Post Number: 722
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 1:55 pm: || |
Outer Drive is such a cool road. Mysterious, full of nice homes and everywhere. Share some history, stories or whatever about this unique Detroit Street.
Post Number: 153
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 2:54 pm: || |
I grew up 1 block from outer drive and van dyke. Was maybe 12 yrs old when Gino's showbar and bowling alley was erected. They had pinsetters back then. I remember a cargo plane crashing in a big field where Holy Cross hospital now sits. There was a newspaper article with pictures about it. I wonder if anyone has it and can post it? We were out in the front yard and the plane just cleared the roof of the house, needless to say we were greatly surprised and lucky too.
Post Number: 125
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 8:45 pm: || |
I knew a policeman who started with the Police Department in '29, worked in the precinct where Outer Drive & Van Dyke. Outer Drive and Van Dyke was out in the woods, the boonies.
Post Number: 84
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 8:58 pm: || |
Outer Drive and Warren, there was a roller rink and a Daly's drive-in, but tucked in the back was a little amusement park, with a ferris wheel and merry-go-round and other attractions. This was in the 50's and that place was like Disneyland to my brother and me as small kid's.
Post Number: 347
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 9:08 pm: || |
I grew up on Outer Drive and Southfield, across the street from where the old Veteran's Hospital was. Isn't Outer Drive the longest continuous street in and around Detroit?
I could be wrong, but to say it is the most unique street in the metro area wouldn't be too much of a stretch!
Post Number: 2655
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 9:39 pm: || |
In 2004, the Metro Times' Curt Guyette walked the length of Outer Drive and wrote a two-part story called "Inside Outer" about his experience.
Part 1: Walking the length of Detroit’s odd, omnipresent boulevard
Part 2: Westward ho – our reporter's long march along Outer Drive stretches on http://www.metrotimes.com/edit orial/story.asp?id=6605
Also..."The History of the Mystery: The inside scoop on Outer Drive"
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 9:44 pm: || |
I didn't know about the amusement park there. When I was going to Daly's and the Rollerdome there was (and still is, I think) a park behind. Ah, the things that went on in that park when I was a teenager in the late 70s early 80s. The Rollerdome burned down. What's there now, if anything?
Post Number: 2656
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 9:47 pm: || |
Outer Drive on the east side of Detroit was an integral part of my childhood...
Mack and Outer Drive was the site of St. Clare of Montefalco Church where I was baptized and attended mass until I was married.
East Warren and Outer Drive was the retail shopping area with a Cunningham's on the sw corner, and a Sanders store and Kresge's nearby. We went to the movies at the Alger Theatre on the nw corner, just down the block from the Red Carpet where so many legendary musical acts performed. The Kensington branch of the Post Office was on the ne block off the intersection. The Sabre Lancer Lounge where we often went for dinner with a date because they had the best burgers around was next door.
When I was in high school, I rode my bike west on Outer Drive, following it all the way to Conner near the City Airport for summer marching band practice at De La Salle High School.
Post Number: 1952
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 9:51 pm: || |
I cleaned up the lower map, as best I could.
Looks like they had planned to make Outer Drive contiguous back then by jinking down to Lantz, instead of changing over at State Fair at Dequindre, and then into Palmer Park.
Post Number: 5906
|Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 10:35 pm: || |
I always wondered what the story was about the stretch of Whittier in the Grosse Pointes from Mack Ave. to Jefferson? Did the Grosse Pointes not want Outer Drive to continue down to Jefferson? The homes on that stretch of Whittier look like they were only built in the 1950's, so they had plenty of time to decide what they wanted there.
One of the more interesting parts of Outer Drive is where it it and Chandler Park Drive occupy the same street between Whittier and Alter.
The most scenic stretch of Outer Drive has to be its meandering thru Rouge Park... where for a long stretch one sees nothing but wooded parkland, with no houses in sight. I remember driving thru that stretch a few years back right after an ice/snow storm... it was a wonderful experience driving thru that section with the trees all lit up with sunlight shimmering reflectively thru the icy tree branches.
My favorite residence along Outer Drive has to be this enormous English Tudor house at Roseberry & Outer Drive near Dickerson.
Post Number: 11131
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 1:11 am: || |
Back in the day, I worked at Seaway Motors, and tested each new model on the torn up stretch of Outer Drive north of Warren through the park there, Gistok. It was a great torture test of suspension behavior until they finally repaved it.
Funny to have this thread running with the Aviation Subdivision one...two of my old neighborhoods highlighted on the forum. My father is on the Drive near the old Veteran's Hospital.
Having that boulevard for my running track straight up to Hines Drive parkway were some great marathon training memories...so much beautiful nature all in a row! Never wanted to stop running...
Post Number: 728
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 1:27 am: || |
From some of what I read about Outer Drive was that the Palmer Park area fought very hard to keep it from going through. Many residents protested to the city and county. There was a emphasis of keeping it completely in Wayne County and they did not want to route it north I guess. From an old article they made it sound like it would go through there but I guess it never did. I assume the wealthy residents of Grosse Pointe did the same thing.? Here are some great aerials from VMC! Outer Drive in the Boonies was right!
http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/ i/image/image-idx?sid=72fafb8f 444eeb423e1ac67eb233131b&q1=ou ter+drive&rgn1=vmc_ti&op2=And& q2=&rgn2=vmc_ti&type=boolean&m ed=1&view=thumbnail&c=vmc
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 1:31 am: || |
I have a lot of memories of Outer Drive. In the 1970's and early 1980's, I grew up around the corner from W. Outer Drive and the Lodge Freeway. My house's backyard faced the rear of Outer Drive Faith Lutheran Church. I spent a lot of time at that church, going to Vacation Bible School and Girl Scout meetings.
I remember the last days of Wilson's Dairy across the street from the church, eating burgers and fries with Dixi Cola (no Coke, no Pepsi) at the counter, ordering ice cream (New York Cherry was my favorite, although the other kids liked "Superman" ice cream).
As a kid, I always wanted to live in a house on Outer Drive -- there was one especially large house on Outer Drive where it met Vassar. On the same block as Outer Drive Faith, there was a house with a tennis court. I also remember some (not all, of course) of the people who lived on Outer Drive as being rather snooty (apologies to anyone reading this who may have lived on W. Outer Drive during this time).
I attended Benedictine High, located at W. Outer Drive and Southfield, now the location of Old Redford Academy. I have not-so-fond memories of taking the Dexter bus in the snow, sleet, rain, etc. down Outer Drive to get to school!
Post Number: 91
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 5:51 am: || |
"Isn't Outer Drive the longest continuous street in and around Detroit?" (Plymouthres)
Outer Drive is a fun street to drive around the city, but "continuous" is one word I would never use to describe it. Until you get to the west side, it's anything but. It gets interrupted at Chandler Park Dr (at Whittier) where Chandler Park Drive stops and Outer Drive takes over. Unless you grew up in the area, you can't tell the difference between Outer Dr & Chandler Park Drive. It gets interrupted again at Conner next to City Airport and yet again at Dequindre where it changes to State Fair. It doesn't resume again until Livernois. It was always interesting to try to find the street again after it ended at these various points.
I used to live near Outer Drive & Dickerson. That neighborhood was a mess anyway when it came to the street patterns overlapping in that neighborhood. Even a compass wouldn't help you find your way around that neighborhood and Outer Drive made it an additional challenge, but I always enjoyed driving the Drive. Beautiful & unique homes for the most part.
Post Number: 1059
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 6:12 am: || |
I lived on East Outer Drive between Mack & Warren (Waveney & Cornwall to be exact) for 13 years, from '79 to '92. Love East English Village.
I attended St. Clare, remember going to movies at the Alger, and I opened up my very first bank account (at whatever bank used to be just off the corner of Warren & EOD) when I was 10 years old. I still remember my first deposit: $12.00 (hard-earned allowance!). I thought that was all the money in the world back then.
I later attended U of D High on the west side (around the block from WOD), while still living on the east side. I walked the entire length of West Outer Drive in the annual UDJHS Walkathon, four years in a row.
I remember how well everyone kept their houses and lawns on Outer Drive (east AND west). I didn't appreciate how privileged I was to have been able to live where I had until long after I left.
Post Number: 2657
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 6:41 am: || |
Crash_nyc: I believe that it was Standard Federal Savings at E. Warren and EOD next to the Mobil gas station on the se corner of the intersection. They had the big sign that provided time and temp!
Post Number: 246
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 7:38 am: || |
Yes, Good old Standard Federal. I had an account at Manufacturers Bank on E.Warren and Bishop. My dads real estate office was right across the street. Sabre Lancer brings back memories. Medeteranian Lounge as well.
Post Number: 5770
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 4:50 pm: || |
Wanderinglady, welcome to The Forum. jjaba had a girlfriend on Littlefield. She went to Schultz and Mumford. We hung out at Wilson Dairy too.
jjaba would ride his bike out there from Schoolcraft and Northlawn, way before John C. Lodge Expy. went in.
jjaba rode right past your house to Northland Center in 1954, his adventure ride. James Cousins was such a beautiful parkway. The houses were incredible as were all the fancy offices and shops around you. jjaba lived in a 5 room upperflat, 2-flat house, with coal fired furnace.
jjaba, Westside Memories.
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 6:00 pm: || |
Wow, I actually get addressed by name by the esteemed Jjaba! What an honor! :-)
I suspect that the ladies who worked behind the counter at Wilsons when I hung out there were the same ones who were there during Jjaba's time. Things have changed so much in Northwest Detroit in the last 25 years, I can't even imagine how different things were in the 1950's!
Here's a fictitious reference to Outer Drive. I just read the novel "Freshwater Road" by (actress and Detroit native) Denise Nicholas. The main character, a Black U of M student who travels to Mississippi for "Freedom Summer" in 1964, lives with her father in a house on Outer Drive. I thought it was a pretty good book, if a bit short on character development. Worth checking out!
Post Number: 632
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 4:28 pm: || |
Come on you guys. This is one of the most interesting streets in Detroit. How about some pictures, memories, etc. This is what I come to the forum for, not the silly bickering and posturing of many of the threads .
I know West Outer Drive, but am not sure I have ever done more than cross over East. Am I missing anything? Were they originally built out at the same time? The planning map shows the city line still far away from West Outer.
(Message edited by missnmich on December 18, 2007)
Post Number: 12
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 6:42 pm: || |
Each summer I try to do a "coast to coast" bike rider of Outer Drive, once in either direction. I live on 3 Mile, which is two blocks from the end of what would have been Outer Drive in GP Park, so I either zip over there and go North and West, or I ride down Jefferson past Zug Island and the DWSD plant into Ecorse and catch the OD where it ends down south. The trip is a total of 56 miles, and it is remarkable how nice the neighborhoods are. It gives me hope in the survival of the Motor City. I agree with Gistok on the Rouge Park section.
Post Number: 487
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 6:49 pm: || |
Outer Drive has never made sense to me. I don't think I've even been on East Outer Drive, for fear of getting lost or swallowed up in some kind of Eastside time warp. Give me a map and maybe I could navigate that stretch without getting lost.
(Message edited by gsgeorge on December 21, 2007)
Post Number: 177
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 8:17 pm: || |
Outer Drive is a "ring road," as is Grand Blvd. I think the concept developed in Europe in the mid-19th century, and spread to the US. In most cities, the grand ring roads were home to the most elegant new homes and impressive public buildings. As cities expanded, concentric rings were added. Nowadays, they are usually Beltway expressways.
Post Number: 78
|Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 5:06 pm: || |
Your photo request has been met. I attended Renaissance High School in the eighties. I used to catch the Greenfield bus and walk down Outer Drive every morning to school. I was fascinated by the design of the homes on Outer Drive. I discovered some information about a Home Builder's Promotion from the 1940's that showcased the new homes on Outer Drive. Hopefully, someone within the Forum can shed some light on this "new" Outer Drive home. I know this was still standing and in good shape when I was in town in November. The photo source is the Detroit News 1942. The address is 3168 West Outer Drive at the corner of San Juan.
Post Number: 79
|Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 5:15 pm: || |
Here are a few more pictures of buildings on West Outer Drive courtesy of the Wayne State University Motor City Virtual Library.
Renaissance High School formerly Detroit Catholic Central. Circa 1982
Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church. Circa July 1941.
Post Number: 80
|Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 5:35 pm: || |
Here is a early construction shot of the unpaved "Indian Road" between Outer Drive and Northwestern Highway. I don't have a date or an exact location of the road. May be the Great Jjaba can lend a historical perspective to the photo?
Post Number: 5987
|Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 2:02 am: || |
Parkguy is correct, the ring roads were first seen in European cities in the 19th century.
But unlike USA ring roads (which were often built on virgin ground), the ring roads of major European cities were built by destroying a lot of wonderful medieval fabric... namely city walls.
The medieval city walls, gates, towers, bastions and moats of most major European cities were razed in the 19th century, in order to create nice wide thoroughfares surrounding the dense medieval core of those cities. Sometimes they would keep some of the city gate towers (usually in a traffic island).
Anyone who has ever seen the surviving magnificent medieval city walls of Nuremberg Germany, can appreciate and lament what was destroyed for the wide ring roads of other major European cities.
Post Number: 740
|Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 11:24 am: || |
Photos like the one of Indian road always intrigue me. Detroit is deep in the urban core here and is very densely developed especially where Indian Rd. is. I always enjoy seeing photos in Detroit where the landscape resembles areas like 25 Mile Road. It is so hard for me to imagine Detroi like that and I love seeing it with all of that open space its very interesting!
Post Number: 5990
|Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 3:27 pm: || |
Fareastsider... unfortunately.... have you seen the built up parts of 25 Mile Rd. lately?
Post Number: 21
|Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 8:16 pm: || |
25 years ago, just for fun I used to take Outer Drive from Grosse Pointe to visit friends in River Rouge, but my recollection was that it was far from contiguous putting you on stretches of Conner, State Fair, and possibly other streets I can't quite remember.
Post Number: 4216
|Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 8:40 pm: || |
The only part I really know is the portion from Mack to Chandler Park Drive (along Whittier). Great neighborhoods along there with some nice old houses south of Warren.
I've spent some time doing some work in the neighborhood near Outer Dr. in Brightmoor/Jefferies. The houses over there are smaller and blight is widespread. It's a very strange part of the city.
Post Number: 464
|Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 9:08 pm: || |
Anyone know anything about the house on the northwest corner of E. Outer Drive and Ryan? It's a pretty cool-looking house and sits on what looks like four lots.
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 1:14 am: || |
Hey Durango, thanks for the pictures! Brings back memories of riding down Outer Drive on the Dexter bus. Can't help you with info about the house on W. Outer Drive at San Juan, though.
Post Number: 39
|Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 9:16 am: || |
On that gap between Livernois and Woodward, I was living in Sherwood Forest when the idea of bringing the road through came up. Along with strong opposition from both Sherwood Forest and Palmer Woods residents, I seem to remember a large cemetery facing Woodward that also was along the proposed route, and would have provided a big block.
Post Number: 159
|Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 - 4:03 am: || |
i learned to drive on outer drive, we used to take the bus to fairlane mall when i was a kid, down cherry hill to outer drive past daly,s & the rollerdrome, to evergreen. used to play ball at stopel field on outer drive. always liked the houses on outer dr also.
Post Number: 636
|Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 - 10:57 am: || |
Does anyone know what the land use was for the Indian Road area before the pictures above were taken? It looks pretty barren. Was it farmland, open prairie, or clear cut for development? The road looks impassable, but the sidewalk is in!
Anybody know where these houses are located today, and what the neighborhood looks like?
Post Number: 744
|Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 - 4:17 pm: || |
It was probably farmland subdivided. Land subdivisions worked different from what I understand before WWII. Many were platted and the roads would often be dirt roads. Many improvements were made but often the homes didnt follow. Many subdivisions sat with dirt roads and walks for years with little or no houses during the depression. There are many aerials of the city with roads and walks spreading out in the distance on virtual motor city, many pics are from the 1930s. Today you can see with the slow housing market many half built or subdivisions with roads but no houses as fields begin to grow again on the vacant lots!