City Club Apartment Construction in Detroit


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  1. #1

    Default I seek sources of info about Detroit circa 1975-1978

    Hi! I'm Daniel S. Duvall of DanDuvall dot com.

    I'm crafting a work of fiction that begins in Detroit in 1975, then has scenes in 1976 and 1977. After that, the main characters leave Michigan, but I may need info about Detroit of 1978 anyhow.

    Please recommend books, periodicals, documentaries, and other sources of info that might give me a sense of the city during that era. I'm willing to obtain tangible periodicals via inter-library loan -- are there are Detroit-centric magazines from the 1970s?

    I live in Ohio and have not been to Detroit for nearly 30 years.



  2. #2


    The Fifth Estate. Metro Times. Cream. The Free Press and News. Detroit Almanac.

    You should arrange a meeting at the Burton Library and plan on spending a solid week here.

  3. #3



    I was editor of "Ethnic-City: A Guide to Ethnic Detroit" in 1976. This was focused on Detroit's ethnic communities - restaurants, bakeries, bars, cultural groups, media, etc.

    I also edited a series of ethnic field trip guides starting in 1975. These little booklets 16-24pp. also included topics above, but had a geographic focus. They are a good snapshot in time of that era. Some take a historical focus. I collaborated with friends and colleagues:
    - Eastside Polish community with Paul Wrobel
    - Jewish community by Phil Appelbaum (A short version of his WSU Masters thesis)
    - Greektown by Ernie Zachary
    - Historic Black Community by Sylvia Williams of Detroit Historical Museum
    - The French by Rudy Heller of the University of Windsor
    - Delray by Hauck-Abonyi and Horvath
    - The Latin Quarter by the now famous Rodriguez

    At the time the DPL, Reuther Archives, WSU Folk Lore Archives, Detroit Historical Museum all had this complete sets and additional publications.

    The city directories are great sources, but this niche set of publications may also be useful to you. Good luck on your quest.

  4. #4


    Those years are best left in the closet. Bad hair, horrible fashion and terrible cars.

  5. #5


    Gnome: Thanks -- I found the site for The Fifth Estate and have read bits of the archive there... some amusing and insightful reports.

    SFDS: I've emailed Reuther and asked about obtaining materials via inter-library loan.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Colombian Dan View Post
    Those years are best left in the closet. Bad hair, horrible fashion and terrible cars.
    But the best music ever......The decade of the 70's.

  7. #7

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    Across from my house on Archdale was a house that got raided frequently from 76-79. Helicopter lights shined in my window nightly it seemed. I was 12 in '79 and came out of the garage one July afternoon after working on my bike and an officer yelled at me to get in my house.

    There were 15 or more police cars. After this "peaceful" raid, officers took close to an hour loading up their trunks with tons and tons of weapons. My friend's dad across the street asked me later if I saw the bazooka. Cases big and small, bags full. We always assumed they were drug-dealers (that would've been the "heron" den next door), turns out all they ran were firearms.

  9. #9


    Hello, Hamtragedy. Do you have any anecdotes about a Royal Oak record store called Off the Record?

  10. #10


    Might not be what you want, but maybe you can talk to the author or some of the contributers

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel S Duvall View Post
    Do you have any anecdotes about a Royal Oak record store called Off the Record?
    Off The Record had a couple locations. The original store was in Dearborn. They moved to a larger location in Dearborn and later opened the Royal Oak store. They moved to a larger storefront in Royal Oak before finally closing.

    They were a great store to find imported records, mainly new wave and punk, and they stocked zines. I used to travel from Warren to Dearborn just to find copies of Kerrang! Magazine in the early-80's. There just weren't many places to find underground metal records and magazines in the Detroit area back then.

  12. #12


    I don't have any real anecdotes of Off the Record, but as a college dj, I found myself at either the RO or Dearborn location. As mentioned, they stocked punk and new wave (I may have picked up a New Order EP there). But Sam's Jams in Ferndale was the go-to in my book mostly for imports, whether albums or EPs (12" extended play). So was Buy-Rite on 7 mile near Monica, which stocked all the early 80s electronica, (Cybotron, Afrika Bambaada, Kraftwerk), imported campy disco, and techno, years before those terms were coined.

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