Detroit, Otherwise Known As
Like any royalty, it has many titles: “Motor City”, “Detroit City”, or “Motown." More recently she’s been called “Rock City,” the “City of Champions” and “313." During the Gilded Age it was known as the “Paris of the West.” Like the hydra, it has many faces, and each seeks to satiate its appetites – a feast of flesh, a kiss of desire.

“The irony is, for a place once dedicated to creating objects whose very purpose was motion, the city has become stagnant and stationary.” – Promethean: The Created – Saturnine Night 111)

History- 200+ years at a glance

  • Founded in 1701, by Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.
  • During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes launched Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit, but failed to capture it. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796).
  • In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive.
  • In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue. During this period, Detroit was allowed to expand its borders annexing all or part of several surrounding villages and townships.
  • 1903 Ford founds Ford Motor Company – along came William C. Durant, Dodge brothers, Packard, Walter Chrysler
  • 1920s –1933 Purple Gang = bootleggers “rotten, purple like the color of bad meat.”
  • 1920s- 1930s – Ku Klux Klan hub
  • 1943 Detroit Race Riot, 1967 Twelfth Street Riot, etc.
  • Emerged as major metropolitan area in 1950s and 1960s (creation of its freeway system)
  • 2000-2010 city’s population fell by 25%
  • Metro area population in 1950 = 1.8 million; 2010 = 714,000
  • Bankruptcy in 2013!


  • 5.2 million people
  • Poverty: >50% of 305,000 land owners in 2011 failed to pay their taxes
  • 83% Black/ African- American; 11% White; 1% Native American; 1% Asian; 3% Other
  • 7% identified as Latino – of any race (many mixed) & any ancestry (Mexican, Puerto Rican)


  • In order of importance: auto-mobile, emerging technologies (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, hydrogen fuel cell tech), healthcare, casino gaming, transportation.
  • 1/10 Population of the city works in these industries:
    Detroit Medical Center (11, 500 employees); City of Detroit (9,600); Quicken Loans (9,200); Henry For Health System (8,800); Detroit Public School (6,600); US Government (6, 300); Wayne University (6,000); Chrysler (5,400); Blue Shield Blue Cross (5,400); General Motors (4,300); State of Michigan (3,900); DTE Energy (3,900); St. Providence Healthcare System; US Postal System; Wayne County; MGM Grand Casino (2,500); MotorCity Casino (2,000); Compuware (1,900); Detroit Diesel (1,700); Greektown Casino


Detroit Heart of Darkness signcontrast