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Hazel Park, Michigan
City of Hazel Park
Pictured left to right: The Hazel Park Racetrack, the Hazelcrest Apartments, the Monument to the Fallen Heroes at city hall, Hazel Park Welcome Sign in Downtown, and Hazel Park High School
Pictured left to right: The Hazel Park Racetrack, the Hazelcrest Apartments, the Monument to the Fallen Heroes at city hall, Hazel Park Welcome Sign in Downtown, and Hazel Park High School
"The Friendly City"
Location within Oakland County
Location within Oakland County
Hazel Park, Michigan is located in Michigan
Hazel Park, Michigan
Hazel Park, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Oakland
Incorporated 1941
 • Type Council–manager
 • City 2.82 sq mi (7.30 km2)
 • Land 2.82 sq mi (7.30 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
630 ft (192 m)
 • City 16,422
 • Estimate 
 • Density 5,800.92/sq mi (2,239.75/km2)
 • Metro
4,296,250 (Metro Detroit)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 248
FIPS code 26-37420
GNIS feature ID 0628016

Hazel Park is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As a part of Metro Detroit, the city shares its southern border with the city of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,422.

Hazel Park was incorporated as a city in 1941 and bills itself as The Friendly City. From 1949 to 2018, it was the site of the Hazel Park Raceway, considered a high-quality facility originally used for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing. From 1985 on, the track ran only harness races. After 1996, it also provided simulcasts of races year round from across North America, with betting allowed on these races at the track facilities.


In October 1882, a group of farmers gathered in a home located at the present-day city hall and had a meeting, requesting for a school to be built. A one-room school was eventually built in 1883 and later expanded to two rooms. In 1884, John W. Benjamine petitioned the state of Michigan to form a school district out of Royal Oak Township. Benjamine, who was Royal Oak Township's School Inspector, decided to name it Hazel Park School District 8, after the surplus amount of Hazelnut bushes in the area.

In 1920, another building, the Thomas W. Lacey School, was built on present-day Woodruff Street. The original Hazel Park school was sold to Frank Neusius, who used it to open a barber shop and a grocery market. The rapid increase in school children caused the nascent school district to add four grade schools and build a larger building at the central location also called the Lacey School, which became the community focal point for its high school students. The continued population growth of the community led to the construction of Hazel Park High School, so the old high school became Lacey Junior High School, located at John R and Nine Mile Roads.

Hazel Park experienced significant growth as the Ford Motor Company, based in nearby Highland Park, began to expand. Hospitals, offices and shops began to thrive around the area of 9 Mile Road. The electric Stephenson Line was a convenient way for commuters to trolley to Highland Park and Detroit. In 1924, Hazel Park's first traffic light, post office and Deputy Sheriff's office were established. The city was incorporated in 1941.

During the 1930s and 1940s, there were many rallies and community events involving and eventually leading to the revitalization of the city. After the city's incorporation, running water was provided to all areas.

In 1942, the Elias Brothers, John, Fred and Louis Elias, established a diner in Hazel Park. This diner, the Dixie Drive-In, was one of the first in the Midwest to offer curbside services. In 1952, the diner was franchised as a Big Boy restaurant; Louis Elias went on to run for Mayor of Hazel Park, and was in office from 1953 to 1961. The Elias brothers continued to establish Big Boy restaurants throughout the Metro Detroit area until finally purchasing the franchiser in 1983.

The clean-up of the city paved the way for the return of thousands of soldiers from World War II. Housing demand was very high in the area, causing a boom in construction. Many of the bungalows in the city were built just shortly after the war.

Hazel Park Raceway opened in 1949. It is currently the only track in Michigan offering live thoroughbred racing.

The Interstate 75 (I-75) freeway was fully completed through Hazel Park in 1966. The area where it is now was Stephenson Highway, which has a current purpose as a service drive. Similarly, I-696 was constructed through the neighboring city of Madison Heights in 1979, joing the two freeways and creating a busy junction with I-75, part of which extends into Hazel Park's northend.


Hazel Park is exclusive to a few select types of architecture, although numerous styles can be seen in various houses. Many of the city's homes were built in the Cape Cod bungalow style, shortly after World War Two, and have a second story encompassed in the home's roofing.

Michigan bungalows are also common in the city. These houses were originally built during the 1920s and 1930s by the city's original settlers and can often be found near the downtown area.

Ranch houses are very common in the city as well. Most of these houses were built in the northern neighborhoods during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Older ranch houses were often built with aluminum siding, whereas newer ones, such as the ones built in the Courts, were built in brick or stone.

Front split-level and side split-level houses are not common in the city. However, back split houses - split-levels with the second story built into the back - are common in the southern portion of the city near the 8 Mile border. This style of home is often the result of additions often built onto one-story bungalows and ranch houses.

Colonial houses are uncommon in the city, but many are scattered throughout different neighborhoods. These houses are often built in brick and usually resemble urban Tudor houses. Some are built in stone, often more common north of 9 Mile Road. Others are built in the Traditional Tudor style.

New development homes are extremely common in the city. They can be seen on many blocks of Hazel Park, and often range from two-story snout houses to detached single-family brownstones. Many of these houses are built in the Neo-eclectic style.


There are multiple distinguishable residential areas in the city of Hazel Park. Residential areas make up the majority of the city and are in most cases located in sub-divisions located off of main roads. The city of Hazel Park was originally laid out in a grid from 1900 to 1925, which consisted of horizontal streets which ran from Dequindre Road to Hilton Road on the western edge of the city (now Ferndale); and vertical streets which ran from Nine Mile Road to Woodward Heights Boulevard.

This grid is mostly retained in modern-day Hazel Park neighborhoods, but has had significant modifications. Dead-end streets became increasingly common in the northeast area of the city after the construction of Karam Park and Longfellow Elementary school, which cut off primarily the streets stemming off of Vassar Avenue north of Woodward Heights Boulevard. Multiple other facilities have contributed to creating dead-end streets, including Webster Elementary, Ford Elementary and Saint Justin's Catholic Church.

Hazel Park's most affluent residential area is considered to be the general vicinity of Scout Park, directly south of Nine Mile Road.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.82 square miles (7.30 km2), all land. The city is bound by 10 Mile Road to the north, Dequindre Road to the east, 8 Mile Road to the south, and West End Street, Pilgrim Avenue, and Lenox Street to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 17,770
1960 25,631 44.2%
1970 23,784 −7.2%
1980 20,914 −12.1%
1990 20,051 −4.1%
2000 18,963 −5.4%
2010 16,422 −13.4%
2020 14,983 −8.8%
Historical median household income
Year $ ±%
1990 35,667 —    
1997 39,118 +9.7%
2000 37,045 −5.3%
2005 38,300 +3.4%
2007 39,783 +3.9%
2009 40,403 +1.6%

The median income for a household in the city in 2008 was $40,403, and the median income for a family was $49,448. The per capita income for the city was $19,390. About 10.0% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Excluding one neighborhood in particular, which has a majority elderly population, the city's median household income in 2009 was $46,687. This surpassed the neighboring communities of Warren, Madison Heights and Ferndale as well as many communities in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Excluding the neighborhood noted, Hazel Park's median household income would be higher than 39.7% of the metro area, including 16.1% of Oakland County's cities, 61.5% of Macomb cities, and 55.8% of Wayne cities.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 16,422 people, 6,641 households, and 3,999 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,823.4 inhabitants per square mile (2,248.4/km2). There were 7,611 housing units at an average density of 2,698.9 per square mile (1,042.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.8% White, 6.8% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.

There were 6,641 households, of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.7% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.8% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.13.

The median age in the city was 36.1 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.5% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 11.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.

Hazel Park in popular culture

  • Scenes in the movie Youth in Revolt were filmed in and around Hazel Park.
  • Two novels, Band Fags! (2008) and Drama Queers! (2009), written by Hazel Park native Frank Anthony Polito, take place in Hazel Park during the 1980s. Both books feature key scenes set at Hazel Park High School. Polito released his latest novel also set in Hazel Park during 2012 and 1994 called Lost in the '90s. The book was released in April 2012 from Polito's own imprint, Woodward Avenue Books.


  • I-75 provides a connection to neighboring cities such as Royal Oak and Detroit and other major cities in the United States
  • John R. Road provides access to Detroit, Madison Heights and the Oakland Mall
  • Dequindre Road provides access to Warren, Sterling Heights, Detroit and Universal Mall
  • M-102 (8 Mile Road) provides access to the former site of the Michigan State Fair, Detroit, Warren, Ferndale and other communities in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.


The business districts developed along the city's main thoroughfares. Hazel Park's central business district (CBD) developed around the intersection of John R. Road and Nine Mile Road. This CBD contains the city's municipal buildings, two shopping centers, and a high-rise apartment complex. The first Harmony House music store opened in Hazel Park's Central Business District in 1947.

John R. Road serves as the main small business thoroughfare; the majority of the road is zoned for local business use. Small shopping centers, office parks, and sidewalk access stores are characteristic of the John R. corridor through the city. Nine Mile Road has a more suburban assortment of businesses, many of which are restaurants, churches, and slightly larger shopping centers. Eight Mile Road, Dequindre Road, and Ten Mile Road are also well-traveled, industry-related thoroughfares.


Primary and secondary schools

The city is served by the Hazel Park School District, which has some establishments in Ferndale, a neighboring city. There are three elementary schools operating in the city of Hazel Park.

The northern portion of the city is served by Webb Elementary, while the southern portion is served by United Oaks Elementary and Hoover Elementary. Multiple other elementary schools once operated in the city, including Roosevelt, Lee O. Clark, Longfellow, Henry Ford, Webster, and Edison Elementaries. Webster was closed as an elementary school at the end of the 2014 school year, but remains open for the Preschool program. Lee O. Clark has since been demolished, and Henry Ford has been converted into the School District Administration Building. Henry Ford also serves as an alternative education facility for students K-8 called Advantage, and a program called Breakfast Club for high school students. There is one high school and one middle school operating in Hazel Park. Hazel Park has followed a recent trend in Metro Detroit suburbs by the consolidation of its middle schools. Formerly, two separate schools, Webb Junior High and Beecher Middle School, operated in the city. Webb was converted to an elementary school in 2004, and Beecher was torn down and re-built, commissioned as Hazel Park Junior High.

High schools in Hazel Park began with the construction of Lacey High School in 1920 and Hazel Park High School in 1929. Lacey High was demolished in the early 1960s, and the Hazel Park High School was re-commissioned as Howard Beecher Junior High. In 1961, a new high school was built in the eastern portion of the city, taking the name of Hazel Park High School.

Jardon Vocational School is also in operation in order to separate special needs students from the mainstream curriculum and serves as a high school. The school operates mainly in the Hazel Park-Ferndale-Pleasant Ridge area, but also serves the rest of Oakland County, especially the south east.

The high school had an average score of 10.3 on the state's MEAP test in 2011. This was one of the lowest scores in Oakland County.

Notable people

  • Connor Barwin, NFL defensive end; born in Southfield and grew up in Hazel Park
  • Steve Fraser, 1984 Olympic wrestling gold medalist, coached at the University of Michigan
  • James R. Fouts, current mayor of Warren, Michigan; father served as Hazel Park City Manager
  • Myles Jury, UFC featherweight contender
  • Archie McCardell, CEO of International Harvester 1977-82
  • Shane Morris, quarterback for Warren De La Salle and the University of Michigan
  • Joe Roa, MLB pitcher for Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins
  • Jack Scott, Canadian-born singer who grew up in Hazel Park
  • Terry Thomas, graduate of Hazel Park High School, drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1975
  • Bill Virdon, MLB outfielder and manager for several teams; 1955 National League Rookie of the Year and 1960 World Series champion; born in Hazel Park
  • Bob Welch, pitcher for Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, NL and AL All-Star, 1990 AL Cy Young Award winner with the A's, pitching coach for Arizona Diamondbacks, 1974 graduate of Hazel Park High School
  • Al Weston, All-State outfielder and 1973 graduate at HPHS, went on to play at MSU, earned All Big Ten and All American honors; drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1977
  • Robert Wyland, known for his mural paintings of whales and dolphins, attended Hoover Elementary School, which has a Wyland mural in its library

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hazel Park para niños

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