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  1. #1

    Default Detroit Urban Conservation Project records, 1976

    Hi all,

    I am a librarian and writer from Scandinavia, and need information for an article.

    A few months ago I could find photos from Detroit Urban Conservation Project records, 1976 at
    http://placepromo.com/search.php

    I had this information from this website.
    Now this database has disappeared.

    I am writing an article and need to confirm that the building at 1117 Field Avenue, also called 1117 Field Street, in Detroit is in this database. Wasn't all the photos in this project taken in 1976?

    Can anyone help?

    Regards, and thanks in advance.
    Aud Gjersdal, from Norway

  2. #2

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    Did you try looking here?
    http://placepromotion.blogspot.com/

  3. #3

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    Designed by the noted Detroit architectural firm of Malcomson & Higganbotham. John S. Gray Branch Detroit Public Library 1117 Field built in 1906 Detroit, MI.

    The first branch of the Detroit Public Library.
    Attached Images Attached Images                

  4. #4

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    Unfortunately, it looks as if the PlacePromo domain has expired (as of 1/4, according to GoDaddy). If this remains true, it's a real shame, because those photos, small and blurry as they could be, were a real treasure trove of the physical state of the city just on the brink of the abandonment and blight that would devastate it so thoroughly over the next 3+ decades.

    I wonder who has actual physical possession of those pictures and where they are kept? Does Burton Historical have any access to them?
    Last edited by EastsideAl; January-10-14 at 11:38 AM.

  5. #5

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    Nice to see the Gray Library again. Thanks"p69rrh51". Great, as always.

    I spent quite a bit of time in there back around 1971. Even skipping some school to hang out there, dorky kid that I was. It was old enough that my grandparents also went there as children too. In fact, my grandfather lived just a block south as a small child, on Field between Lafayette and Jefferson, and always claimed that he learned to read perusing newspaper sports pages there.

    Also, in the background of the 4th photo from the top, you can just glimpse the old Field School - attended by my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and me! (What's with the cross above the door of the library in this picture? Perhaps something to do with WWI?).

    Unfortunately, I don't have the PlacePromo Gray Library photo. But I do have this picture, which I saved from that site to send to my sister who also went there, of the old Field School (named as Whitney Young Middle School when we attended in the early '70s) that was across Agnes from the library. The picture is, of course, from 1976, which is not too long before the building was demolished:

    Name:  field school - whitney young 1976.jpg
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    Last edited by EastsideAl; January-10-14 at 12:46 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    (What's with the cross above the door of the library in this picture? Perhaps something to do with WWI?).
    Maybe part of a Red Cross fund drive or location of a contingency Red Cross aid station (though that would be more likely in WWII and not WWI).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeg View Post
    Did you try looking here?
    http://placepromotion.blogspot.com/
    Yes, and it seems anything on there regarding 1976 Detroit Urban Conservation Project leads to the broken link. The blog contains very few of those images. Hopefully, they are posted again.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishSpartan View Post
    Yes, and it seems anything on there regarding 1976 Detroit Urban Conservation Project leads to the broken link. The blog contains very few of those images. Hopefully, they are posted again.
    I copied quite a few of them, I will post them when I have time.

  9. #9

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    For those who may care, here's another link to Field Avenue and the neighborhood: https://m.facebook.com/pages/Moses-W...433782311&_rdr

  10. #10

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    Since I passed by the location of the former Field School today, I thought I'd post a photo to show what the space looks like now compared to EastsideAl's 1976 pic. The corner is now occupied by the Adult Well Being Services.

    It's a shame nothing is happening with the former Gray branch library building.
    -DVD

    Name:  Corner Field and Agnes.jpg
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    I wonder who has actual physical possession of those pictures and where they are kept? Does Burton Historical have any access to them?
    The film negatives are held at the Detroit Historic Designation Advisory Board Office. Locating a particular building is a hassle. They have a map in the office that assigns a number for each block in the city. You have to use that number to find a physical index card in their files. Then that card contains a film negative roll number. Then you can use that number to find the film negative. The DHDAB office is open by appointment only.

    A few years ago I bought a film negative scanner for the sole purpose of obtaining all of the 1976 images for Corktown, available here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/corktow...7628099965522/

    I regret not also scanning North Corktown. One of these days I have to take a day off work and make an appointment to go back for the rest.

  12. #12

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    Thank you for all information! Now the database is back!
    http://placepromo.com/search.php

  13. #13

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    Slightly related, but I also noticed on the same site that there's photos of numerous buildings across Wyandotte that were probably taken at the same time as the ones 1976 Detroit Urban Conservation Project records, such as one of the Cahalan Building 25 years before it burned down and one of the former Ford City municipal building before it was torn down just 15 years later. Sorry if I tried to hijack this. Also making appearances in several of those photos are the city's old white-on-green street signs (about two decades before they were all replaced by the current green (or black)-on-white ones.
    Last edited by mtburb; January-16-14 at 09:19 AM.

  14. #14

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    Great that these pictures are back up! I just spent another couple of hours with this amazing resource. Thank you to whoever renewed the domain and kept this available.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    Slightly related, but I also noticed on the same site that there's photos of numerous buildings across Wyandotte that were probably taken at the same time as the 1976 Detroit Urban Conservation Project records
    It bears mentioning that there are a significant number of pictures of buildings in Wyandotte there, as well as some of Ecorse and Flat Rock. Also, strangely, Alpena as well as little Almont in Lapeer Co.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    Also making appearances in several of those photos are the city's old white-on-green street signs (about two decades before they were all replaced by the current green (or black)-on-white ones.
    Just a detail, but white on green is still hereName:  white_on_green.jpg
Views: 1011
Size:  37.8 KB

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aud View Post
    Just a detail, but white on green is still here
    Actually, I was mentioning Wyandotte's signs, as seen in this then-and-now comparison...




  17. #17

    Default :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    Actually, I was mentioning Wyandotte's signs, as seen in this then-and-now comparison...
    OK, I'm Norwegian. Now I understand. So nice photos in this thread!

  18. #18

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    Thank you all for your inspiring help. Now my essay "A little library in Detroit" is published in a Norwegian magazin for non-fiction writers. It is written in Norwegian. If some of you want a copy of the printed version (with nice typography and photos) send an email to me, and I will scan, and send to you. The article is on web:
    http://www.prosa.no/essay/et-lite-bibliotek-i-detroit/
    Regards, and thanks [email protected]

  19. #19

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    Thank you for the photo of the Field School. My mother went to this school and walked there from the Field Hotel where she lived. I was particularly interested in the fact that both your grandmother and great-grandmother went to this school. Mom attended in the early to mid 1930s. Such a shame that so beautiful a building was demolished. It sure would be nice to have some photos of inside the school building--and I mention that because your photos of inside the library are awesome.

  20. #20

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    A little late, I know, but the survey card database is fully up and running here: https://isaackremer.com/search.php

    As a bit of background for those who are curious - this project was undertaken between May 2005 to December 2007 while I was living in Michigan. Having recently graduated from the MA in Historic Preservation Planning program at Cornell University, I came home to Wyandotte and sought to put my historic preservation skills into practice. This took me all over the state doing work, writing grants, and advocating for historic preservation - including some work in Detroit.

    Very early upon returning I realized the value of the survey cards that were held at the Michigan History Center in Lansing, where the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office had their offices at the time. So after making arrangements with officials there, I brought in a digital scanner, my laptop, and spent probably over 100 hours scanning as many cards as I could. Then off site I proceeded to process these - saving images in a format to be displayed on a website, transcribing all of the data for each record (address, architect if available, etc.). The final step involved working with a programmer to set up to search form so all the data could be viewed.

    What stopped this project was when I was selected to lead a Main Street program in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Subsequently, I maintained an interest in Michigan and historic preservation, visiting many times, though my work has taken me to New York, Texas, Kentucky, and now New Jersey.

    I have all of the original hi-res survey cards in TIF format. I also have other materials that might be of considerable interest for preservationists, historians, or others with a similar interest. I may be reached via my website at http://www.isaackremer.com or email at civitasdev(at)gmail(dot)com.

  21. #21

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    thanks PSewick I see what was once my home before Mr Robert Needham performed a miraculous rehab!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    Unfortunately, it looks as if the PlacePromo domain has expired (as of 1/4, according to GoDaddy). If this remains true, it's a real shame, because those photos, small and blurry as they could be, were a real treasure trove of the physical state of the city just on the brink of the abandonment and blight that would devastate it so thoroughly over the next 3+ decades.

    I wonder who has actual physical possession of those pictures and where they are kept? Does Burton Historical have any access to them?
    Agreed.

    The 1970s and 1980s are my favorite time period when it comes to images/videos of Detroit. Entire commercial strips and neighborhoods were completely wiped out.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    Slightly related, but I also noticed on the same site that there's photos of numerous buildings across Wyandotte that were probably taken at the same time as the ones 1976 Detroit Urban Conservation Project records, such as one of the Cahalan Building 25 years before it burned down and one of the former Ford City municipal building before it was torn down just 15 years later. Sorry if I tried to hijack this. Also making appearances in several of those photos are the city's old white-on-green street signs (about two decades before they were all replaced by the current green (or black)-on-white ones.
    The old green and white signs were replaced (gradually) with the ones you see today during the late 90s/early 2000s.

    There was also around the time that they put up those gigantic poster board-size green and white signs along main thoroughfares at intersections with traffic signals.

    Name:  2019_11_17_9_54_38.jpg
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  24. #24

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    Isaac - thank you so much for all of your work on this incredible trove of images, and for keeping it up and active for all of these years. Thank you also for coming back to this thread to explain how this resource came into being, and for the wonderful news that the search function is up and working again via the updated link you posted. As I'm sure you are aware, this is an invaluable site for all of us who are interested in the modern history of our city.

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