Highland Park, Michigan facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Highland Park, Michigan
|City of Highland Park|
|• Total||2.97 sq mi (7.70 km2)|
|• Land||2.97 sq mi (7.69 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||636 ft (194 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Density||3,965.0/sq mi (1,530.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC6 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0628251|
Highland Park is a city in Wayne County in the State of Michigan, within Metro Detroit. The population was 11,776 at the 2010 census. The city is completely surrounded by Detroit except for a small portion that touches the city of Hamtramck, which is also surrounded by Detroit.
The area that was to become Highland Park began as a small farming community, on a large ridge located at what is now Woodward Avenue and Highland, six miles (9.7 km) north of Detroit. In 1818, prominent Detroit judge Augustus B. Woodward bought the ridge, and platted the village of Woodwardville in 1825. The development of the village failed. Another Detroit judge, Benjamin F. H. Witherell, son of Michigan Supreme Court justice James Witherell, attempted to found a village platted as Cassandra on this site in 1836, but this plan also failed.
By 1860, the settlement was given a post office under the name of Whitewood. After a succession of closures and reopenings of the rural post office, the settlement was finally incorporated as a village within Greenfield Township and Hamtramck Township under the name of Highland Park in 1889.
In 1907, Henry Ford purchased 160 acres (65 ha) just north of Manchester Street between Woodward Avenue and Oakland Street to build an automobile plant. Construction of the Highland Park Ford Plant was completed in 1909, and the area's population dramatically increased just a few years later in 1913, when Henry Ford opened the first assembly line at the plant. The village of Highland Park was incorporated as a city in 1918 to protect its tax base, including its successful Ford plant, from Detroit's expanding boundaries.
In 1910 Highland Park, then a village, had 4,120 residents. Between 1910 and 1920 during the boom associated with the automobile industry, Highland Park's population grew to about 46,500, an increase of 1,081 percent. The growth of Highland Park and neighboring Hamtramck broke records for increases of population; both municipalities withstood annexation efforts from Detroit. In 1925, Chrysler Corporation was founded in Highland Park. It purchased the Brush-Maxwell plant in the city, which would eventually expand to 150 acres, and serve as the site of the company's headquarters for the next 70 years.
Arthur Lupp of Highland Park founded the Michigan branch of the Black Legion in 1931; it was a secret vigilante group related to the Ku Klux Klan, which had been prominent in Detroit in the 1920s. Investigations revealed the Legion had been involved in numerous murders or conspiracies to murder, for which 38 men were convicted. These convictions ended the reign of the Legion.
In 1944, the Davison Freeway was opened as the country's first modern depressed urban freeway, running through the center of the city. The freeway was completely reconstructed and widened in 1996 and 1997 to improve its safety.
Ford Motor Company wound down operations at its Highland Park plant in the late 1950s. With the loss of industrial jobs, the city suffered many of the same difficulties as Detroit: declines in population and tax base accompanied by an increase in street crime. White flight from the city accelerated after the 1967 Detroit 12th Street Riot. Ford's last operation at the factory, the production of tractors at its Model T plant, was discontinued in 1973, and a year later the entire property was sold to a private developer for general industrial usage. The city population was majority black and impoverished by the 1980s. Chrysler, the last major private sector employer in the city, moved its corporate headquarters from Highland Park to Auburn Hills between 1991 and 1993, paying the city a total of $44 million in compensation. The move dislocated a total of 6,000 jobs over this period.
Known as "The City of Trees," the town was thickly forested until the 1970s. The spread of Dutch elm disease required many old trees to be cut down.
In June 2001, because of the Highland Park's mounting fiscal crisis, an emergency financial manager for the city was appointed under the supervision of the State of Michigan. In April 2009, state officials fired Arthur Blackwell as Highland Park's emergency financial manager for over-payments that Blackwell received; they appointed Robert Mason as the new emergency financial manager.
In August 2011, more than two-thirds of the streetlights in Highland Park were removed by the city, due to an inability to pay a $60,000 per month electric bill. The street lights were not only turned off, but decommissioned, or removed from their posts. The city advised residents to keep porch lights on in order to deter crime.
On November 20, 2013 the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department filed a lawsuit against the City of Highland Park regarding unpaid sewage services and water totaling $17.7 million.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.97 square miles (7.69 km2), all land.
Highland Park is approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) north-northwest from Downtown Detroit. It is bounded by McNichols Road (6 Mile Road) to the north, Grand Trunk Western Railroad Holly Subdivision tracks to the east, the alleys of Tuxedo and Tennyson streets to the south, and the Lodge Freeway and Thompson Street to the west.
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,776 people, 4,645 households, and 2,406 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,965.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,530.9/km2). There were 6,090 housing units at an average density of 2,050.5 per square mile (791.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% African American, 3.2% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 4,645 households of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 13.0% were married couples living together, 32.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.2% were non-families. 43.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.30.
Highland Park has the highest percent of single people, 87%, of any city in Michigan.
The median age in the city was 40.5 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 10% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.9% were from 25 to 44; 30% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.
Parks and recreation
The Ernest T. Ford Recreation Center serves as a recreation center for the community. The center has a basketball court, exercise equipment, pool tables, table games, and televisions. After a renovation, it re-opened in February 2008. In 1993 Highland Park Community College won the MCCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship against Macomb Community College.
In popular culture
- 122 Beresford Street in Highland Park served as the filming location for a scene in the 2002 film 8 Mile where several of the movie's characters burn down an abandoned home. While the film company agreed to make a donation to the municipality, there were still protests in Highland Park given the city went through an arson spree that same year.
- Highland Park is featured in the 2005 film Four Brothers, where it is the site of an armed convenience store robbery.
- The 2007 documentary The Water Front chronicled the community's struggle against water privatization.
- The 2008 film Gran Torino, starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, is primarily set in Highland Park.
- A movie about a fictional lottery winner's attempt to reopen the McGregor Library, entitled Highland Park, starring Danny Glover, was filmed in October 2009 and released on video on demand in 2013.
- Highland Park Ford Plant was one of the locations for the 2011 film Real Steel.
- Highland Park was featured in an episode of American Diner Revival where they refurbished Red Hots Coney Island diner.
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