City Club Apartment Construction in Detroit


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  1. #1

    Default Detroit Urban Conservation Project 1976

    We all know about this wonderful photo collection by now, hopefully.

    I have been fully entrenched in the archives for the past few days, but I do have a question.

    Can anyone tell me what agency conducted this project? And for what purpose?

    At first I thought it was for the sole purpose of documenting Victorian era structures throughout the city (those just happened to be the first 10 or so images I selected)

    But I was pleasantly surprised as I turned up a Burger King at 4141 Cass, in all its mid-70s regalia...

    Anyway, thank you in advance.
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    Last edited by coloroflaw; September-04-19 at 06:06 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3


    These photos were commissioned by the Michigan's State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) with an eye towards assessing the general state of the buildings in Detroit's core and possibilities for historic designation/preservation. I believe that at least some of the funding for this came from federal bicentennial grants, which spurred a lot of historical preservation activity.

    The photos, even with their obvious flaws, present an incredible reference of the city right on the verge of its 3+ decades of depopulation and collapse. It is obvious from several of the photos that the abandonment and demolition by neglect of older structures is already well underway by 1976 (in fact, it really began under the Nixon administration with Romney's misguided HUD policies). The photos are particularly valuable in documenting the Brush Park area, which was still mostly intact at that time. Older Detroiters will remember that there was a bicentennial historic project undertaken there beginning in 1976 (the Woodward East Project) that ran afoul of poor planning and corruption and ended up half-finished, closed and isolated several streets, left many structures vacant and damaged, and was really the beginning of the devastation of that beautiful housing stock for the next couple of decades.

    The archive ( seems to be currently maintained online by an urban planner named Isaac Kremer, who is originally from Michigan and now working in New Jersey. It's great it's still there, but it would be a lot more useful if the search function could be fixed. Here is another thread about the photos, including the location of the negatives, from a few years back:
    Last edited by EastsideAl; September-05-19 at 10:46 AM.

  4. #4


    Great answer, eastsideal! Thanks for the information.

  5. #5


    This site comes up every once in a while. I wonder if the website owner knows why they get a traffic spike occasionally. Whoever it is, they have my thanks!

    If it helps, you can get back to a page by typing the page number (39, here) at the end of this link:

    Last edited by archfan; September-06-19 at 01:17 AM.

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