The city’s central business district. It is home to several nice parks, the country’s second-largest large theatre district, great architecture, and many of the city’s attractions. It is Detroit’s center of life. The area contains many of the prominent skyscrapers in Detroit, including the Renaissance Center, the Penobscot Building, and the Guardian Building – nicknamed the ‘Cathedral of Finance’. The downtown area features high-rise residential living along with a number of parks including those linked by a promenade along the International Riverfront. In the 21st century the Detroit downtown experienced significant construction and revitalization. Three new casinos, new stadiums, a new massive riverfront park project all brought Detroit back to some of its original glory – at least here, where the money flows.

Midtown-New Center
The city’s cultural center, home to several world class museums and galleries. The area is also home to some great 1920s architecture. It is probably the most unique destination in Detroit. Here one might see any of a series of Gilded Age mansions: the David Whitney House located at 4421 Woodward Avenue. It was restored in 1986 & is now known as The Whitney Restaurant. During the 1920’s some referred to Detroit as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, which had been recently electrified by Thomas Edison. The city had grown steadily from the 1830s with the rise of shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industries. Today these architectural wonders nestle between an odd mix of high-rises, parks, and large traffic circles.

East Side
A diverse residential area that varies between expensive condominiums, an urban farming community, urban decay rowhouses, and parks. This large part of the city includes much of the riverfront, Belle Isle, the historic Eastern Market, Pewabic Pottery, and more.

Southwest Side
Home to many of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods, such as Mexicantown and Corktown. The area is mostly known for its cuisine in these ethnic neighborhoods; however it is also home to many historical sites, such as the Michigan Central Station, Tiger Stadium, and Fort Wayne.

West Side
Home to many historic neighborhoods, the University District, the Michigan State Fair, and much of the infamous 8 Mile. Locals see 8 Mile as a visible dividing line between racial groups in Detroit and a monument to the way in which race and class persist as central issues for the city, in part because the suburban counties of Oakland and Macomb remain, on the whole, significantly whiter and more prosperous than the city of Detroit. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the median family income for the city of Detroit, whose population was 81.55% African-American, was $33,853, and 26.1% of the population lived below the poverty line. By contrast, the median family income for Oakland County, whose population was 82.75% white, was $75,540, and only 5.5% of residents lived below the poverty line.

Hamtramck-Highland Park
While not part of the City of Detroit, the cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park are surrounded by Detroit except where they border each other. Hamtramck is sometimes referred to as “Poletown” because of the large Polish population and influence in the city. Highland Park is home to many historic buildings and neighborhoods.


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