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In the last 15 years, Midtown Detroit has gone from a relative urban wasteland to the crown jewel of Detroit's urban revival. In the post war-era, the neighborhoods immediately north of Detroit's CBD became known as the Cass Corridor, Detroit's version of Skid Row. It was home to drug houses, sleazy hotels, housing projects, and many of the city's social services for the poor. By the 70's and 80's the neighborhood was a well-known legend among suburbanites.

The Cass Corridor was always home to cultural institutions such as the Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, the Detroit Institute of Arts, etc. and even as far back as the late 80's, the neighborhood was seeing pocket revival efforts. However, beginning in the late 90's and especially into the early 00's, the neighborhood began to see dramatic changes. New and renovated housing units as well as shops, galleries and restaurants have been popping up all over the neighborhood. Even the name changed, with Midtown becoming a more popular term for the neighborhood. In the last ten years, it is estimated that the population has increased by several thousand, with most of that gain coming from supposed "hipsters".;)

These pics were taken a few days ago on a nice fall day.

The Willys-Overland Lofts are in a renovated building once used by a company that would later be more famously known as Jeep:


An art gallery is the building's first commercial tenant:


The North Cass Community Garden produces fresh vegetables for neighborhood residents:




This "upscale resale" shop recently opened:


A closer view of the backside of the Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant:


And a shot from the front -- I'm not sure why it has that name...


The Sheridan Court Apartments are located at the corner of 2nd and Canfield not far from the Wayne State campus:


The Canfield Lofts are located in an old Buick dealership:


The Bureau of Urban Living is a home goods store catering to the local hipsters:


The Motor City Brewing Works is the home of locally famous beers such as Ghettoblaster:


A view into the West Canfield historic district:


The block is home to over a dozen Victorian mansions:




The house on the end is the last house to be renovated:


The street is made of extremely bumpy cobblestone:


Nine on Third is a recent addition to the West Canfield district. It wouldn't hurt to add a few flower boxes in the windows.;)


A ministry group has taken over the retail space in this 19th century storefronts:


The Beethoven Apartments were recently renovated into market-rate apartments:


Twins on Prentis Street:


No, we're not in New York:


Detroit's first "green alley" can be see to the left:


I've always had a thing for the Hollenden:


More apartments on Forest Ave:


The Little Asia market caters to the growing Asian population in Midtown:


Housing along 3rd Street:


3rd Bar has taken over the former Third Street Saloon:


A peek at the Hancock Apartments on Hancock Street:


This historic mansion is now home to the Central Alliance Church:


Historic homes along Prentis Street:


Shangri-La is a new Chinese restaurant not far from the Wayne State campus:


The Mackenzie House and a peek at the Hillberry Theatre on the Wayne State University campus:


The Thompson home was built in 1884 as a "retirement home" for elderly ladies, but now serves as the School of Social Work for the University:


Old Main serves as the symbol of Wayne State University. It was originally built in 1896 to serve as the home of Detroit Central High School:


Though the earliest college of Wayne State dates to 1868, it was in Old Main in 1917, that the Detroit Junior College, precursor to the modern university, was first organized. It became the four year College of the City of Detroit in 1923, and Wayne University in 1933. The "State" was added in 1956:


Barnes & Noble sits at the corner of Cass and Warren at the heart of the university campus:


The Science Hall sits at the opposite corner:


The Maccabees Building is famous for being the "birthplace" of the Lone Ranger when the building was home of to the WXYZ radio and television station. It is now home to university administrative offices:


The Welcome Center was built several years ago to give the University a "face" along Woodward Avenue:


"Progress" at the corner of Woodward and Warren as several historic buildings are razed:


Initially the area will serve as a plaza/commons for the University, but eventually the goal is to have a hotel/conference center at that corner:


Away from the University, Woodward Avenue was once famous for its massive churches:




You know you're in Detrorit when a fast food drive-thru thrives in your most urban neighborhood:;)


The Detroit Artists Market dates back to 1932 and is one of the oldest art galleries in the nation:


Many of the shops that were displaced by the demolition shown above have since moved to the new Studio One Apartments further down Woodward:


Built in 1894, the Whitney House was once the largest private residence in the city. In 1986 the Whitney Restaurant opened in the building and quickly became one of the city's premiere restaurants:


The 55 West Canfield Lofts were developed by the same man behind the Canfield Lofts further down the street:


Kim's Produce is one of the few places in the neighborhood offering fresh produce on a daily basis:


The Raw Cafe will be opening soon in the Majestic complex:


The Majestic Theatre Complex is a popular hangout for the "hipster" crowd:


That's all for now... I'll add more later. Hope you enjoyed.:)
 

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You didn't show the bleak, bombed out ghetto that lies behind each one of those buildings. I know because I work there.

What middle class person is going to send their kid to Wayne State?
 

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Nice stuff. Looks like it would be a cool area to explore. Too bad they built the Welcome Center in front of that beautiful Maccabees Building - blocking the view from the front. Great 1920's apartment buildings.
 

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Great shots, Hudkina! Looks like a very upscale, beautiful area of the city.

Also, what is up with Paddington? I don't remember him being such a d-bag in the forums up until recently.
 

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Nice looking neighborhood!

I didn't realize that Wayne State was such a substantial university. For some reason its name makes it sound like a rinky-dink college.
 

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Also, what is up with Paddington? I don't remember him being such a d-bag in the forums up until recently.
I'm not sure where you've been, then, because he's been that way from the very day he got here. You can go back through his earliest posts if you don't believe me.

Great tour, Hud. I would like to see more of the actual Cass Corridor, though.
 

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I am loving those photos. I am going to show some of the people at work here in Seattle my alma mater. Just for the record I was one of those middle class kids that went to Wayne State.....of course that was 35 years ago before it looked this nice :laugh: Oh and just for the record the reason I got hired out here for my 1st teaching job was the fact that I went to Wayne State because it at least then had a reputation for having one of the best education programs in the country.
 

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I am loving those photos. I am going to show some of the people at work here in Seattle my alma mater. Just for the record I was one of those middle class kids that went to Wayne State.....of course that was 35 years ago before it looked this nice :laugh: Oh and just for the record the reason I got hired out here for my 1st teaching job was the fact that I went to Wayne State because it at least then had a reputation for having one of the best education programs in the country.
I find it hard to believe that Wayne State is well regarded for pretty much anything. I told people in Toledo that my new job was affiliated with Wayne State, and all I got was blank stares. What's worse is here in Detroit I tell people that I work at the DMC, and the response I get is, "Is that a casino"? :hahaha:

The Detroit Medical Center is a bombed out ghetto?
Yes I know the DMC. Why just today I was at Detroit Receiving Hospital. In fact I work in all of its buildings on different days, including Children's and Harper University Hospital. And the affiliated Karmanos. The DMC is surrounded by real bad ghetto on at least 3 of its 4 sides. I've been accosted by panhandlers walking from Harper to Detroit Receiving many times. The other day some guy was shot on the street corner and they dumped him right at the doorstep. Unfortunately, it wasn't at either of the 2 emergency departments, so an ambulance ended up being called. In fact I was the first one at the scene.

Last night I was at a drug rep dinner at the historic Mario's restaurant near the Cass corridor. It was disappointing. Good thing someone else was paying for it. That said the Whitney is decent. Which I have also been to during a drug rep dinner. :dunno:

Overall though, I gtfo Midtown asap as I find it a shithole. Hudkina's pictures cleverly conceal the bleak ghetto, bombed out structures, trash, graffiti, and crackheads that constitute the bulk of the immediate areas surrounding wsu/dmc.
 

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nice work man, these are some really good photos. Glad to hear that Detroit neighorhoods are rebounding. Similar changes happened in Milwaukee with former hellholes turning into pretty nice neighborhoods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I find it hard to believe that Wayne State is well regarded for pretty much anything. I told people in Toledo that my new job was affiliated with Wayne State, and all I got was blank stares. What's worse is here in Detroit I tell people that I work at the DMC, and the response I get is, "Is that a casino"? :hahaha:
Wayne State has a good medical school, a great engineering school, and a decent law school. It may not be Harvard, but it's not as bad as you think.

Yes I know the DMC. Why just today I was at Detroit Receiving Hospital. In fact I work in all of its buildings on different days, including Children's and Harper University Hospital. And the affiliated Karmanos. The DMC is surrounded by real bad ghetto on at least 3 of its 4 sides.
So the area to the north is a ghetto despite being home to the DIA, the College for Creative Studies, the Detroit Science Center, the African American Museum, the Inn on Ferry Street, and hundreds of new market-rate townhomes? The area to the west is a ghetto despite being home to Orchestra Hall, the Performing Arts High School, The Majestic Theatre complex, dozens of Wayne State school buildings, and thousands of apartments filled with mostly hipsters, college kids, and professionals? The area to the south is a ghetto despite having dozens of new market-rate infill apartments, dozens of renovated historic mansions and apartment buildings, the Bonstelle Theatre, the Ellington, a new center for Michigan State University, and a brand new grocery store/butcher shop?

I've been accosted by panhandlers walking from Harper to Detroit Receiving many times. The other day some guy was shot on the street corner and they dumped him right at the doorstep. Unfortunately, it wasn't at either of the 2 emergency departments, so an ambulance ended up being called. In fact I was the first one at the scene.
Yes, panhandlers are a major part of living in an urban center. They are in New York, San Francisco and every city in between. Hell the fact that there are panhandlers in the neighborhood shows just how well off the neighborhood is. You're not going to find panhandlers in the ghetto... And even then, from my experience, the panhandlers in Detroit aren't even remotely aggressive. If you are so offended when someone asks you to spare a dollar, then maybe you'd better not work in any cities...

And as far as Midtown's murder rate, it's relatively average for comparable neighborhoods in other cities. It's certainly not as high as many might expect, but murders do occur as they do in every urban center. A handful of murders doesn't mean an area is a ghetto...

Last night I was at a drug rep dinner at the historic Mario's restaurant near the Cass corridor. It was disappointing. Good thing someone else was paying for it. That said the Whitney is decent. Which I have also been to during a drug rep dinner. :dunno:
So you didn't like a restaurant? And? Who cares... That's irrelevent...

Overall though, I gtfo Midtown asap as I find it a shithole. Hudkina's pictures cleverly conceal the bleak ghetto, bombed out structures, trash, graffiti, and crackheads that constitute the bulk of the immediate areas surrounding wsu/dmc.
Maybe if you got out of your car once in awhile you'd find it to be a much more dynamic neighborhood. It obviously has its rough patches, particularly in the Cass Park area, but it has a lot more going for it than you think you know. Also, I'm not sure which bombed out structures you are referring to that I'm concealing, as except for the Cass Park area, there's not much to see, especially in the northern 2/3 of the neighborhood.

BTW, aren't you from India or somewhere in South Asia anyway? You don't have much room to talk... Hell, if your parents moved to Toledo from India, that shows what a shithole that country is, right? LOL.;)
 

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:soapbox:I certainly can respect different perspectives, glass half full kind of thing, but effort is being made to reclaim, revitialize and rebuild albeit on a relatively small scale right now. The hardest thing imo is changing attitudes and constructive critisizm is good but if all one can see is what is wrong rather than acknowledging it and then seeing the opportunities that are possible then all I see is someone who is hard to take very seriously. It is the easiest thing in the world to point out only shortcomings. I truely have to admire those people who are the risk takers and are actually doing something to change their surroundings in a positive way:)
 

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If you are so offended when someone asks you to spare a dollar, then maybe you'd better not work in any cities...
quoted for truth. paddington seems to lack a very fundamental and basic understanding of how cities work. here in chicago i've been approached by beggars in the loop, river north, mag mile, streeterville, gold coast, old town, lincoln park, lakeview, wicker park, and countless other places, including right outside of the front door of the brand new trump tower. the places i'm mentioning are seriously some of the absolute most expensive and ritziest urban real estate available anywhere in the midwest, but to paddington i suppose it's all just worthless ghetto in his warped, absurdity-ridden mind.



anyway, great pics and commentary. awesome documentation of a neighborhood rebuilding itself into living proof that detroit will rise again.
 

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"Initially the area will serve as a plaza/commons for the University, but eventually the goal is to have a hotel/conference center at that corner"

Thats slightly disappointing, i came into Michigan yesterday for my grandmas funeral and the megabus's stop is at Wayne State. Saw the demolition that was going on and came on this site to see what was getting built.

"You didn't show the bleak, bombed out ghetto that lies behind each one of those buildings. I know because I work there."

At first i thought he was being sarcastic. As someone who's not a huge fan of Detroit, even i actually quite like this area. In-fact its the only area id consider living in if i ever moved back to Michigan. Midtown seems to be getting nicer every time i visit, hopefully this progress can slowly creep towards downtown and fill in the gap between midtown and downtown.
 
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