More than 100 years ago, hundreds of thousands of immigrants came to Detroit, the melting pot of America. Migration to Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and Wayne County more than doubled population from 1910-20. Population Detroit Hamtramck Highland Park Wayne Co 1910 48576 3500 4100 532,000 […]
The urban expression of a memorial is usually exhibited as a sculpture, park, roadway or a tombstone. A good example is the largest cemetery in Detroit, Mt. Olivet, whose mission to serve Catholic burial needs has been the soil of choice for over 400,000 faithfuls. Between 1920-1950, Detroit may have been the largest Catholic city in the US as it was a destination of immigrants from other Catholic communities. Over the past decades the decline of Roman Catholics has forced the cemetery to welcome other Christians to their eternal land.
My parents grew up on farms east of Muncie, Indiana where and I was born at Ball Hospital. We moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan at age 8. When I moved to Detroit age at 20, I began my annual drive “Down to Indiana” on Wednesdays, the day before the annual family Thanksgiving Dinner – usually […]
Detroit outdoor advertising wall signs are nearly gone.
Most of the architectural canvas is gone too.
Uneeda Biscuit was incredibly successful on the East Coast with the original idea of wall advertising. Uneeda Biscuit was the first product of the National Biscuit Company (NBC, now Nabisco).
Hunger is a huge problem. Individuals, businesses, churches and charities in Greater Detroit are doing their best to help stave off hunger. I began documenting Metro food distribution in October of 2020; as the months pass, the need is certainly accelerating. Detroit’s Afro American Mission on Clay Street sits quietly between two of the last […]
There is a lot going on in a small section of town that contains … almost nothing. President Woodrow Wilson Avenue in Detroit initially reflected the residential prosperity of Detroit, circa 1913. The building is the People’s Block. Nowadays, the President Woodrow Wilson (W.W.) corridor neighborhood is nearly vacant. It’s certainly wide enough to land […]
I did not have to travel more than a couple of miles from my Royal Oak home, heading east, to find a huge diversity in political lawn advertising. I suspect that the farther north I traveled the more diversity I’d find. Perhaps you know that the “My Governor is an IDIOT/Pure Moron” sign is based […]
And thou shalt write […] upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates – Deuteronomy 11:20 As the Detroit urban landscape suffers abandonment and the population dwindles, the desire and motivation to deliver a hand-written public statement to inspire and alert are stymied by lack of people and walls. The longtime resource […]
Small restaurants that once served a dense residential population have nearly disappeared in Detroit. To attract attention to their wares, these small businesses had to communicate quickly with people passing by in automobiles and on foot, and chose to do so with images of food painted on walls. Here, the simple message is unmistakable and […]
Hair care in Detroit is a huge cash business. Beauty salons, predominantly female owned, and male-owned barbershops, take on unwanted retail space in nearly-impossible locations along major streets. The goal is to establish an independent money flow in the city’s often-difficult financial environment, and involves spending long hours on your feet. Building a regular client […]