Detroit, Michigan
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Detroit, Michigan

The Motor City, also known as the home of Motown music, Detroit is the major city of the Metro Detroit area. It is the seat of Wayne County as well as being the largest city within the state of Michigan in the USA.

The Motor City, also known as the home of Motown music, Detroit is the major city of the Metro Detroit area. It is the seat of Wayne County as well as being the largest city within the state of Michigan in the USA.

The city is an important centre for culture, transportation and finance as well as being a major port along the Detroit River at a point where the Great Lakes connect to the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Detroit is ranked as the 18th biggest city in the US in terms of its population with 713,777 residents recorded as of the 2010 census. The larger Metro Detroit area covers six counties, has a population of just below 4.3 million and is the 11th largest metropolitan area by population in the United States. Movement by people throughout the region has seen a reduction in the local population of 25% between the turn of the 21st century and the year 2010. The nation’s now eighteenth largest city was once the tenth biggest in terms of its population.

Changes to the city’s downtown areas from its once reliance on the motor industry have brought the arrival of three casino hotel resorts, a revitalized waterfront and new stadiums. The population living within the metropolitan region is close to 50% of that living within the entire state of Michigan.

The city was founded in 1701; its name originates from the Detroit River, named by the early French explorers to the region. The area was noted as a site for a potential future settlement in 1679, it was not until the arrival of a French officer and fifty one French-Canadians in 1701 that the site was used for a settlement. It was first known as Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit, free land was offered by France to settlers wishing to make a new home in the area. By 1765, the settlement had a population of 800 people; it was at that time the largest city between New Orleans and Montreal.

Sainte Anne de Detroit is the second oldest continuously operating church belonging to the Roman Catholic faith in the United States. Construction began in 1701 and the building in its present form was not completed until 1887. The French military command of Fort Detroit surrendered to the British in November 1760 during the French and Indian War. Once in command the British forces renamed the settlement by dropping the title of Fort from its name. In 1796 Detroit was passed over by the British to the United States. Most of the settlement was destroyed by a major fire in 1805, all that remained was a warehouse alongside the river and the chimneys constructed of brick within the wooden houses.

Detroit became the capital of Michigan in 1805; a street layout plan was devised as the settlement expanded. During the War of 1812 the city fell to the British once again during the Siege of Detroit, it was recaptured by the US the following year. Two years later in 1815 it was incorporated as a city.

A large number of mansions and fine buildings were built during the latter part of the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th. Detroit became known as the Paris of the West because of its style and architecture. The electrification of Washington Boulevard by Thomas Edison helped attract new growth to the city with a rise in the industries of shipbuilding and manufacturing. It was also a major transportation hub due to the waterway of the Great Lakes.

Into the 20th century and the borders of the city were extended, incorporating many outlying villages into the environs of Detroit. Henry Ford built his first automobile from a rented workshop in the city. He founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903; together with other pioneers of the automotive industry the city would soon gain the status as the capital of the world in the manufacturing of automobiles.

There are a number of buildings of historical importance within the city and many of these are to be found on the National Register of Historic Places. It has one of the largest collections of surviving buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries within the United States. As well as the redevelopment of the downtown area other projects have helped revitalize the riverfront into areas of parkland, residential and commercial buildings within the city.

Live music has been a feature of Detroit since the 1940’s, this has continued to this day with an International Jazz Festival, an Electronic Music Festival as well as many other important musical events annually across the city.

The prominent museums of the city are mostly located in the cultural centre close to the Wayne State University. Over a dozen museums ranging from local history to that of African-Americans, contemporary art to Motown, enough to cover the range and needs of all tourists and locals.

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Comments (7)

Very informative and interesting share.

Well researched, good presentation and a fantastic read. Tops!

As always, a great job on luring people to want to visit or revisit!!! Voted up!!

Good Work

great job, John! Happy New Year

Great travel guide presented nicely.Thank you.

Enjoyed the tour, haven't been there in 30 years..voted