Corktown is a historic district located just west of Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is the oldest extant neighborhood in the city. The district’s current boundaries include I-75 to the north, the Lodge Freeway to the east, Bagley and Porter Streets to the south and Rosa Parks Boulevard (12th Street) to the west. The neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The Corktown Historic District is largely residential, although some commercial properties along Michigan Avenue are included in the district. The residential section is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a City of Detroit Historic District. The neighborhood contains many newer homes and retains some original Irish businesses.
The Great Famine of Ireland of the 1840s resulted in extensive Irish migration to the United States and Canada. By the middle of the 19th century, they were the largest ethnic group settling in Detroit, MI. Many of these newcomers settled on the city’s west side; they were primarily from County Cork, and thus the neighborhood became known as Corktown. By the early 1850s, half of the population of the 8th Ward (which contained Corktown) were of Irish descent. Historically, the neighborhood was roughly bounded by Third Street to the east, Grand River Avenue to the north, 12th Street to the west, and Jefferson Avenue/Detroit River to the south. German immigrants had begun making inroads into the Corktown neighborhood by the Civil War. Many immigrants had come from German provinces after the revolutions of 1848. By the turn of the century, the original Irish population had diffused through the city, and new immigrants, notably Mexican and Maltese, moved into this older housing. As the century progressed, migrants from the American South and Appalachia, both black and white, were lured by the jobs in the automobile industry and also went to the city. By the middle of the 20th century, the area of Corktown was reduced through urban renewal schemes, the building of light industrial facilities, and the creation of the Lodge Freeway and Fisher Freeway.
Ford Corktown Campus
The Ford Motor Company started a major redevelopment push in the area, which began development on an urban campus in Corktown in 2017 with its purchase, renovation, and occupation of The Factory building at Michigan Ave. and Rosa Parks Blvd. Ford later bought other parcels of land in Corktown, including the Michigan Central Station and the adjacent Roosevelt Warehouse. Ford plans a new $740 million Corktown campus, including 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use development spread over the Michigan Central Station, Roosevelt Warehouse, the Factory building at 1907 Michigan Avenue, and build a new mixed-use 290,000-square foot (27,000 m2), four-story building on the vacant brass factory building site, known as “The Alchemy,” at 2051 Rosa Park Blvd. Ford also announced plans to build two new parking structures. Bed Bug Exterminator Detroit
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