In spite of its infrastructure, landmarks and cultural significance, the city is not immortal. Detroit is no exception. While rebounding in some areas, for the most part 21st century Detroit remains a mere shadow of its former self. Once known for powering most of the country, Detroit lost its steam and 70% of its population in the last 60 years and had to declare bankruptcy in 2013 to stay afloat.
When Detroit’s Michigan Central Station was built in 1913, it was one of the largest rail stations in the country. Source:
A Liberty Bond rally in Detroit that took place around 1918. Source:
A glimpse of the interior of Detroit’s First Congregational Church in 1918. Source:
Detroit’s bustling city streets back in 1920. Source: Source:
A quaint Polish-American grocery store in 1922. Source:
Olympia Stadium (eventually known as the home of the Detroit Red Wings) was built in 1927. Source:
Boats float along the water outside of Detroit in 1930. Source:
After World War I, Detroit was home to some of the most innovative and cutting-edge industries. Source:
Men walk in a Labor Day parade in 1938. Source:
Deep snow makes driving in Detroit impossible. Source:
Children run through Pingree Park. Hazen S. Pingree was a local politician who expanded public welfare programs and created many new parks and schools. Source:
Detroit Metro Times
During World War II, many wartime factories were located in Detroit. Source:
28-ton tanks called “General Grants” were mass produced by the Chrysler Corporation’s tank arsenal in 1942. Source:
In 1945, gasoline in Detroit cost just 17 cents per gallon. Source:
Employees work on cars at Detroit’s Packard Motor Car Company. Source:
A peek at the 1960 National Auto Show held at Cobo Hall. Source:
A testament to globalization's impacts, it's hard to imagine that this overwhelming mass of abandoned buildings and
empty streets was once considered the Silicon Valley of America.
But for now, forget about the slums, high crime rates and
urban graveyards and think back to the days when Detroit symbolized the indomitable power of American industry and labor.