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Southfield, Michigan
—  City  —
Southfield Town Center
Motto: The center of it all
Location in the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°28′47″N 83°14′42″W / 42.47972°N 83.245°W / 42.47972; -83.245
Country United States
State Michigan
County Oakland
Founded 1823
Incorporation 1958
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Brenda L. Lawrence
 - City Administrator James G. Scharret
 - City 26.2 sq mi (68.0 km2)
 - Land 26.2 sq mi (67.9 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 682 ft (208 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 78,296
 - Density 2,985/sq mi (1,152.5/km2)
 - Metro 5,456,428
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 48000-48099
Area code(s) 248
FIPS code 26-74900[1]
GNIS feature ID 0638439[2]

Southfield is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit and is part of the Metro Detroit area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 78,296. Southfield Township is adjacent to the city on the north side. A part of Metro Detroit's upscale office market, the city's marque is a cluster of five golden skyscrapers that form the contemporary 2,200,000 square feet (204,400 m2) Southfield Town Center office complex with a Westin Hotel and a conference center. In addition, a 33-story luxury residential high-rise is separate from the complex. Southfield has other skyscrapers. To the west, near the confluence of I-696/Reuther Freeway and M-10/Lodge Freeway, is the American Center.



Southfield was surveyed in 1817 according to the plan by Michigan territorial governor Lewis Cass. The first settlers came from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan, as well as the states of New York and Vermont. The city was founded by John Daniels in 1823. Among the founders where the Heth's, Stephens, Harmon, McClelland and Thompson families. It was first organized as a township on July 12, 1830. Southfield took its name from its location in the "south fields" of Bloomfield Township. A post office was established in 1833 and the first town hall built in 1873. The Southfield Fire Department was formed on April 6, 1942 and the Southfield Police Department in 1953.

A portion of the township incorporated as a city on April 28, 1958. The current city hall was built in 1964 as part of the new Civic Center complex, which also became home to Southfield's police headquarters. The Civic Center was expanded in 1971 to include a sports arena with swimming pool. Evergreen Hills Golf Course was added in 1972, and in 1978, a new public safety building, the Southfield Pavilion and a new court building was added. In 2003, an expanded and redesigned Southfield Public Library opened to the public on the Civic Center grounds, featuring state-of-the-art facilities. Outside the Civic Center complex, Southfield also has municipal parks and recreation facilities, which were largely developed in the 1970s, including Beech Woods Recreation Center and John Grace Community Center.

The city's population growth occurred primarily between 1950 and 1990 as residents fleeing Detroit's inner city moved out to the suburbs. By the 1970s, Southfield became home to a sizeable Jewish population which built synagogues and schools. In 1964,Smith and Joyce Carson and their four children were the first Black family to integrate the city's population. By the early 1990s, many middle-class African Americans had moved into the city. By 1999 many Black churches had been established in or moved to Southfield.[3]


One Towne Square

Southfield is a commercial center for the metropolitan Detroit area, with Southfield's 26,000,000 square feet (2,415,500 m2) of office space surpassing that of even the city of Detroit's central business district. Several internationally-recognized corporations have major offices in Southfield, including the North American Headquarters of Denso, Peterson Spring, Federal-Mogul, Lear Corporation, and Electronic Data Systems. Today, more than eighty Fortune 500 companies have offices in Southfield.

Southfield is home to 700 acres (2.8 km²) of parkland, a nationally recognized public school district, eight colleges including Lawrence Technological University, and Oakland Community College.

Southfield's skyline is a mix of several skyscrapers built in the 1970s and 1980s and many mid- and low-rise residential and office buildings. Northland Center, built in 1954, claims to be the oldest suburban shopping mall in the United States. In 2003, Southfield unveiled its new library to the metropolitan Detroit area. The building is over 127,000 square feet (11,800 m2), houses 250 computers and 1,000 wire internet connections.

Sumitomo Corporation operates the Detroit Office in Suite 1450 at 27777 Franklin Road. Industries supported by the office include Automotive, Rolled Steel, and Tubular Products.[4]

Consulate of Macedonia in Detroit is in Suite 1130 at 2000 Town Center in the Southfield Town Center.[5]


St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, founded by Alex Manoogian.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.2 square miles (68.0 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (67.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04% is water. The main branch of the River Rouge runs through Southfield. The city is bounded to the south by Eight Mile Road, its western border is Inkster Road, and to the east it is bounded by Greenfield Road. Southfield's northern border does not follow a single road, but lies approximately around Thirteen Mile Road. The city is bordered by Detroit and Redford Township to the south, Farmington Hills to the west, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Beverly Hills to the north and Royal Oak, Berkley and Oak Park to the east. Also the completely separate city of Lathrup Village sits as an enclave in the eastern part of the city, completely surrounded by Southfield.


Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield, formerly Duns Scotus College.SouthfieldMiWordofFaithChapelEntrance.jpg

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 78,296 people, 33,987 households, and 19,780 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,984.6 per square mile (1,152.5/km²). There were 35,698 housing units at an average density of 1,360.8/sq mi (525.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.22% African American, 38.83% White, 3.09% Asian, 0.20% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 2.99% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the city's 33,987 households, 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 36.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.01.

The age distribution in the city's population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. In terms of gender distribution, for every 100 females there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,802, and the median income for a family was $64,543. Males had a median income of $48,341 versus $37,949 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,096. About 5.8% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Tower entrance to Southfield Public Library.

Southfield utilizes the Council-Manager form of government, and thus is governed by a City Council consisting of seven council members. The city council appoints a City Administrator, who manages the day-to-day operations of the city. The popularly elected Mayor, who does not vote on council actions, does have the right to veto council actions and holds the power to appoint the city's planner, assessor, attorney, and members of various commissions. The city's Clerk and Treasurer are also popularly elected officials. All of these officials hold non-partisan positions.

  • City officials
    • Mayor Brenda L. Lawrence
    • City Administrator James Scharret
    • City Clerk Nancy Banks
    • City Treasurer Irv Lowenberg
    • City Council
      • Donald Fracassi (President)
      • Sydney Lantz (President Pro-Tem)
      • Myron Frasier
      • Janna K. Garrison
      • Kenson Siver
      • Joan Seymour
      • Linnie Taylor


Southfield Public Schools operates area public schools. Southfield High School in Southfield and Southfield-Lathrup High School in Lathrup Village serve Southfield. Parts of Northern Southfield use the Birmingham City School District. The Southeast corner of Southfield uses the Oak Park School District.

Southfield Public Library operates public libraries.


Southfield is also the broadcast media center for the Detroit area, boasting studios and broadcast facilities for several television stations including WXYZ-TV, WJBK-TV, WKBD-TV, and WWJ-TV, and City Cable 15. The city has one radio station WSHJ 88.3 which is sponsored by Southfield Public Schools. In 1970, radio pioneer and entertainer Specs Howard founded the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Southfield.[6][7][8]

In addition to the News and Free Press, Detroit's two metropolitan daily newspapers that are widely distributed across Michigan, and parts of Ohio and Ontario, Southfield is served by the Southfield Eccentric, a suburban paper that reports on local and community events, which is published twice a week, on Sunday and Thursday.

Metro Detroit's sports station, FSN Detroit, is also located in Southfield on 11 mile and Evergreen Rd.


Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operates local and regional bus transit.

The major thoroughfares in the city include the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10), which is among the first urban to suburban highways constructed in the United States. The city also contains Interstate 696 (I-696), Southfield freeway (M-39), and US-24/Telegraph Rd. Today, The city contains several freeway interchanges connecting local roads to the freeways. Most prominently, "The Lodge" connects downtown Detroit to "The Mixing Bowl," the sprawling interchange of I-696, US-24/Telegraph Rd, the Lodge, Northwestern Highway, Lahser Road, and Franklin Road, all of which are located in Southfield. Most major streets adhere to a north-south/east-west orientation, forming a grid of major streets spaced one mile (1.6 km) apart from each other. The major east-west streets are 8 Mile Road (which forms the southern boundary of the city), 9 Mile Road (which is split by the Southfield Freeway), 10 Mile Road, 11 Mile Road (which is split by the Lodge), and 12 Mile Road. Major north-south streets are Telegraph Road, Lahser Road, Evergreen Road, Southfield Road (the northern extension of the Southfield Freeway) and Greenfield Road (which forms the eastern boundary of the city).

See also


External links

Coordinates: 42°28′24″N 83°13′19″W / 42.47333°N 83.22194°W / 42.47333; -83.22194



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