Flint, Michigan: Wikis

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City of Flint
—  City  —
Top: Skyline as seen from the Flint River. Middle: GM Powertrain, Longway Planetarium. Bottom: Former site of Buick City, South Saginaw St., Citizens Bank Weatherball.

Seal
City of Flint is located in Michigan
City of Flint
Location of Flint within Genesee County, Michigan
Coordinates: 43°0′36″N 83°41′24″W / 43.01°N 83.69°W / 43.01; -83.69Coordinates: 43°0′36″N 83°41′24″W / 43.01°N 83.69°W / 43.01; -83.69
Country United States
State Michigan
County Genesee
Settled 1818
Incorporation 1855
Government
 - Type Strong Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Dayne Walling [1]
 - City Administrator Gregory Eason
Area
 - City 34.1 sq mi (88.2 km2)
 - Land 33.6 sq mi (87.1 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 751 ft (229 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 124,943
 Density 3,714.9/sq mi (1,434.3/km2)
 Urban 365,096
 Metro 443,883
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48501-48507, 48532
Area code(s) 810
FIPS code 26-29000[2]
GNIS feature ID 0626170[3]
Website http://www.cityofflint.com
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 2,950
1870 5,386 82.6%
1880 8,409 56.1%
1890 9,803 16.6%
1900 13,103 33.7%
1910 38,550 194.2%
1920 91,599 137.6%
1930 156,492 70.8%
1940 151,543 −3.2%
1950 163,413 7.8%
1960 196,940 20.5%
1970 193,317 −1.8%
1980 159,611 −17.4%
1990 140,761 −11.8%
2000 124,943 −11.2%
Est. 2008 112,900 −9.6%

Flint is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 124,943. The 2008 Census Bureau Estimate places the population at 112,900, making Flint the seventh largest city in Michigan. It is the county seat of Genesee County[4] which lies in the Flint/Tri-Cities region of Michigan. Genesee County is also the entirety of Flint's metropolitan area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan. Flint is the largest city in the United States with a one-syllable name.

Flint is most known for being the birthplace of General Motors, and the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936-37 that played a vital role in the formation of the United Auto Workers. It has also become a symbol of the decline in the auto industry. Flint area native Michael Moore created the 1989 documentary film Roger & Me dealing with the impact that the closure of several of Flint's General Motors manufacturing plants in the late 1980s had on Flint and the surrounding areas's population. The city is often mentioned, and featured at various lengths, in most Moore documentaries.

The headquarters of Citizens Republic Bancorp (formerly known as Citizens Commercial and Savings Bank) has remained in its original location in Downtown Flint since its formation in 1871.

Flint Charter Township is adjacent to the city on the west but is politically independent.

Bishop International Airport is also part of the city, even though its surrounded by Flint Township.

In 2010 Flint was awarded an energy improvement grant by the U.S. Department of Energy. A total of 43 grants were distributed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the nation’s energy security.

Contents

History

Some scholars consider the Saginaw Valley, particularly the vicinity of Flint, to be the oldest continually inhabited part of Michigan. Regardless of the validity of this claim, the region was home to several Ojibwa tribes at the top of the 19th century, with a particularly significant community established near present-day Montrose. The Flint River had several convenient fords which became points of contention among rival tribes, as attested by the presence of arrowheads and burial mounds near Flushing.

Jacob Smith, a fur trader on cordial terms with both the local Ojibwas and the territorial government founded a trading post in Flint itself in 1819. On several occasions, Smith negotiated land exchanged with the Ojibwas on behalf of the U.S. government, and he was highly regarded on both sides. Smith apportioned many of his holdings to his children. As the ideal stopover on the overland route between Detroit and Saginaw, Flint grew into a small but prosperous village. The city was incorporated in 1855. The 1860 U.S. census indicated that Genesee County had a population of 22,498 of Michigan's 750,000.

In the latter half of the 1800s, Flint became a lumber center, and at the turn of the 20th century the revenue and infrastructure from lumbering funded the establishment of the local carriage making industry. As horse-drawn carriages gave way to the automobiles, Flint became a major player in the nascent auto industry. Buick Motor Company, after a rudimentary start in Detroit, soon moved to Flint. AC Spark Plug (now part of Delphi) originated in Flint, as did several defunct automobile marques such as the Dort, Little, Flint, and Mason brands. Chevrolet's first (and for many years, main) manufacturing facility was also in Flint, although its headquarters were in Detroit. For a brief period, all Chevrolets and Buicks were built in Flint.

In 1904, local entrepreneur William C. Durant was brought in to manage Buick, which became the largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1908. In 1908, Durant founded General Motors, filing incorporation papers in New Jersey, with headquarters in Flint. GM moved its headquarters to Detroit in the mid 1920s.[5] Durant lost control of GM twice during his lifetime. On the first occasion, he befriended Louis Chevrolet and founded Chevrolet, which was a runaway success. He used the capital from this success to buy back share control. He later lost decisive control again, permanently. Durant experienced financial ruin in the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequently ran a bowling alley in Flint until the time of his death in 1947.

For the last century, Flint's history has been dominated by both the auto industry and car culture. During the sit down strike of 1936-1937, the fledgling United Automobile Workers triumphed over General Motors, inaugurating the era of labor unions. The successful mediation of the strike by Governor Frank Murphy, culminating in a one page agreement recognizing the Union, began an era of successful organizing by the UAW.[6]

The city was a major contributor of tanks and other war material during World War II due to its extensive manufacturing facilities.

A freighter named after the city, the "the City of Flint" was the first US ship to be captured during the Second World War in October, 1939. The vessel was later sunk in 1943.

The eighth deadliest tornado on record in the United States struck Beecher, just north of Flint, on June 8, 1953, killing 115 people, injuring 844. Known as the "Beecher Tornado," after the North Side community which the tornado devastated. On the next day the same weather system spawned the worst tornado in New England in Worcester, Massachusetts, killing another 94 people.

For decades, Flint remained politically significant as a major population center as well as for its importance to the automotive industry. The city's population peaked in 1960 at almost 200,000. These decades are seen as the height of Flint's prosperity and influence, and culminated with the establishment of many local institutions, most notably including the Flint Cultural Center, which remains one of the city's chief commercial and artistic draws to this day.

Since the late 1960s, Flint has suffered from disinvestment, deindustrialization, and depopulation. Initially, this took the form of the "white flight" that afflicted many American towns and cities, but the decline was exacerbated by the 1973 oil crisis and subsequent collapse of the U.S. auto industry. In the 1980s, the rate of deindustrialization accelerated with local GM employment falling from a 1978 high of 80,000 to under 23,000 by the late 1990s. Many factors have been blamed, including outsourcing and exporting jobs abroad and to non-union facilities, unionization, exorbitant overhead, globalization, and most recently, a dramatic decline in General Motors sales. These rationales are often strictly applied along lines of political orientation, and labor remains the most divisive and polarizing local issue.

The recent decline was highlighted in the film Roger & Me by Michael Moore (the title refers to Roger B. Smith, the CEO of General Motors during the 1980s). Also highlighted in Moore's documentary was the failure of city officials to reverse the trends with entertainment options (e.g. AutoWorld) during the 1980s. Moore, a native of the area, revisited Flint in his later movies, including Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.

The demolition site of Buick City, for many years General Motors' flagship factory on the North side.

Another aspect of Flint's history is reflected in its legacy of racial discrimination and tension. From the turn of the century, African Americans in particular were drawn to Flint, as were most migrants, by the lure of work in the factories. However, for much of this time General Motors did not hire African Americans to assembly positions, and they were excluded from affluent neighborhoods like the East Village through housing compacts. Despite such discrimination, the Flint City Council selected Floyd McCree as mayor, making him one of the first African American mayors of a large city. The city diversified as a whole, and by the 1990s African Americans formed a plurality of the population, and a majority by the 2000 census. Mexican Americans and Native Americans remain a small but demographically significant population within Flint. Recent politics have typically polarized along racial lines, with candidates appealing to a small swing contingent of African American voters. Such contentions have been most pronounced recently in the successful 2002 recall election of African American mayor Woodrow Stanley.

The last decade has opened on the final stages of large-scale General Motors deindustrialization. By 2002 Flint had accrued a $35 million debt. Unable to pay this and balance its budget, the state of Michigan placed the city into receivership late that year, with a financial manager effectively replacing acting mayor, City Administrator Darnell Earley. In 2004, local control was resumed and has maintained a balanced budget since.

In 2004, General Motors made multi-million dollar upgrades to three Flint factories: Flint Truck and Bus Assembly, Flint Metal Center, and Flint Engine South. Recent developments have also assured the operation of Delphi Flint East beyond 2007. Included in the proposed 2007 UAW-GM contract, a new engine plant will be built near Powertrain Flint North to begin production in 2011, replacing the current factory, which is scheduled to end production of the 3800 engine in 2008.

Of the nearly 80,000 people that worked for General Motors in Flint during its peak years in the late 1970s, only about 8,000 are left after the most recent 2006 buyouts. Details on specific plant openings and closings are found in the article Flint, Michigan Auto Industry.

Flint's redevelopment will rely heavily on its institution of higher learning. The building of student housing at the University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University having an enrollment of 2,675, University of Michigan-Flint having an enrollment of 7,260, and Mott Community College having an enrollment of 10,456 all show how the city will rely on its collegiate institutions. All of these institutions are located within the City of Flint and are expected to be major parts of the city's continued rebirth. The Baker College campus in Flint Township also has an enrollment numbering in the thousands.

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Redevelopment

Renovated First National Bank building in downtown Flint.

In the last decade, local efforts to counter deindustrialization have centered around diversifying the economy, either by attracting small parts manufacturers with vacant industrial space and tax incentives, or steering the city toward a more commercially driven economy.

Industrially, the vacated Buick City site is currently the United States' largest brownfield. Its accessibility to the Flint River and major rail networks has made it potentially attractive to shipping interests. A local shipping company has considered turning Buick City into a large shipping center.[citation needed]This center could provide 600 jobs and spur many small businesses. In the new GM-UAW deal, an agreement was reached to build a new engine plant on a portion of the Buick City site. This plant is expected to provide 800 new jobs.

Commercially, local organizations have attempted to pool their resources in the central business district and to expand and bolster higher education at four local institutions. Landmarks such as the First National Bank building have been extensively renovated, often to create lofts or office space, and filming for the Will Ferrell movie Semi-Pro resulted in renovations to the Capitol Theatre. In 2004 the first planned residential community in Flint in over 30 years, University Park, was built north of Fifth Avenue off Saginaw Street, Flint's main thoroughfare. Local foundations have also funded the renovation and redecoration of Saginaw Street, and have begun work turning University Avenue (formerly known as Third Avenue) into a mile-long "University Corridor" connecting University of Michigan–Flint with Kettering University. Atwood Stadium, located on University Avenue, has already received extensive renovations and the Cultivating Our Community project is landscaping 16 different locations from in Flint as a part of a $415,600 beautification project. Wade Trim and Rowe Incorporated have done major renovations to transform empty downtown Flint blocks into business, entertainment, and housing centers.[7] WNEM, a local television station, has signed a ten year lease on space in the Wade Trim building facing Saginaw Street. [8] Also, plans have been recently passed to turn the long-vacant Durant Hotel into a mixture of commercial space and apartments attractive to young professionals or college students, with 93 units. Work has already begun and the project is expected to be complete by fall 2009.[9] In March 2008, the Crim Race Foundation put up an offer to buy the vacant Character Inn and turn it into a fitness center and do a multimillion dollar renovation.[10]

In 2008, the University of Michigan–Flint opened its first 310-person dormitory on their Downtown Flint campus.[11] The University of Michigan-Flint has acquired the Riverfront Character Inn and plans to turn the former hotel into a 550-person dormitory called the Riverfront Residence Hall. Kettering University and Baker College - Flint have both expanded on-campus living in recent years. While Mott Community College does not offer on-campus housing, they have initiated their own expansion with the construction of a Regional Technology Center.

Additionally, the city is in the process of tearing down abandoned homes in some of the outlying areas in order to reduce the city to a level where the population can support it. As of June 2009, approximately 1100 homes have been demolished, with one official estimating another 3000 more will have to be torn down.[12]

Transportation

The city of Flint is served by Bishop International Airport and various bus lines. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service on the Blue Water line from Chicago to Port Huron at the border to Canada. For travel within and around the city, the Flint Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) provides local bus services. Greyhound Lines also runs inter-city bus services north to Bay City and south to Detroit. Indian Trails runs inter-city bus services west to Chicago.

Airlines

Scheduled airline service is available from Flint Bishop International Airport[13] and MBS International Airport. It is the biggest airport in the region, to populated cities.

Major highways

I-69.svg
Interstate 69 has its eastern (northern) terminus at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, and runs west through Flint to Lansing and then turns south and continues through Marshall and on to Fort Wayne and to its end in Indianapolis.
I-75.svg
Interstate 75 running concurrently with US 23, cuts through the southwest corner of the city and passes the west side of the city through Flint Charter Township. I-75/US 23 continue north to Saginaw and Bay City. After separating near Standish, I-75 continues though the center of the state to Grayling, Mackinaw City, and Sault Ste. Marie. I-75/US 23 separate just south of the city, with I-75 continuing through the Metro Detroit area to downtown Detroit, on to Toledo. I-75 continues south through several major cities, including: Cincinnati, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Tampa, Florida to its ending in the suburbs of Miami, Florida.
I-475.svg
Interstate 475 begins south of Flint at Interstate 75 and runs north through downtown Flint then loops back to I-75 northwest of the city.
US 23.svg
US-23 runs concurrently with I-75 and passes west of the city. After separating from I-75 near Standish, US 23 continues north on a scenic route along the Lake Huron shoreline. It ends at I-75 in Mackinaw City. This section of US 23 is designated the "Sunrise Side Coastal Highway". South of Flint, US 23 continues to Ann Arbor, on to Toledo, and continues south into Florida.
M-21.svg
M-21 runs nearly due west to Grand Rapids
M-54.svg
M-54, also known as Dort Highway, runs mostly parallel to I-475 to the east from I-75 to I-69.

Geography

The Flint River in the late 1970s during a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project, taken from approximately halfway between the Grand Traverse Street bridge and Beach-Garland Street bridge, looking east.

Flint lies in the Flint/Tri-Cities region of Michigan. Flint and Genesee County can be categorized as a subregion of Flint/Tri-Cities.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.1 square miles (88.2 km²), of which, 33.6 square miles (87.1 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.26%) is water. Flint lies just to the northeast of the Flint hills. The terrain is low and rolling along the south and east sides, and flatter to the northwest.

Neighborhoods

For a city of its size, Flint has many neighborhoods, grouped around the center of the city on the four cardinal "sides." The downtown business district is centered on Saginaw Street south of the Flint River. Just west, on opposite sides of the river, are Carriage Town (north) and the Grand Traverse Street District (south). Both neighborhoods boast strong neighborhood associations. The University Avenue corridor of Carriage Town is home to the largest concentration of "Greek" housing in the area, with fraternity houses from both Kettering University, and the University of Michigan Flint. Chapter houses include Theta Chi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Xi, and Delta Tau Delta Fraternities. These neighborhoods were the center of manufacturing for and profits from the nation's carriage industry until the 1920s, and to this day are the site of many well-preserved Victorian homes and the setting of Atwood Stadium. Just north of downtown is River Village, a successful example of mixed-income public housing. To the east of I-475 is Central Park, a small neighborhood defined by culs-de-sac.

Hall's Flats on the West Side is one of Flint's many neighborhoods.

The North Side and 5th Ward are predominantly African American, with such historic districts as Buick City and Civic Park on the north, and Sugar Hill, Floral Park, and Kent and Elm Parks on the south. Many of these neighborhoods were the original centers of early Michigan blues. The South Side in particular was also a center for multi-racial migration from Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Deep South since World War II. These neighborhoods are most often lower income, but have maintained some level of economic stratification. The East Side is the site of the Applewood Mott Estate, and Mott Community College, the Cultural Center, and East Village, one of Flint's more prosperous areas. Just north is Eastside Proper, also known as the "State Streets," a low-income rental area that has rapidly diversified and is the center of Flint's Hispanic community. Eastside has had trouble with prostitution, particularly in districts centered on Dort Highway and Olive Avenue. The West Side includes the main site of the 1937 sitdown strike, the Mott Park neighborhood, Kettering University, and the historic Woodcroft Estates, owned in the past by legendary automotive executives and current home to prominent and historic Flint families such as the Motts, the Manleys, and the Smiths.

Facilities associated with General Motors in the past and present are scattered throughout the city, including GM Truck and Bus, Flint Metal Center and Powertrain South (clustered together on the city's southwestern corner); Powertrain North, Flint Tool and Die and Delphi East. The largest plant, Buick City and adjacent facilities, have been demolished.

The Genesee Towers (left), and Mott Foundation Building (right). The Flint Journal headquarters are to the far left.

Half of Flint's fourteen tallest buildings were built during the 1920s. The city's tallest building, the 19-story Genesee Towers, was completed in 1968.[14] The building has become unused in recent years and has fallen into severe disrepair; a cautionary sign warning of falling debris was put on the sidewalk in front of it. City officials have considered having the building demolished.

Climate

Flint lies within the humid continental climate zone. The summers are generally warm and humid, with an average high temperature in the 80's and a record high of 108 set on July 13, 1936. The winters are cold and snowy, with average lows in the teens and a record low of -28 set on February 14, 1916. In the spring it is snowy to start, then stormy and warm through the end of it. In the fall it is cool and breezy with generous amounts of precipitation. The last snowfall of the season comes anywhere in between the middle of March and the beginning of April. The first snowfall of the season has been known to occur in late October, but often, the Christmas season arrives with a snowless ground. The area is cloudy and breezy most of the year. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year with a late summer peak and snowfall is around 45 inches per year.

Climate data for Flint, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
(18)
68
(20)
84
(29)
89
(32)
97
(36)
104
(40)
108
(42)
103
(39)
100
(38)
89
(32)
79
(26)
70
(21)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 29
(-1.7)
32
(0)
43
(6.1)
56
(13.3)
69
(20.6)
78
(25.6)
82
(27.8)
80
(26.7)
72
(22.2)
60
(15.6)
46
(7.8)
34
(1.1)
57
(13.9)
Average low °F (°C) 13
(-10.6)
15
(-9.4)
24
(-4.4)
35
(1.7)
45
(7.2)
55
(12.8)
59
(15)
57
(13.9)
49
(9.4)
39
(3.9)
30
(-1.1)
19
(-7.2)
38
(3.3)
Record low °F (°C) -25
(-32)
-28
(-33)
-12
(-24)
3
(-16)
22
(-6)
21
(-6)
37
(3)
23
(-5)
23
(-5)
11
(-12)
-7
(-22)
-26
(-32)
-28
(-33)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.57
(39.9)
1.35
(34.3)
2.22
(56.4)
3.13
(79.5)
2.74
(69.6)
3.07
(78)
3.17
(80.5)
3.43
(87.1)
3.76
(95.5)
2.34
(59.4)
2.65
(67.3)
2.18
(55.4)
30.6
(777.2)
Source: [15] 2008-04-27
Source #2: [16] 2008-04-07

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 124,943 people, 48,744 households, and 30,270 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,714.9 per square mile (1,434.5/km²). There were 55,464 housing units at an average density of 1,649.1/sq mi (636.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53.27% Black or African American, 41.39% White, 0.64% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 7.2% were of German and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.0% spoke English and 2.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 48,744 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.0% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,015, and the median income for a family was $31,424. Males had a median income of $34,009 versus $24,237 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,733. About 22.9% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.4% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.

Crime

The city has been forced to layoff additional police officers due to financial problems. According to the FBI, the national average of police officers to 1,000 citizens is 3.0 full-time law enforcement employees in 2008.[17] With the City of Flint's latest announced layoffs[18], the City of Flint will drop to approximately 1 officer per 1,000 residents. This information comes while the City of Flint remains in the FBI's top 5 most violent cities. During the 1980s and 1990s, Flint gained a reputation as a crime ridden example of deindustrialization. Trends over the last few years have been changing that negative outlook. In 2007, homicide in Flint declined 52% and sexual assault declined 36%. Auto theft, assault, and larceny also went down.[19] The total number of homicides in Flint in 2007 were some of the lowest in decades. In the 2008 State of the State address, Governor Jennifer Granholm commended Flint on its 46% drop in crime in 2007. In May 2008, new crime statistics for the city were released, showing some of the most dramatic decreases in crime in decades. Murder had dropped 71%, assault and battery had dropped 48%. Arson and auto theft also saw drops in the 20% range.[20] In the 2008 most dangerous cities listing, Flint saw itself drop three places for the new rankings.[21]

Education

Universities

Primary and secondary schools

Public K-12 education is provided under the umbrella of the Flint Community Schools. Students attend 25 elementary schools, a gender based 7-8 academy (Holmes), and fewer than five high schools (Northern, Southwestern, Northwestern, School of Choice, and Mott Middle College).

McKinley and Longfellow middle schools were shut down due to budget cuts, however McKinley was reopened in December 2006 as the Flint Southwestern Academy Annex in order to reduce the student population of Flint Southwestern Academy. Flint Northern High School, became 7-12 institutions in the fall of 2006. The Classical Academy, previously housed in Whittier MIddle School and now in Southwestern, is an International Baccalaureate (IB) certified Middle Years Program.

Declining enrollment and costly maintenance, however, have threatened the future of many of Flint's schools. The district has come under fire for high truancy and dropout rates as well as low test scores. The district has been lauded for its ground-breaking magnet program, particularly programs in math, science, and fine arts. Moreover, the district was the testing ground for Frank Manley's community schools ideas. A local elementary school has been named in his honor.

The state-run Michigan School for the Deaf is located in Flint.

Flint hosts a number of private schools. Powers Catholic High School is located just outside the city limits adjacent to Northwestern High School. The Valley School is a small private K-12 school.

Westwood Heights, Carman-Ainsworth, Beecher, Atherton, Bendle, Bentley, and Kearsley are adjacent districts based in the City of Burton, Flint Township, Mount Morris Township, and Genesee Township.

Health

  • Hurley Medical Center
  • McLaren Regional Medical Center
  • Genesys Health Park
  • Flint once had 2 other full service hospitals: St. Joseph's Hospital and Flint Osteopathic Hospital. They are now medical clinics which are part of the Genesys Health System, and currently referred to as Genesys East Flint Campus and Genesys West Flint Campus respectively.

Culture

The Flint Cultural Center was built with revenue from the auto industry in the 1950s. Set on a 30 acre (120,000 m²) site near downtown, it boasts:

The Flint Institute of Arts was founded in 1928 and is a member of the Flint Cultural Center. It was recently renovated and reopened with an expanded collection in September 2006.
  • Flint Public Library[22]
  • Alfred P. Sloan Museum,[23] with a large portion dedicated to rare automobiles.
    • Buick Gallery and Research Center[24]
  • Flint Youth Theatre,[25] a professional resident theatre company. It was a recipient of a "Great Lakes Community Arts Award" (2002) and a "Governors' Arts Award" (2001).
  • Flint Institute of Arts, an art museum with an extensive collection and learning facility.
  • Flint Institute of Music, home of the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra, Flint Youth Wind Ensemble, Flint Youth Philharmonia, and Flint Youth String Orchestra among other organizations.
  • Longway Planetarium, the largest and best-equipped planetarium in Michigan.
  • Whiting Auditorium, a 2100-seat auditorium which hosts fine arts performances, including symphonic concerts and touring theatrical performances.

Other institutions

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Mexican based Roman Catholic church, serving Mexican Catholics in the Genesee and Shiawasee counties for 50 years.
  • Flint Central Academy Theatre, which puts on and promotes educational theatre within the community.
  • Flint Local 432, one of the country's longest-running youth concert venues.
  • The Machine Shop, Concert lounge which books many bands that are locally, nationally, and internationally known.
  • Flint Children's Museum, a "hands-on" museum for children located on the campus of Kettering University.
  • Flint City Theatre[26]
  • Buckham Alley Theatre, the nomadic troupe of alternative theater performers currently based at the Greater Flint Arts Council and the Unitarian-Universalist Church.[27]
  • Vertigo Productions,[28] the only semi-professional theater company in Genesee County. Vertigo presents critically-acclaimed theater and dinner shows in the Historic Masonic Temple in downtown Flint, as well as sponsoring the annual Summer favorite, Shakespeare in the Park and Gilkeyshire Renaissance Faire.
  • Buckham Gallery, an artist-run gallery in downtown Flint serving the arts community for over 20 years.
  • Pages Independent Bookstore, a cultural crossroads in downtown Flint that provides a wide selection of books and can be used as a meeting space for the community.
  • Flint Concert Band
  • Flint Symphonic Wind Ensemble
  • TOPS original theatre, Theatre for Original Productions and Shows. The area's only theatre to produce and perform all original productions from all over.
  • The Pete Mata Show - One of the Michigan's longest running radio programs serving the Hispanic community on WWCK 105.5 FM.

Annual events

Media

Print

The county's only daily newspaper was the Flint Journal, which dates back to 1876. Effective June 2009 the paper ceased to be a daily publication, opting to publish on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The move made Genesee County the largest county in the United States without a daily newspaper.[citation needed] The East Village Magazine is a non-profit news magazine providing information about neighborhood issues since 1976. The monthly magazine centers on the East Village neighborhood, outside downtown Flint, but is distributed throughout the city. The Uncommon Sense was a recent publication featuring critical journalism, satirical cartoons, and articles on music and nightlife, but it ceased publishing in 2007. In January 2009, Broadside[29] became the current independent newspaper, exclusively available in print. In early 2009 Flint Comix & Entertainment began circulating around college campuses, and local businesses. This monthly publication features local and nationally recognized comic artists, as well as editorials, and other news.

Two quarterly magazines have appeared in recent years: Innovative Health Magazine[30] and Downtown Flint Revival Magazine[31]. Debuting in 2008, Innovative Health highlights the medical advancements, health services and lifestyles happening in and around Genesee County, while Downtown Flint Revival reports on new developments, building renovations and the many businesses in the Downtown area. Downotwn Flint Revival also produces magazines for some of Flint's summer events, including Back to the Bricks[32], which features classic cars, and Bikes on the Bricks[33], which features motorcycles.

University publications include University of Michigan–Flint's student newspaper The Michigan Times, Kettering University's The Technician and the MCC Chronicle, which is a monthly magazine from Mott Community College.

Television

Two area stations operate from Flint; WJRT (ABC), one of ten ABC owned-and-operated stations, and WFUM (PBS), a service of the University of Michigan–Flint. Other stations serving the area include WNEM (CBS), WEYI (NBC), WSMH (Fox), and WBSF (The CW).

Radio

The Flint radio market has a rich history. WAMM-AM 1420 (started in 1955, now gospel station WFLT) on the city's eastside was one of the first stations in the country to program to the black community and was also where legendary DJ Casey Kasem had his first radio job.[34]

WTAC-AM 600 (now religious station WSNL) was a highly-rated and influential Top 40 station in the 1960s and 1970s, showcasing Michigan artists and being the first in the U.S. to play acts like The Who and AC/DC. WTAC changed its format to country music in 1980 and then became a pioneering contemporary Christian music station a few years later; the calls are now on 89.7 FM, a member of the "Smile FM" network. WTRX-AM 1330 also played Top 40 music for a time in the 1960s and '70s.

The city's very first radio station, AM 910 WFDF, first went on the air in 1922. It has since relocated south into the Detroit market, changing its city of license to Farmington Hills and increasing its power to 50,000 watts.

In 1985, WWCK-FM 105.5 became the highest-rated rock station in America.[citation needed] The station (whose calls were derived from those of Windsor, Ontario's legendary CKLW) continued as a market leader after changing its format to CHR, which it has remained since, in 1989.

Today, the following stations serve Flint with an array of programming choices:

AM

FM

  • 88.9 WAKL - Flint (Contemporary Christian, Educational Media Foundation; K-Love network affiliate)
  • 89.7 WTAC - Burton-Flint (Contemporary Christian, Superior Communications; "Smile FM" network affiliate)
  • 91.1 WFUM - Flint (Public Radio, Michigan Radio, University of Michigan; simulcast of WUOM Ann Arbor)
  • 92.7 WDZZ - Flint (Urban Adult Contemporary, DZ93, Cumulus Media)
  • 93.7 WRCL - Frankenmuth (Rhythmic CHR, Club 93-7, Regent Broadcasting)
  • 94.3 WKUF - Flint (Kettering University student station)
  • 95.1 WFBE - Flint (Country, B95, Citadel Broadcasting)
  • 98.9 WOWE - Vassar (Urban Adult Contemporary, Praestantia Broadcasting)
  • 101.5 WWBN - Tuscola-Flint (Active Rock, Banana 101.5, Regent Broadcasting)
  • 102.5 WIOG - Bay City (CHR)
  • 103.1 WQUS - Flint (Classic Rock, US 103.1), Regent Broadcasting)
  • 103.9 WRSR - Owosso-Flint (Classic Rock, 103.9 The Fox, Cumulus Media)
  • 105.5 WWCK - Flint (Mainstream CHR, CK105.5, Cumulus Media)
  • 107.9 WCRZ - Flint (Adult Contemporary, Cars 108, Regent Broadcasting)

Regent Broadcasting's WCRZ is consistently the top-rated station in Flint and has been near the top of the ratings consistently since changing format from beautiful music WGMZ in 1984. Sister stations WRCL and WWBN also regularly chalk up top 10 ratings in Flint. Cumulus Media's top stations are WDZZ (usually the #2 rated station 12+ in Flint, second only to WCRZ) and WWCK. Citadel Broadcasting owns popular country station WFBE (which for many years was a classical-music public radio station owned by the Flint school system), as well as sports-talker WTRX and Saginaw/Bay City's WHNN (96.1 FM, Oldies) and WIOG (102.5 FM, Top 40), which both have good signals and significant listenership in Flint.

Radio stations from Detroit, Lansing and Lapeer may also be heard in the Flint area; Detroit's WJR (760 AM) is regularly rated among the top 10 stations in Flint and often higher-rated than any local Flint-based AM station.

Government

The city has operated under at least four charters (1855,[35] 1888,[36] 1929, 1974[37]). The City is currently run under its 1974 charter that gives the city a Strong Mayor form of government. Its also instituted the appointed independent office of Ombudsman, while the city clerk is solely appointed by the City Council. The City Council is composed of members elected from the city's nine wards.[37]

Public safety

Residents are served by the Flint Police Department and the Flint Fire Department. Flint has its own 9-1-1 call center, located in the police department headquarters, which operates independently of Genesee County's call center in Flint Township.

Politics

Most politicians are affiliated with the Democratic party despite the city's elections being nonpartisan.[37] In 2006, Flint was the 10th most liberal city in the United States, according to a nationwide study by the non-partisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research which examined the voting patterns of 237 cities with a population over 100,000. Flint placed just after San Francisco (9) and before Seattle (16) and New York (21).[38]

Sports

Club Sport League Venue Logo
Flint Generals Hockey International Hockey League Perani Arena and Event Center
Flint Rogues Rugby Club Rugby Michigan Rugby Football Union Longway Park
Flint Fury Football Mid Continental Football League Atwood Stadium
Genesee County Patriots Football North American Football League Atwood Stadium
Michigan Admirals Football United States Football Alliance Guy V. Houston Stadium
Flint Phantoms Arena Football Continental Indoor Football League Perani Arena and Event Center

The Flint Generals professional hockey team plays at the Perani Arena and Event Center (formerly known as the IMA Sports Arena), a 4,021+ seat arena which is mostly home to hockey, but has also hosted basketball, indoor football, wrestling, boxing, and many other events. The Flint Generals are in their 13th year in the recently renamed International Hockey League, formerly the United Hockey League, since the original IHL Flint Generals left Flint for 8 years. The original Generals team was formed in 1969 and played in the 2nd installment of the International Hockey League until 1985 when the Generals relocated to Saginaw, Michigan. The Generals won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1984, and won the UHL's Colonial Cup in 1996 and 2000.

There is also semi-pro football at Atwood Stadium with the Flint Fury. Atwood is an 11,000+ seat stadium in downtown Flint which has hosted many events, including baseball. When artificial turf was installed, it was no longer able to host baseball games. The Flint Fury are heading into their fourth season and second in the Mid Continental Football League. The team was founded by two of its players: Charles Lawler and Prince Goodson, who both played for the defunct Flint Falcons semi-pro team.

The Genesee County Patriots semi-pro football team also play their home games in Flint. The Patriots were founded in 2003 and originally played at Atwood Stadium in Flint with the Flint Fury. At the time, both teams were in the Ohio Valley Football League and shared the stadium. After the 2003 season, the Patriots jumped to the North American Football League and moved to Clio's Pride Stadium. After a disagreement with the Clio athletic director, the Patriots returned to Atwood Stadium for 2006.

The Michigan Admirals semi-pro football team is a member of the United States Football Association. They began play in 2002 at Hamady Field, and then moved onto Russ Reynolds Field in 2003. They played he 2007 season at Atwood Stadium, and plan to play at Guy V. Houston Stadium in 2008.

The Flint Phantoms arena football team is in their first year in the Continental Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Perani Arena.

Flint is twinned with Hamilton, Ontario, and its amateur athletes compete in the Canusa Games, held alternatively there and here since 1957.

Although Flint does not have its own NBA team, it does boast that many of its local players have gone to the NBA or on to play Division 1 or European professional basketball. Glen Rice and Eddie Robinson both hail from Flint[39], as do Morris Peterson, Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell, and Antonio Smith (four of the five starters from Michigan State University's "Flintstones" 2000 National Championship team).

A local teacher, turned independent film maker, Marcus Davenport chronicles Flint's unique ties to Basketball and the basketball culture in Flint Star: The Motion Picture, a documentary film[40][41] Will Ferrell's 2008 movie Semi-Pro is based on a fictional basketball team from Flint.

The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is from Flint. He beat out Stanford Running Back, Toby Gerhart and Texas Quarterback, Colt McCoy. He won with 1304 total votes. Mark Ingram attends the University of Alabama and is their first Heisman winner. He was a member of the National Champion 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

Former sports teams

Club Sport League Venue Logo
Flint Phantoms Football Continental Indoor Football League
Flint Flyers Baseball Michigan State League
Flint Halligans Baseball Michigan-Ontario League
Flint Vehicles Baseball Michigan-Ontario League
Flint Gems Baseball Michigan State League Atwood Stadium
Flint Indians Baseball Michigan State League Atwood Stadium
Flint Arrows Baseball Central League Atwood Stadium
Flint Pros Basketball Continental Basketball Association Hamady High School, IMA Sports Arena
Flint Fuze Basketball Continental Basketball Association IMA Sports Arena
Michigan Stones Basketball International Basketball League
Flint Seminoles Basketball Great Lakes Basketball Association
Flint Spirits Hockey International Hockey League IMA Sports Arena
Flint Bulldogs Hockey Colonial Hockey League IMA Sports Arena
Flint Blue Devils Football Atwood Stadium
Flint Pros Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Wildcats Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Sabres Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Falcons Football Michigan Football League, Ohio Valley Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Flames Arena Football Indoor Football League IMA Sports Arena
Michigan Pirates Arena Football Continental Indoor Football League Perani Arena and Event Center
Michigan Phoenix Women's Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Guy V. Houston Stadium

Sister cities

Flint has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Movies and TV

The following movies and TV shows have taken place or were filmed in Flint.

Television
  • The Fitzpatricks (1978-1979) was a short-lived CBS TV drama about an Irish Catholic working class family living in Flint. The show was filmed in Hollywood, but set in Flint. Also the family were portrayed as steelworkers, not autoworkers.
  • TV Nation (1994-1995) was the debut TV series by Michael Moore. Numerous segments were filmed in and around Flint, including one where Moore uses declassified information to find the exact impact point from the nuclear ICBM that targeted the city (ground zero was Chevrolet Assembly, one of the General Motors plants at Bluff & Cadillac Streets. The plant is now destroyed anyway, by GM). Moore then went to Russia (actually Kazakhstan) to try and redirect the ICBM away from Flint, such as "the stars' homes" (Beverly Hills).
  • The Awful Truth (1999-2000) was Michael Moore's second TV show. It featured segments from Flint.
Movies
  • To Touch a Child (1962) A look into Community Schools.
  • With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade (1979) Documentary about the women of the Flint Sit-Down Strike.
  • Roger & Me (1989) Documentary about the downturn in Flint because of GM closing various plants. The premise of the movie was Moore's attempt to find GM Chairman Roger Smith and bring him to Flint to see how GM plant closings affected the townspeople.
  • Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1992) Follow-up of Roger & Me.
  • The Big One (1998) Documentary film Moore urges Nike to consider building a shoe factory in Flint. Moore succeeds in convincing Nike CEO Philip Knight to match his offer to donate money to Buell Elementary School, which would eventually become the locale of the infamous Kayla Rolland shooting.
  • Bowling for Columbine (2002) Moore's take on the gun industry also profiles the shooting of Kayla Rolland.
  • Chameleon Street (1990) Wendell B. Harris Jr.'s story of famed con man Douglas Street. Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
  • The Real Blair Witch (2003) Documentary about group of Flint teenagers kidnapping and terrorizing a fellow student.
  • The Michigan Independent (2004) Documentary film about the Michigan independent music community. Many segments were shot in Flint, particularly at the Flint Local 432.
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) Moore takes on the George W. Bush administration. Moore filmed students from Flint Southwestern Academy. Filmed Marine recruiters at Courtland Center and references Genesee Valley Center as a mall for more wealthy citizens, "The rich mall in the suburbs."
  • Michael Moore Hates America (2004) Filmmaker Mike Wilson travels to Flint to document small businesses and other development efforts in the city, and compares it to the depictions of the city in Moore's documentaries.
  • Flintown Kids (2005) Documentary film about violence in Flint.
  • Semi-Pro (2008) Will Ferrell movie which centers around a fictitious ABA basketball team, The Flint Tropics, in the 1970s from Flint.

See also

References

  1. ^ Flint, City of. "Mayor City of Flint, MICHIGAN". Information Technology Services. http://www.cityofflint.com/mayor/mayor_main.asp. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ General Motors | Corporate Information - History | GM
  6. ^ Detroit News, Rearview Mirror, The Sitdown strike at General Motors.
  7. ^ What's Up Downtown? FLINT•MICHIGAN
  8. ^ WNEM plans studio in downtown Flint - News Now - The Flint Journal - MLive.com
  9. ^ Officials hail Durant Hotel redevelopment as another step in moving downtown Flint in a new direction
  10. ^ Crim offers to purchase Character Inn
  11. ^ Housing and Residential Life
  12. ^ Tom Leonard (2009-06-12). "US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  13. ^ Flint Bishop International Airport
  14. ^ SkyscraperPage.com: Flint, Michigan
  15. ^ "Monthly Averages for Flint, Michigan". Weather.com. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USMI0295?from=search. Retrieved April 27, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Precipitation Summary for Flint, Michigan". Weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=73627&refer=&units=us. Retrieved April 27, 2008. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ Hagler: Flint making strides against crime
  20. ^ Flint PD fights to keep city jail open
  21. ^ City Crime Rankings
  22. ^ Flint Public Library
  23. ^ Alfred P. Sloan Museum
  24. ^ Buick Gallery and Research Center
  25. ^ Flint Youth Theatre
  26. ^ Flint City Theatre
  27. ^ Buckham Alley Theatre
  28. ^ Vertigo Productions
  29. ^ Broadside
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ [4]
  32. ^ [5]
  33. ^ [6]
  34. ^ WFLT AM 1420 Flint
  35. ^ The History of Genesee County, MI. Chapter XIII: Early Years of Flint City.
  36. ^ "HON. WILLIAM A. ATWOOD". 1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros.. 1892. pp. 801–803. http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mi/county/tuscola/book/800-803.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  37. ^ a b c City of Flint, Michigan Charter 1974.
  38. ^ The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States
  39. ^ Flint Star: The Greatest Player From Flint You’ve Never Heard Of, HoopsAddict.com Retrieved July 19, 2007
  40. ^ Flint Star: The Motion Picture
  41. ^ Catching up with Marcus Davenport maker of Flint Star “The Motion Picture”
  42. ^ "About Sister Cities of Flint Michigan". http://www.visitflint.org/sistercities/About_Sister_Cities_of_Flint.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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