Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Direction of Urban Sprawl? Previous Next
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 287
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know which areas of town were populated first and which were the first burbs or first areas people migrated to?
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7354
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that another thing to look at is how the ethnic areas started. From what I understand the first moves of wealthy sprawl was from downtown to Brush Park to Boston Edison.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 260
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

People tended to move outward according to which "spoke street" you lived near--Fort, Michigan, Grand River, Woodward, Gratiot, Mack, Jefferson. I'm sure there were exceptions, usually driven by employment oppertunities/changes.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1134
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 63.41.8.211
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Follow the map...


(from the Mikem archives)
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 538
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's perhaps the greater question. Why did Detroit end all annexation in 1926? Eight mile was a geopolitical barrier, of course, but westward and downriver begged annexation in those days. Thoughts???
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4099
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.173.157
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the Great Depression didn't happen. Then Detroit annex the last part of Gratiot TWP. Lochmoor, Grosse Pointes, River Rouge, Ecourse in 1930, All of Dearborn and And Dearborn TWP. in 1933, All of Hamtramck and Highland Park by 1937, Lincoln Park and Melvindale and last part of Redford TWP. by 1940. Allen Park, Livonia and Inkster by 1944. And finally Garden City and Westland by 1949.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4100
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.173.157
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray1936, The GREAT DEPRESSION end Detroit's annexation growth completely. A lack of manufacturing job base means no city revenues. And lack of city, county and state tax programs. The whole U.S. was screwy during the Depression where 25% of the people were unemployed nationwide. And Detroit was about 45% to 55% unemployed.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1483
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.221.33.13
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 2:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The notion of suburbs for American cities, in which people lived but still commuted to the central city, started just prior to 1920; for Detroit, it was Grosse Pointe. (Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills also have old, but quite small historic districts much the same, but when they were built they were seen more as far off destinations for the rich to build a big house (like GP in the 1800s) rather than a commuter suburb). The GPs feature housing largely comparable to previously created neighborhoods within the city like Indian Village or Boston-Edison, which were effectively similar to Grosse Pointe since they were enclaves for people who largely worked downtown, and were serviced by streetcars and the "spoke" streets. Building the lower Grosse Pointes into what they are today, which occured from 1915-1940 and included the grid street system, integrated with Detroit, and a slow transformation from very large homes on huge acreage to modestly large homes on smaller plots, seemed natural since the Grosse Pointes were already incorporated cities, had transit, and were previously used as destinations for a nearby getaway from the city. Each major, old city has one or more examples of something like Grosse Pointe. Mimicing the commuter-suburb pattern of GP was a lot of the rest of the inner-ring, especially Dearborn and Ferndale. Sometime in the 1950s, patterns of sprawl quickened, became less dense, and by the 60s and beyond many sprawl areas did not need ties to the city like streetcar lines in order to blossom.

Before the notion of suburbs (let's say, around 1900), the other areas of southeast Michigan that were settled and incorporated as cities, were Mt. Clemens, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, and outposts along the Detroit River. Between Detroit and these places were forest, farmland, vacation home-type areas like GP and Birmingham, and a few country crossroads, probably unincorporated or very small, like old-time Brighton, part of Dearborn, and a few hamlets in Macomb county.

I also wonder why Detroit stopped annexing, and I wonder about some of the idiosyncracies of the far western/northwestern border around Redford. I do know that even without more modern annexing, Detroit is a very large city in terms of land area.
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Goat
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Username: Goat

Post Number: 8426
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 70.53.96.156
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 2:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Politics folks. Politics... We all want to be kings in our own living areas. The places that Detroit grew to did not want to be annexed and therefore put up a fight to keep their little fiefdoms from becoming absorbed.
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 544
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.35.85.184
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Likely, many areas that were not annexed were cities (like Highland Park and Hamtramck). It has always been easier to annex townships, villages and unincorporated areas. It is and was very difficult for one city to annex another.
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Umstucoach
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Username: Umstucoach

Post Number: 22
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 5:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think what we have to remember is that the State of Michigan created the "charter township" in I think right after WWII (I'm not completely sure about the date). This was a reaction to annexation, giving a township more control in "home rule" acting almost like a de facto city, requiring a vote by residents to determine if they want to annex, or the townships decided to form as a city itself to in an effort not to be annexed by another city (among other reasons).

Basically, once Detroit's economy started to recover after WWII, it became much, much harder to annex land and soon found itself boxed in from all sides
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 329
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 69.220.142.7
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 6:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit stopped annexing in 1926 when the state laws changed preventing municipalities from annexing other municipalities (only township land can now be annexed). This was done by the state to prevent booming Detroit from becoming too "powerful" politically.

That's why you still hear about Oak Park annexing parts of RO Township today but little other annexing. It is why we have a metro of fiefdoms.

I am certain this was discussed in depth on a previous thread.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 593
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 209.69.221.253
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 7:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you examine old maps from the early 1920s, you find a few that project the size of Detroit in 1930, and it show the city spilling north of 8 Mile.

American cities went through a period around 1900 where they tended to expand and reincorporate as larger entities, particularly New York and Boston, IIRC.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1052
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.222.11.226
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 7:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NYC consolidated many municipalities into the five boroughs of "Greater New York" in 1898; Chicago had done its own huge annexation in 1889 (an expansion of 125 square miles).
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.246.96.250
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 7:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A stupid question for you folks who I can see are real history experts. Were Highland Park and Hamtramck already cities and therefore "immune" to annexation? I always found these little island cities curious. I'm sure at this point Detroit doesn't particularly WANT Highland Park.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 631
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 8:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Highland Park

Hamtramck

(Message edited by livernoisyard on May 08, 2006)
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2065
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.24.194
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Isn't there a part of that law that states that if one city is completely surrounded by another city, then it can be incorporated (i.e. Center Line and Warren)?

If for some reason Highland Park were incorporated (voluntarily or by way of receivership) into Detroit, won't that make it easier for Detroit to absorb Hamtramck as well?

(Thinking up ways to stay above the 900,000 mark!)
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 633
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It might happen if both Detroit and Highland Park are in receivership concurrently. But OTOH, Hamtramck emerged from receivership recently.
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Jenniferl
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Username: Jenniferl

Post Number: 272
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 4.229.42.138
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Re: Working in the city, living in the suburbs.

My great-grandfather must have been one of the first commuters. He started out at a Ford plant in Detroit (I think it was the one on Piquette) and later moved to the Highland Park Model T factory. In the beginning, his family lived in a house on Joseph Campeau. Then they moved to Highland Park. But by 1920, my great-grandfather had bought a house in Royal Oak. The property was fairly large and they kept chickens, but I don't think that's enough to qualify as a farm. At any rate, my great-grandfather continued to work in Highland Park, driving his car back and forth every day.
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Treelock
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Username: Treelock

Post Number: 112
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.77.166.98
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 10:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hey Jt1,

From what I understand, downtown never really was a residential neighborhood, even during Detroit's beginnings. The residential element taking shape with lofts and the like are really the first ever to take shape in the CBD.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 59
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 69.136.155.244
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 12:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

From what I understand, downtown never really was a residential neighborhood, even during Detroit's beginnings. The residential element taking shape with lofts and the like are really the first ever to take shape in the CBD.




If you want to go back to the Detroit of 1800 or so, the majority of its resident lived in what is now considered as the CBD (the area bounded by the river and the Chrysler, Fisher and Lodge Freeways).

However, even 100 years later, more than half of the area within today's CBD was still residential.

The Central Business District of 1900 was strung out along the riverfront between roughly 2nd Ave. on the west and Rivard on the east. From the river on the west, the CBD perimeter roughly followed 2nd, Congress, Washington Blvd., Grand Circus Park, Woodward, Monroe, St. Antoine, Woodbridge and Rivard back down to the riverfront.

Even as late as 1930, there were still substantial residential areas near 4th Street and W. Elizabeth St. and also in the area now occupied by Ford Field.

(source: "Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region - the Developing Urban Detroit Area", a study by Detroit Edison, Wayne State University and the Doxiadis Associates, 1970)
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4102
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.236
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 10:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The City of Pontiac, MI. can have the power to annex all of Waterford TWP. and Bloomfield TWP. any time. Pontiac tried desperate measures to annex all of Bloomfield TWP. since in 1920s but didn't work.

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