A Taste of Detroit
A walk around some historic places.
The Eight Mile Wall, also known as The Detroit Wall, is a little-known piece of history that stands as testament to Detroit’s racial segregation. There is a six-foot-long, one foot thick wall that was built to separate white and black residents. The wall was constructed by land developers in 1941, after planning since the 30s as a visible barrier to separate a predominately black neighborhood from a prospective white neighborhood. All of this began after the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refused to approve loans in a racially-mixed area.
The Kronk Gym is a boxing gym located in Detroit, once led by legendary trainer Emanuel Steward. It was run out of the basement of the oldest recreation center of the City of Detroit, and became a household word in the sport of boxing.
The Motown Museum is located at Hitsville USA, the original home of Motown Records from 1959-1972. Founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., Motown Records would become the most successful independent record label in the industry and the largest black-owned company in the U.S. at one time. The "Motown Sound" jump-started the careers of notable artists like The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and the Jackson 5. Visitors to the museum can see Studio A, where some of the most famous Motown songs were recorded, along with a collection of other memorabilia from the era.
The Ford Piquette Avenue plant holds a very significant place in automotive history. Built in 1904, this plant was the first building built for Ford Motor Company. This is where Henry Ford and his team built the first 15,000 Model Ts, the first affordable car to be accessible to the average family.
The Detroit Historical Society was founded in 1921 and opened the Detroit Historical Museum in 1928. The society and its museum seek to "tell Detroit's stories and why they matter." The current museum building was dedicated in 1951 and features exhibits on Detroit's growth from a frontier town to one of the largest urban areas of the nation.
Established in 1885, the the Detroit Institute of Arts remains one of the most revered art museums in the nation owing to the strength of its vast collections. The original building utilizes white marble and was designed by Paul Cret. The museum includes over one hundred galleries and is the fifth largest art museum in the country. The museum also includes a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture and recital hall, an art history library, and an art conservation services laboratory. The museum is a contributing property to the Cultural Center Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.