Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1701; Incorporated: 1802 (Village), 1815 (City)
Location: Southeastern border of Michigan, where the Detroit River separates the United States and Canada. Because of a bend in the river, Detroit is directly north of Windsor, Ontario.
Motto: " Resurget Cineribus " (It shall rise again from the ashes) and " Speramus Meliora " (We hope for better things)
Flower: Apple Blossom (Pyrus coronaria)
Time Zone: 7 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White 21.6%, Black 75.7%, American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut 0.4%, Asian and Pacific Islander 0.8%, Other 1.5% (1990 Census)
Elevation: 585 feet above sea level
Coastline: Michigan has 3,288 miles of shoreline.
Climate: Winters are cold; summers are hot and humid.
Annual Mean Temperature: 48.6°F; January, 28.1°F; July 72.3°F
Annual Precipitation: 30.97 in (787 mm)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Unit: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 313, 810, 248, 734
Postal Codes: 48201–48240, 48242–48244

2. Getting There

Located in Southeastern Michigan, Detroit is the largest city in the state. It is a well-designed city. Transportation flows smoothly, like the spokes of the wheel it represents. The street signs are generally visible; entrance and exit ramps are clearly identified, and monitored parking is available. None of this should be a surprise in the automobile capital of the world.


Served by several interstate highways and a number of additional limited-access expressways, Detroit's freeway system, designed in the 1950s, is one of the most efficient in the country. Networks of six-lane freeways weave across city boundaries. Drivers can access the city from either north or south on Interstate-75 or US-10; east and westbound expressways include Interstates 696, 96, and 94.


Detroit is also home to two major airports: Wayne County Metropolitan Airport and City Airport. Wayne County Airport is a regional center for Northwest Airlines and is the world's 14th busiest airport. Located 29 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of downtown, it is a major international business and leisure travel hub with 1,200 scheduled departures and landings per day. Geographically, Detroit is about a 90-minute or less flight to over 60 percent of the United States. A $1.6 billion expansion project that began in 1996 includes new construction and improvements to the three existing terminals. The scheduled project completion year is 2001. All major domestic airline carriers and three international carriers offer service from this locale.

Detroit City Airport is located about 16 kilometers (ten miles) from downtown and offers both private and commercial passenger service.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) has distinctive green and yellow bus stations and runs a prompt schedule on a fixed route. Most routes operate during the day and evenings until 1 AM. The fare is $1.25; transfers are 25 cents. Tickets can be purchased at Comerica Bank branches.

The Downtown Detroit Trolley operates authentic trolley cars, manufactured from 1895 through the 1920s, along Jefferson Avenue and Washington Boulevard, between the Renaissance Center and Grand Circus Park. Correct change is required for the 50-cent fare.

The People Mover is transportation by monorail on an elevated track that encompasses a three-mile radius. Another economic 50-cent fare allows a bird's-eye view of the city. Normal business hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 AM–11 PM. Friday and Saturday until midnight, and Sunday until 8 PM. Token machines are at every station, but hours of operation may change.

The buses for Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), located at 660 Woodward Avenue, run a flexible agenda and various routes between Detroit and its surrounding suburbs to accommodate the lifestyles of its passengers. Whether heading to the office, shopping malls, or major attractions, SMART transports for $1.50 fare. Customer Service is open from 6:30 AM until 6 PM.


A vacation means sights, sounds, and flavors. Visitors can have it all by sightseeing on foot. Enjoy a coney dog, a walk through Hart Plaza, and a visit to "The Fist," Robert Graham's 7-meter (24-foot) sculpture commemorating Detroit boxer Joe Louis at Woodward and Jefferson Avenue. Take a city bus down Woodward to the Campus Martius area and view the figure of " Emancipation, " modeled after Sojourner Truth, the nineteenth-century abolitionist and feminist who is rumored to have lived in the area at the time. The outdoor plazas and sidewalks invite bicycles and roller blades, and summer months find the streets filled with people and activity.

22. For Further Study


Detroit Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 7, 2000).

Detroit Institute of Arts. [Online] Available (accessed February 7, 2000).

Metro Guide. [Online] Available (accessed February 7, 2000).

Visit Detroit. [Online] Available (accessed February 7, 2000).

Government Offices

Detroit City Clerk
200 City County Building
(313) 224-3270

Detroit City Council
1340 City County Building
(313) 224-3443

Detroit Mayor's Office (Dennis Archer)
2 Woodward Avenue
(313) 224-3400

Detroit Port Authority
8109 E. Jefferson
(313) 331-3842

Ombudsman Office
114 City County Building
(313) 224-6000

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Cobo Hall Conference Center
1 Washington Boulevard
(313) 877-8111

Detroit Chamber of Commerce
1 Woodward Avenue, Suite 1700
Detroit, Michigan 49232
(313) 964-4000

Metropolitan Detroit Convention
and Visitors Bureau
211 W. Fort Street, Suite 100
Detroit, Michigan 48226
(313) 202-1952


Crain's Business
1400 Woodbridge
Detroit, MI
(888) 909-9111

Detroit News/Free Press
615 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 222-6400

Metro Times
733 St. Antoine
Detroit, MI

Michigan Chronicle
479 Ledyard
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 963-5522

Observer and Eccentric Newspapers
805 E. Maple
Birmingham, MI
(248) 644-1100


Beasley, Norman and George W. Stark. Made in Detroit. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1957.

Henrickson, Wilma Wood. Detroit Perspectives, Crossroads and Turning Points. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.

Stark, George W. City of Destiny. Detroit: Arnold-Powers, Inc., 1943.