America’s First Urban Freeway: Detroit’s Davison Freeway

The Davison Urban Freeway by Wayne State University

The Davison Urban Freeway by Wayne State University

The Daily Detroit is one of my favorite Michigan podcasts, and their story on The Davison, America’s First Urban Freeway in Detroit is pretty cool: 

While freeways are pretty standard in American cities now, it wasn’t always that way. Instead of the ability to potentially go up to 70 miles an hour like on today’s highways, motorists had to use regular city streets to cross town. That was especially the case for motorists who wanted to cross Highland Park and enter Detroit.

Everyone piled onto Davison Avenue, the only large street that ran through Highland Park and connected to Detroit running roughly east to west. The avenue and freeway was named after an English immigrant from the 1840s that settled in the area, Jared Davison (it was then Hamtramck Township). His farm was approximately between Woodward and Oakland avenues along the south side of the street.

It wasn’t uncommon for drivers to spend 15 minutes sitting in traffic to reach Detroit. By 1940, thanks to Detroit’s growth and the growth of auto factories, Davison Avenue was approaching gridlock during rush hour by 1940.

…By November 1942, the five and a half mile long Davison Freeway was finished. It opened without a dedication ceremony, probably due to the desperate need the defense plants had for a functioning freeway. Despite its lack of dedication, the freeway became the first one of its kind – an urban freeway meant to connect one part of a metro area with another with as little interruption as possible.

…Ironically, the invention from Highland Park eventually played a key role in emptying the city out. In 1992, Chrysler moved their headquarters down the road – off of I-75 with a special off-ramp built for the development – to Auburn Hills, to follow the trend of suburban sprawl that the American highway system helped enable.

Read more at the Daily Detroit!

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It’s baseball, even if the Tigers are struggling

Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers by Dan Gaken

Cubs at Detroit Tigers by Dan Gaken

Dan went to Comerica Park this weekend to see the Tigers face the Cubs. The Tigers lost, but as John commented,  “It’s baseball even if the Tigers are struggling.” Indeed!

See more awesome shots from Comerica & elsewhere in Dan’s America’s Baseball Stadiums gallery on Flickr.

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Love gives back

Love by Ansonredford

Love by Ansonredford

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

Here’s an awesome piece of graffiti that Donald captured last summer in Detroit. Check out his Graffiti gallery on Flickr for more!

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Happy Birthday, Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium Deconstruction by Paul Hitz

Tiger Stadium Deconstruction by Paul Hitz

Tiger Stadium at the corner of Michigan & Trumbull in Detroit opened 109 years ago on April 20, 1912. As good of a field as Comerica Park is (and it’s pretty darned good), I’m never not going to miss Tiger Stadium. If you’d like to read a wonderful account of the history of the stadium and The Corner, head over to Historic Detroit. It begins:

Whether as a 103-year-old site for pro baseball or as an 87-year-old stadium, the corner of Michigan and Trumbull is the home of memories for millions of fans. The park sat vacant since hosting its final game on Sept. 27, 1999, until June 30, 2008, when demolition began.

Professional baseball was first played on the site, at a 5,000-seat ballpark known as Bennett Park, on April 28, 1896 — three years before Detroit even had an auto plant. The field, named after fan favorite Charlie Bennett, was built on the former site of a municipal hay market. The park was razed after the 1911 season and replaced with 23,000-seat Navin Field. The ballpark as we know it today opened April 20, 1912, the same day as Fenway Park in Boston — and five days after the RMS Titanic sank.

Paul took this photo back in 2008 when they were demolishing the ballpark. It’s long been one of my favorites. See more from Paul in his Detroit gallery on Flickr & at United Photo Works.

PS: The Corner Ballpark sits where Tiger Stadium. It is the home of the Detroit Police Athletic League program and features a great ballpark with the Willie Horton Field of Dreams.

PPS: Tons more Tiger Stadium photos on Michigan in Pictures!

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Remembering Better Made’s Salvatore Cipriano

Better Made Potato Chips - A Detroit Tradition by Derek Farr

Better Made Potato Chips – A Detroit Tradition by Derek Farr

The Freep reports that Better Made Snack Foods CEO Salvatore (Sam) Cipriano passed away yesterday:

Salvatore “Sam” Cipriano with sister Cathy Gusmano
Salvatore Cipriano with sister Cathy Gusmano

He was the second generation to lead Better Made, and the family-owned Detroit potato chip company said he took the business to new heights. Even amid the pandemic, Better Made has been rolling out new flavors.

“He was loved by everyone at Better Made and those that knew him,” said his sister, Cathy Gusmano, chairwoman of the snack food company’s board, adding he “will be missed tremendously.”

…”Our family has always taken pride in how we make our products with quality being paramount,” Cipriano said at the time. “From our humble beginnings when Detroit had over 20 potato chip manufacturers, we’ve tried to make the best product possible, and that hard work paid off as we’re the last one standing.”

Better Made started in 1930 as the Cross and Peters Co., named after the founders, Cross Moceri and Peter Cipriano (Salvatore’s father), but incorporated a few years later to reflect the goal that the two men had set: To make a better potato chip.

More at the Freep & be sure to check out Better Made’s Instagram where I got this nice photo of Sam & Cathy.

Derek took this photo of Better Made’s Detroit factory & store. See lots more awesome pics in his Detroit Gallery on Flickr.

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Opening Day 2021!

5 Days by Kevin Povenz

5 Days by Kevin Povenz

The Detroit Tigers open the 2021 season at Comerica Park today at 1:10 PM. MLB shares:

Cleveland heads into the season looking to lean on its stars to keep its window of contention open for another run at the postseason. The Tigers return to Motown with a new manager looking for a fresh start and an influx of young talent looking to turn the corner on their rebuild and begin the climb back toward contention.

…It’ll be a different-looking opener due to the pandemic, but the 20 percent capacity allowed marks the first game with fans at Comerica Park since Sept. 26, 2019. Fans will be greeted with a familiar division rivalry that Cleveland has owned in recent years, including 18 wins in 19 meetings in ’19, and seven of 10 games last season.

…manager A.J. Hinch will make his first appearance in a Tigers uniform since he was Detroit’s backup catcher on the 2003 team. He’ll also manage his first Major League game since he led the Astros in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. Hinch sat out last year under suspension from Major League Baseball stemming from the Astros’ sign-stealing investigation, a controversy that led to his dismissal as manager in Houston.

Kevin shared this photo back in 2014. You can see more in his Fun & Interesting album & for sure follow him on Flickr to see his latest shots!

More Detroit Tigers on Michigan in Pictures!

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Sofa, Sand & Saipan

Private First Class Raymond L Hubbard from Detroit by Andrew B Knight

Private First Class Raymond L Hubbard from Detroit by Andrew B Knight

My buddy Cave Canem shared this absolute gem of a photo in our Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook. He writes:

A Special Treat…

“Sitting on top of the world: Of all things, Private First Class Raymond L. Hubbard from Detroit, Michigan chooses a huge exploded naval shell as a sofa as he removes a three day accumulation of Saipan sand from his field shoes.”

Photograph by: Staff Sergeant Andrew B. Knight, US Marine Corps WWII 1939 – 1945

PS: You can see some of Cave Canem’s photos from back in the day on Michigan in Pictures right here!

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Fall Color on the Rouge River

Newburgh Bridge by River Wanderer

Newburgh Bridge by River Wanderer

River Wanderer shared this shot of the Newburgh Bridge along the Middle Rouge River, heading into Newburgh Lake on a beautiful day in October of 2016. See lots more on their Flickr page.

You can learn more about the Rouge River from Friends of the Rouge.

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Schooner on the Detroit Riverfront

Sunset Schooner by Jamie Feldman

Schooner on the Riverfront by Jamie Feldman

Jamie took this back in 2012 on the Detroit riverfront. See more at Feldman Images on Facebook!

More from the Motor City on Michigan in Pictures!

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Detroit will never forget

Belle Isle Coronavirus Memorial by City of Detroit

Belle Isle Coronavirus Memorial by Eric Milliken

“I want everyone to look at this to understand what happened to the city of Detroit.”
~Eric Millikin

This image represents the 1,500 Detroiters lost to COVID-19. Families of 900 of the victims of Covid-19 provided the City of Detroit with the photos to create this powerful image. Residents can drive thru Belle Isle and pay their condolences and view all photos as well as the collage made by artist Eric Millikin on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 1st and 2nd.

The Detroit Free Press interviewed montage creator Eric Millikin:

For artist Eric Millikin, this is the ugly truth behind COVID-19 — a truth he sought to reveal in a powerful image commissioned by the city of Detroit, a mural featuring the faces of 900 Detroiters who lost their lives to the novel coronavirus.

Husbands. Wives. Children. Grandparents. More than 1,500 died between March and August, mostly from Detroit.

Millikin created a montage that forms the iconic “Spirit of Detroit,” using the faces of the people Detroiters long to remember.

…”I want people to see the enormity of that and understand it. It’s absolutely immeasurable. These people — they touched so many other people, and they will never get the chance to touch them again,” Millikin said, his voice trailing off as he choked up. “When they see the enormity of it, they can understand — it didn’t have to be this bad.”

You can click to view the photo bigger on the City of Detroit Facebook. Learn more about Eric on his website & @EricMillikin on Instagram.