community Colleges in Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Marygrove College, and College for Creative Studies.

The Detroit area has many civic and professional organizations. The world headquarters for the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) is in Troy, MI and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI. Others include the Detroit Economic Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, the Greening of Detroit to promote urban forestry (tree planting), the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Detroit Renaissance, and Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA), and more.

The International Academy, an all International Baccalaureate school (a public, tuition-free consortium high school operated by Bloomfield Hills Schools which consistently ranks among the top 10 public high schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine), Cranbrook Schools (an exclusive private boarding school and academy), the Eton Academy, and Henry Ford Academy are some of outstanding secondary schools that are located in the area.

Work

Some of the major companies which have headquarters or a significant presence in metro Detroit include GM, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen of America, Comerica, Rock Financial/Quicken Loans, Kelly Services, Borders Group, Dominos, American Axle, DTE Energy, Compuware, Covansys, TRW, BorgWarner, ArvinMeritor, United Auto Group, Pulte Homes, Taubman Centers, Guardian Glass, Lear Seating, Masco, General Dynamics Land Systems, Delphi, AT&T, EDS, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Verizon, National City Bank, Northwest Airlines, Bank of America, and Raymond James, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Young, the FBI, and more.

Buy

This is only a small list of shops and even though they are listed here, their info is brief. Make sure to check out the district articles for more.

  • Eastern Market [28] 2934 Russell St. Historic Farmers Market. Hours 7 AM - 5 PM. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sundays.
  • John K. King Books [29] 901 W. Lafayette, 313-961-0622 One of the best used bookstores in America with over 500,000 books in stock.
  • Pure Detroit [30] Detroit Souvenirs. Stores inside the Renaissance Center, the Fisher Building, and the Guardian Building.
  • Riverfront Shops [31] Detroit. Inside the GM Renaissance Center Winter Garden.
Greektown
Greektown

Detroit is home to many American classics including the Coney Island Hotdog, Sanders Bumpy Cakes, Dominos Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza, Better Made Potato Chips, and Vernor's Ginger Ale. (Vernor's Ginger Ale shares the distinction as America's oldest soft drink with Hire's Root Beer).

Explore Detroit's Greektown, with its Greek restaurants and shops surrounding the Greektown Casino. Detroit's Mexicantown is known for Mexican cuisine at restaurants such as Mexican Village, Evie's Tamales, El Zocalo and Xochimilco. Restaurants, bakeries, and shops are located on Vernor Highway, on both the east and west sides of the Interstate 75 service drive. Hamtramck is famous for its Polish cuisine and bakeries. Choose to dine in elegance at one of Detroit's many fine restaurants a sample of which include the Coach Insignia atop the Renaissance Center Downtown, the Whitney House restaurant in Midtown, or the Opus One in the New Center.

Drink

Vernor's Ginger Ale, created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, shares the distinction as America's oldest soft drink with Hire's Rootbeer. A local favorite, Detroiters pour Vernor's over ice cream. Also try Faygo soft drinks, another former Detroit based soft drink company. Detroiters enjoy Michigan Wines[32]. A family of GM heritage, the Fisher family Coach Wines are served at the Coach Insignia Restaurant atop the GM Renaissance Center. The Detroit area also hosts a number of microbreweries [33].

Sleep

This is only a small list of hotels and even though they are listed here, their info is brief. Make sure to check out the district articles for more.

With plenty of luxurious of accommodations, the Detroit are includes many fine hotels to fit all types of needs. Whether it is the riverfront ambiance of the Detroit Omni, or the old world elegance of the newly restored Westin Book-Cadillac. For a mix of the urban/suburban flair try the international style Westin Southfield-Detroit Hotel.

  • Comfort Inn Downtown Detroit Hotel. 1999 E. Jefferson Ave. Tel: +1 313 567-8888. Fax: +1 313 567-5842. On Jefferson Avenue - approximately 1/2 mile east of the Renaissance Center and 1 mile from the Cobo Conference Center, Joe Louis Arena, among other downtown attractions of Detroit, Comerica Park (Tigers Baseball) and the new Ford Field (Lions Football) are only 2.5 miles from the hotel. [34]
  • Milner Hotel, 1538 Centre St, +1 313 963-3950, [35]. Located in downtown Detroit.
  • Fort Shelby Hotel and Conference Center Doubltree. 525 West Lafayette Blvd., Detroit. Historic hotel, opened after renovation in 2008.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown [36] Near stadiums, Greektown, restaurants.
  • The Atheneum Suite Hotel [37] 1000 Brush Avenue, Detroit. +1 313 962-2323. Luxury hotel, stunning Greco-Roman contemporary in the heart of downtown's Greektown, near stadiums, accommodates large conferences.
  • Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center [38] Contemporary luxury hotel, overlooks the spectacular International Riverfront with many restaurants including Coach Insignia rooftop restaurant, shops, and 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. This is the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere, a world-class facility. This facility connects to the elevated rail system known as the People Mover which encircles the downtown area. Near Cobo Hall Convention Center, cruise ship dock, stadiums, Greektown, casinos, museums, Windsor, and area attractions. Guests have included Ronald Reagan.
  • Hotel St. Regis Detroit [39] Luxury hotel in stately European styled elegance, casual, old-world feel, intimate setting, urban location, fine restaurant, La Musique - Cajun steakhouse, private fitness center, and 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in the historic New Center [40] area with Cadillac Place, adjoins the beautiful Fisher Theatre [41], a National Historic Landmark, featuring Broadway shows, behind is Cuisine (French) Restaurant. Nearby are Ford Hospital, Wayne State University, Motor City Casino, and downtown.
  • Inn at 97 Winder.[42]. 97 Winder St., Detroit. Elegant, luxurious, Victorian mansion in downtown just two blocks from Comerica Park.
  • Inn at Ferry Street [43] Detroit. A collection of luxurious Victorian bed & breakfasts lining Ferry St. in a historic district downtown. Adjacent to the world renowned Detroit Institute of Arts.
  • Omni Detroit Hotel at Riverplace [44] 1000 Riverplace, Detroit. Historic luxury hotel with fine restaurants, spectacular waterfront location, intimate setting, 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Near GM World Headquarters, Greektown, casinos, and Windsor, Ontario.
  • Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel [45] 1114 Washington Blvd., Detroit. The city's historic flagship luxury hotel, European elegance, downtown location, world-class facility with attached parking garage. Guests have included Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and many celebrities.
  • Detroit Convention and Visitor's Bureau [46].

Telephone

AT&T is the incumbent landline telephone provider, and Detroit is serviced by all the major mobile telephone companies (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile)

Newspapers

Detroit has two newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News. Both newspapers are available throughout the city.

Stay safe

Detroit has a reputation of being a dangerous city. This image is deserved in some areas, but not in the areas where a tourist would likely travel to. The overall crime rate in Detroit is above the national average.

Like most major cities, crime tends to occur in areas where most tourists have little reason to visit. As with most urban areas, precautions should be taken when out after dark: stay in groups; do not carry large amounts of money; and avoid seedy neighborhoods. Stick to major freeways when possible and try to avoid smaller streets through unfamiliar neighborhoods. It is important as to how you carry yourself, doing this properly could easily keep you from getting mugged.

Contrary to some people's perceptions, downtown Detroit is generally well-policed and among the safest parts of the city. [47] Crimes can and do occur in downtown, but exercising common sense will go a long way toward keeping you and your valuables safe.

Sporting events, festivals and other large public events are always heavily policed and very safe. Sporadic crime events, mostly alcohol-related and involving groups of youths, have been reported at some of these events but they are by far the exception.

Unfortunately for the music-lover, much of the current music scene is scattered between downtown venues like the Majestic Theater/Magic Stick complex, places in Hamtramck, and suburban venues in places like Royal Oak. So you will have to drive, navigate the city at night, and typically park on the street. Some venues, such as Harpo's on the east side, are in fairly unsafe neighborhoods. Always use caution and ask around before going to a particular venue. People at record stores, guitar shops, "cool" clothing stores, and the like often visit and know which venues are easy to get to and reasonably safe.

Cope

Detroit has a modern freeway system that is easy to navigate. But be advised that Michigan drivers tend to drive fast and defensively. The flow of traffic on a freeway is routinely ten miles over the speed limit, and weaving in and out of lanes is standard practice. If you are driving the posted speed limit in the fast lane, the driver behind you may have no qualms about tailgating you, so if you plan on driving slowly, get in the right lane. Detroit Metropolitan Airport has a conveniently attached Westin Hotel and conference center. The Airport is among the most modern in the United States with both international and domestic gates in the World Terminal. Galegroup's Hour Media LLC publishes a full color guest guide found in hotels in the metro Detroit area. Visitors may request a guest packet from the Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsors Discover Detroit TV which airs Mondays at 5:30 PM on Detroit Public Television. The city has ample parking garages, valet, and pay-to-park lots near major attractions. Laurel Park Place Mall in Livonia has an attached Marriott Hotel. The Westin Hotel at the Southfield Town Center is centrally located for those needing access to the entire metropolitan region.

Get out

Michigan

Although Detroit itself provides the majority of the region's visitor attractions, the entire Southeast Michigan area is large and diverse and contains a great wealth of hot spots and attractions that are also well worth visiting.

  • Ann Arbor - Home to the University of Michigan [48], Ann Arbor offers many attractions of a self-enclosed small city. A thriving downtown, lots of culture, and plenty of students. Cannabis possession in this city outside of University of Michigan property is only a 25 dollar fine, making this one of the most liberal cities in Michigan. Canoeing is a favorite pastime on the Huron River, available through Metro parks [49] near Ann Arbor. Additionally, the city boasts the number one rated Ann Arbor Street Art Fair [50] which attracts over 500,000 attendees from across the nation each July. Enjoy the Beach at Kensington Metropark, or winter skiing at nearby Mt. Holly, and Brighton.
  • Dearborn - Detroit's suburb to the Southwest and home of Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, has a leading attraction, The Henry Ford (the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village) [51] a large historical and entertainment complex, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. Dearborn has the second largest Middle-Eastern population in the World, with mosques being a common sight and a wide selection of Middle-Eastern food and shopping. Detroit's public information campaign, "The World is Coming, Get in the Game" has created an online tour (see section "Do" for the link) of Dearborn's cultural scene.
  • Flint - The home of the modern labor union movement in the US. While not as tourist-friendly as Ann Arbor, Flint has a great art scene for a city of its size and is much less pretentious.
  • Grand Rapids - Michigan's second largest city. With a skyline filled with construction cranes, many believe Grand Rapids is Michigan's future. With a great, clean downtown area and the city's proximity to Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids is a grand experience waiting to happen.
  • Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River - Waterfront activities and living are among the luxuries of the metropolitan Detroit area. Experience cruises and boating on beautiful Lake St. Clair. The St. Clair River connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Huron. In the quiet town of St. Clair, along the St. Clair River, dine at the Voyager Seafood restaurant at 525 South Riverside. Enjoy the charm of a small town lifestyle in a major metropolitan area in and around Lake St. Clair's Anchor Bay [52]. Visitors to downtown Detroit may reserve a dock at Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor [53]. Or enjoy a Great Lakes cruise [54].
  • Royal Oak - Home to the Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak is a gentrified suburb outside of Detroit which boasts a night scene with exciting dining and a diverse avant-garde bar culture.
  • Troy - Troy contains the Somerset Collection, one of the largest malls in the Midwest. Visit Nordstom, Macy's, Henri Bendel, Ralph Lauren/Polo, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co, Barney's New York, and more than 180 other specialty shops. Follow Big Beaver Road east as it becomes the Metropolitan Parkway toward Metropolitan Beach on beautiful Lake St. Clair.
  • Toledo, Ohio -- about an hour south on the DT Expressway (I-75). This mid-sized city is on the edge of Lake Erie. The city is a good destination for architecture buffs.
  • Windsor, Ontario, Canada -- lies just across the Ambassador Bridge or through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, which is located right next to the Renaissance Center (good to use if you see traffic backed up onto I-75). This heavily trafficked border crossing has shaped Windsor more than anything else; well-maintained, walkable streets, shops and restaurants, Caesars Windsor casino, and adult entertainment. The lower drinking age (19) draws young Americans and ensures a vibrant club scene on weekends. Windsor provides great views of Detroit's skyline, especially on summer nights from waterfront Dieppe Park. Crossing the border requires a passport.
Routes through Detroit
FlintFerndale  N noframe S  Toledo
Ann ArborDearborn  W noframe E  Harper WoodsPort Huron
LansingRedford  W Image:I-96.png E  END
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DETROIT, the largest city of Michigan, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Wayne county, on the Detroit river opposite Windsor, Canada, about 4 m. W. from the outlet of Lake St Clair and 18 m. above Lake Erie. Pop. (1880) 116,340; (1890) 205,876; (1900) 285,704, of whom 96,503 were foreign-born and 4111 were negroes; (1906 estimate) 353535 Of the foreignborn in 1900, 32,027 were Germans and 10,703 were German Poles, 25,403 were English Canadians and 3541 French Canadians, 6347 were English and 6412 were Irish. Detroit is served by the Michigan Central, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, the Wabash, the Grand Trunk, the Pere Marquette, the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line, the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton and the Canadian Pacific railways. Two belt lines, one 2 m. to 3 m., and the other 6 m from the centre of the city, connect the factory districts with the main railway lines. Trains are ferried across the river to Windsor, and steamboats make daily trips to Cleveland, Wyandotte, Mount Clemens, Port Huron, to less important places between, and to several Canadian ports. Detroit is also the S. terminus for several lines to more remote lake ports, and electric lines extend from here to Port Huron, Flint, Pontiac, Jackson, Toledo and Grand Rapids.

The city extended in 1907 over about 41 sq. m., an increase from 29 sq. m. in 1900 and 36 sq. m. in 1905. Its area in proportion to its population is much greater than that of most of the larger cities of the United States. Baltimore, for example, had in 1904 nearly 70% more inhabitants (estimated), while its area at that time was a little less and in 1907 was nearly one-quarter less than that of Detroit. The ground within the city limits as well as that for several miles farther back is quite level, but rises gradually from the river bank, which is only a few feet in height. The Detroit river, along which the city extends for about to m., is here a m. wide and 30 ft. to 40 ft. deep; its current is quite rapid; its water, a beautiful clear blue; at its mouth it has a width of about 10 m., and in the river there are a number of islands, which during the summer are popular resorts. The city has a 3 m. frontage on the river Rouge, an estuary of the Detroit, with a 16 ft. channel. Before the fire by which the city was destroyed in 1805, the streets were only 12 ft. wide and were unpaved and extremely dirty. But when the rebuilding began, several avenues from too ft. to 200 ft. wide were - through the influence of Augustus B. Woodward (c. 1775-1827), one of the territorial judges at the time and an admirer of the plan of the city of Washington - made to radiate from two central points. From a half circle called the Grand Circus there radiate avenues 120 ft. and 200 ft. wide. About 4 m. toward the river from this was established another focal point called the Campus Martius, 600 ft. long and 400 ft. wide, at which commence radiating or cross streets 80 ft. and too ft. wide. Running north from the river through the Campus Martius and the Grand Circus is Woodward Avenue, 120 ft. wide, dividing the present city, as it did the old town, into nearly equal parts. Parallel with the river is Jefferson Avenue, also 120 ft. wide. The first of these avenues is the principal retail street along its lower portion, and is a residence avenue for 4 m. beyond this. Jefferson is the principal wholesale street at the lower end, and a fine residence avenue E. of this. Many of the other residence streets are 80 ft. wide. The setting of shade trees was early encouraged, and large elms and maples abound. The intersections of the diagonal streets left a number of small, triangular parks, which, as well as the larger ones, are well shaded. The streets are paved mostly with asphalt and brick, though cedar and stone have been much used, and kreodone block to some extent. In few, if any, other American cities of equal size are the streets and avenues kept so clean. The Grand Boulevard, 150 ft. to 200 ft. in width and 12 m. in length, has been constructed around the city except along the river front. A very large proportion of the inhabitants of Detroit own their homes: there are no large congested tenement-house districts; and many streets in various parts of the city are faced with rows of low and humble cottages often having a garden plot in front.

Of the public buildings the city hall (erected 1868-1871), overlooking the Campus Martius, is in Renaissance style, in three storeys; the flagstaff from the top of the tower reaches a height of 200 ft. On the four corners above the first section of the tower are four figures, each 14 ft. in height, to represent Justice, Industry, Art and Commerce, and on the same level with these is a clock weighing 7670 lb - one of the largest in the world. In front of the building stands the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument, 60 ft. high, designed by Randolph Rogers (1825-1892) and unveiled in 1872. At each of the four corners in each of three sections rising one above the other are bronze eagles and figures representing the United States Infantry, Marine, Cavalry and Artillery, also Victory, Union, Emancipation and History; the figure by which the monument is surmounted was designed to symbolize Michigan. A larger and more massive and stately building than the city hall is the county court house, facing Cadillac Square, with a lofty tower surmounted by a gilded dome. The Federal building is a massive granite structure, finely decorated in the interior. Among the churches of greatest architectural beauty are the First Congregational, with a fine Byzantine interior, St John's Episcopal, the Woodward Avenue Baptist and the First Presbyterian, all on Woodward Avenue, and St. Anne's and Sacred Heart of Mary, both Roman Catholic. The municipal museum of art, in Jefferson Avenue, contains some unusually interesting Egyptian and Japanese collections, the Scripps' collection of old masters,other valuable paintings, and a small library; free lectures on art are given here through the winter. The public library had 228,500 volumes in 1908, including one of the best collections of state and town histories in the country. A large private collection, owned by C. M. Burton and relating principally to the history of Detroit, is also open to the public. The city is not rich in outdoor works of art. The principal ones are the Merrill fountain and the soldiers' monument on the Campus Martius, and a statue of Mayor Pingree in West Grand Circus Park.

The parks of Detroit are numerous and their total area is about 1200 acres. By far the most attractive is Belle Isle, an island in the river at the E. end of the city, purchased in 1879 and having an area of more than 700 acres. The Grand Circus Park of 41 acres, with its trees, flowers and fountains, affords a pleasant resting place in the busiest quarter of the city. Six miles farther out on Woodward Avenue is Palmer Park of about 140 acres, given to the city in 1894 and named in honour of the donor. Clark Park (28 acres) is in the W. part of the city, and there are various smaller parks. The principal cemeteries are Elmwood (Protestant) and Mount Elliott (Catholic), which lie adjoining in the E. part of the city; Woodmere in the W. and Woodlawn in the N. part of the city.

Table of contents

Charity and Education

Among the charitable institutions are the general hospitals (Harper, Grace and St Mary's); the Detroit Emergency, the Children's Free and the United States Marine hospitals; St Luke's hospital, church home, and orphanage; the House of Providence (a maternity hospital and infant asylum); the Woman's hospital and foundling's home; the Home for convalescent children, &c. In 1894 the mayor, Hazen Senter Pingree (1842-1901), instituted the practice of preparing, through municipal aid and supervision, large tracts of vacant land in and about the city for the growing of potatoes and other vegetables and then, in conjunction with the board of poor commissioners, assigning it in small lots to families of the unemployed, and furnishing them with seed for planting. This plan served an admirable purpose through three years of industrial depression, and was copied in other cities; it was abandoned when, with the renewal of industrial activity, the necessity for it ceased. The leading penal institution of the city is the Detroit House of Correction, noted for its efficient reformatory work; the inmates are employed ten hours a day, chiefly in making furniture. The house of correction pays the city a profit of $35, 000 to $40,000 a year. The educational institutions, in addition to those of the general public school system, include several parochial schools, schools of art and of music, and commercial colleges; Detroit College (Catholic), opened in 1877; the Detroit College of Medicine, opened in 1885; the Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery, opened in 1888; the Detroit College of law, founded in 1891, and a city normal school.

Commerce

Detroit's location gives to the city's shipping and shipbuilding interests a high importance. All the enormous traffic between the upper and lower lakes passes through the Detroit river. In 1907 the number of vessels recorded was 34,149, with registered tonnage of 53,959,769, carrying 71,226,895 tons of freight, valued at $697,311,302. This includes vessels which delivered part or all of their cargo at Detroit. The largest item in the freights is iron ore on vessels bound down. The next is coal on vessels up bound. Grain and lumber are the next largest items. Detroit is a port of entry, and its foreign commerce, chiefly with Canada, is of growing importance. The city's exports increased from $11,325,807 in 1896 to $40,488,295 in 1909. The imports were $3,153,609 in 1896 and $7,100,659 in 1909.

As a manufacturing city, Detroit holds high rank. The total number of manufacturing establishments in 1890 was 1746, with a product for the year valued at $77,351,546; in 1900 there were 2847 establishments with a product for the year valued at $100,892,838, or an increase of 30.4% in the decade. In 1900 the establishments under the factory system, omitting the hand trades and neighbourhood industries, numbered 1259 and produced goods valued at $88,365,924; in 1904 establishments under the factory system numbered 1363 and the product had increased 45.7% to $128,761,658. In the district subsequently annexed the product in 1904 was about $12,000,000, making a total of $140,000,000. The output for 1906 was estimated at $180,000,000. The state factory inspectors in 1905 visited 1721 factories having 83,231 employees. In 1906 they inspected 1790 factories with 93,071 employees. Detroit is the leading city in the country in the manufacture of automobiles. In 1904 the value of its product was one-fifth that for the whole country. In 1906 the city had twenty automobile factories, with an output of ii,000 cars, valued at $12,000,000. Detroit is probably the largest manufacturer in the country of freight cars, stoves, pharmaceutical preparations, varnish, soda ash and similar alkaline products. Other important manufactures are ships, paints, foundry and machine shop products, brass goods, furniture, boots and shoes, clothing, matches, cigars, malt liquors and fur goods; and slaughtering and meat packing is an important industry.

The Detroit Board of Commerce, organized in 1903, brought into one association the members of three former bodies, making a compact organization with civic as well as commercial aims. The board has brought into active co-operation nearly all the leading business men of the city and many of the professional men. Their united efforts have brought many new industries to the city, have improved industrial conditions, and have exerted a beneficial influence upon the municipal administration. Other business organizations are the Board of Trade, devoted to the grain trade and kindred lines, the Employers' Association, which seeks to maintain satisfactory relations between employer and employed, the Builders' & Traders' Exchange, and the Credit Men's Association.

Administration

Although the city received its first charter in 1806, and another in 1815, the real power rested in the hands of the governor and judges of the territory until 1824; the charters of 1824 and 1827 centred the government in a council and made the list of elective officers long; the charter of 1827 was revised in 1857 and again in 1859 and the present charter dates from 1883. Under this charter only three administrative officers are elected, - the mayor, the city clerk and the city treasurer, - elections being biennial. The administration of the city departments is largely in the hands of commissions. There is one commissioner each, appointed by the mayor, for the parks and boulevards, police and public works departments. The four members of the health board are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. The school board is an independent body, consisting of one elected member from each ward holding office for four years, but the mayor has the veto power over its proceedings as well as those of the common council. In each case a two-thirds vote overrules his veto. The other principal officers and commissions, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council, are controller, corporation counsel, board of three assessors, fire commission (four members), public lighting commission (six members), water commission (five members), poor commission (four members), and inspectors of the house of correction (four in number). The members of the public library commission, six in number, are elected by the board of education. Itemized estimates of expenses for the next fiscal year are furnished by the different departments to the controller in February. He transmits them to the common council with his recommendations. The council has four weeks in which to consider them. It may reduce or increase the amounts asked, and may add new items. The budget then goes to the board of estimates, which has a month for its consideration. This body consists of two members elected from each ward and five elected at large. The mayor and heads of departments are advisory members, and may speak but not vote. The members of the board of estimates can hold no other office and they have no appointing power, the intention being to keep them as free as possible from all political motives and influences. They may reduce or cut out any estimates submitted, but cannot increase any or add new ones. No bonds can be issued without the assent of the board of estimates. The budget is apportioned among twelve committees which have almost invariably given close and conscientious examination to the actual needs of the departments. A reduction of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000, without impairing the service, has been a not unusual result of their deliberations. Prudent management under this system has placed the city in the highest rank financially. Its debt limit is 2% on the assessed valuation, and even that low maximum is not often reached. The debt in 1907 was only about $5,500,000, a smaller per capita debt than that of any other city of over 100,000 inhabitants in the country; the assessed valuation was $330,000,000; the city tax, $14.70 on the thousand dollars of assessed valuation. Both the council and the estimators are hampered in their work by legislative interference. Nearly all the large salaries and many of those of the second grade are made mandatory by the legislature, which has also determined many affairs of a purely administrative character.

Detroit has made three experiments with municipal ownership. On account of inadequate and unsatisfactory service by a private company, the city bought the water-works as long ago as 1836. The works have been twice moved and enlargements have been made in advance of the needs of the city. In 1907 there were six engines in the works with a pumping capacity of 152,000,000 gallons daily. The daily average of water used during the preceding year was 61,357,000 gallons. The water is pumped from Lake St Clair and is of exceptional purity. The city began its own public lighting in April 1895, having a large plant on the river near the centre of the city. It lights the streets and public buildings, but makes no provision for commercial business. The lighting is excellent, and the cost is probably less than could be obtained from a private company. The street lighting is done partly from pole and arm lights, but largely from steel towers from ioo ft. to 180 ft. in height, with strong reflected lights at the top. The city also owns two portable asphalt plants, and thus makes a saving in the cost of street repairing and resurfacing. With a view of effecting the reduction of street car fares to three cents, the state legislature in 1899 passed an act for purchasing or leasing the street railways of the city, but the Supreme Court pronounced this act unconstitutional on the ground that, as the constitution prohibited the state from engaging in a work of internal improvement, the state could not empower a municipality to do so. Certain test votes indicated an almost even division on the question of municipal ownership of the railways.

History

Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac (c. 1661-1730), who had pointed out the importance of the place as a strategic point for determining the control of the fur trade and the possession of the North-west and had received assistance from the French government soon after Robert Livingston (1654-1725), the secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners in New York, had urged the English government to establish a fort at the same place. Cadillac arrived on the 24th of July with about ioo followers. They at once built a palisade fort about 200 ft. square S. of what is now Jefferson Avenue and between Griswold and Shelby streets, and named it Fort Pontchartrain in honour of the French colonial minister. Indians at once came to the place in large numbers, but they soon complained of the high price of French goods; there was serious contention between Cadillac and the French Canadian Fur Company, to which a monopoly of the trade had been granted, as well as bitter rivalry between him and the Jesuits. After the several parties had begun to complain to the home government the monopoly of the fur trade was transferred to Cadillac and he was exhorted to cease quarrelling with the Jesuits. Although the inhabitants then increased to zoo or more, dissatisfaction with the paternal rule of the founder increased until 1710, when he was made governor of Louisiana. The year before, the soldiers had been withdrawn; by the second year after there was serious trouble with the Indians, and for several years following the population was greatly reduced and the post threatened with extinction. But in 1722, when the Mississippi country was opened, the population once more increased, and again in 1748, when the settlement of the Ohio Valley began, the governor-general of Canada offered special inducements to Frenchmen to settle at Detroit, with the result that the population was soon more than 1000 and the cultivation of farms in the vicinity was begun. In 1760, however, the place was taken by the British under Colonel Robert Rogers and an English element was introduced into the population which up to this time had been almost exclusively French. Three years later, during the conspiracy of Pontiac, the fort first narrowly escaped capture and then suffered from a siege lasting from the 9th of May until the 12th of October. Under English rule it continued from this time on as a military post with its population usually reduced to less than 50o. In 1778 a new fort was built and named Fort Lernault, and during the War of Independence the British sent forth from here several Indian expeditions to ravage the frontiers. With the ratification of the treaty which concluded that war the title to the post passed to the United States in 1783, but the post itself was not surrendered until the 11 th of January 1796, in accordance with Jay's Treaty of 1794. It was then named Fort Shelby; but in 1802 it was incorporated as a town and received its present name. In 1805 all except one or two buildings were destroyed by fire. General William Hull (1753-1825), a veteran of the War of American Independence, governor of Michigan territory in 1805-1812, as commander of the north-western army in 1812 occupied the city. Failing to hear immediately of the declaration of war between the United States and Great Britain, he was cut off from his supplies shipped by Lake Erie. He made from Detroit on the 12th of July an awkwardandfutile advance into Canada, which, if more vigorous, might have resulted in the capture of Malden and the establishment of American troops in Canada, and then retired to his fortifications. On the 16th of August 1812, without any resistance and without consulting his officers, he surrendered the city to General Brock, for reasons of humanity, and afterwards attempted to justify himself by criticism of the War Department in general and in particular of General Henry Dearborn's armistice with Prevost, which had not included in its terms Hull, whom Dearborn had been sent out to reinforce.' After Perry's victory on the 14th of September on Lake Erie, Detroit on the 29th of September was again occupied by the forces of the United States. Its growth was rather slow until 1830, but since then its progress has been unimpeded. Detroit was the capital of Michigan from 1805 to 1847.

AuTx0RITIEs

Silas Farmer, The History of Detroit and Michigan (Detroit, 1884 and 1889), and "Detroit, the Queen City," in L. P. Powell's Historic Towns of the Western States (New York and London, 1901); D. F. Wilcox, "Municipal Government in Michigan and Ohio," in Columbia University Studies (New York, 1896); C. M. Burton, "Cadillac's Village" or Detroit under Cadillac (Detroit, 1896); Francis Parkman, A Half Century of Conflict (Boston, 1897); and The Conspiracy of Pontiac (Boston, 1898); and the annual Reports of the Detroit Board of Commerce (1904 sqq.).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also détroit

Contents

English

Etymology

From French détroit (“strait”) in Rivière du Détroit (Detroit River)

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /dəˈtrɔɪt/, /diˈtrɔɪt/; SAMPA: /d@"trOIt/, /di"trOIt/
    Rhymes: -ɔɪt
  • Hyphenation: De‧troit

Proper noun

Singular
Detroit

Plural
-

Detroit

  1. The largest city and former capital of Michigan, a major port on the Detroit River, known as the traditional automotive center of the U.S.
  2. (by mentonymy) The United States automotive industry.

Synonyms

  • (city of Michigan): 3-1-3 (slang), Arsenal of Democracy (dated), D (colloquial), D-Town (informal), Hockeytown (informal), Motor City, Motown (informal), Rock City (informal)

Translations

External links

Anagrams


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Detroit

Developer(s) Impressions Games
Publisher(s) Sierra On-Line
Release date 1993
Genre Managerial Simulation
Mode(s) 1-4 Human, 3-0 Computer (Allways 4 total)
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) PC (DOS), Amiga
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Detroit puts you in the year 1908, and you are the President of an upstart car company. You will build and design cutting-edge automobiles, take care of finances and promote your products with marketing campaigns. Vintage car lovers will really enjoy the game, as it includes many classic car designs, all of which you can modify to your heart's content. As time goes by, new technologies will become available, and the industry will evolve with faster and safer cars. Competition, of course, will become tougher as your competitors catch up to your technological advantages. You must then think globally -- open new factories overseas, and think of how to segment your market with different car models that do not cannibalize each other's sales.

External links

  • http://www.abandonia.com/games/270/download/Detroit.htm



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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|180px|The Detroit skyline]]

Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan in the United States. It was the 10th largest city in the United States at the time of the 2000 census. As of 2004, it fell to 11th biggest as people have moved away, and San Jose, California, which is growing, moved to 10th. The city of Detroit has a popualation of 912,062 as of 2008. Nearly six million people live in Detroit and the surrounding counties that encompass Metro Detroit. The city borders Windsor, Ontario in Canada. The border between Detroit and Windsor is one of the most crossed in the world.

It was made a city in 1701. Detroit is a city where many automobiles are made and this is why it is sometimes called the "Motor City". Many people call it the car capital of the world. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have their offices and many of their plants in and around Detroit.

In 2006, the Super Bowl came to Detroit. Detroit is home to one of the largest black communities in the United States, being over 91% African-American.[1] Many of these African-Americans were auto workers.

The person who started the city was Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. He was from France.

References








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