Detroit, Michigan: History and Attractions of an Abandoned City

Detroit, Michigan: History and Attractions of an Abandoned City

States & Cities 2021-06-30
The city of Detroit in the northern United States has no shortage of attractions and history. Over the course of three centuries, it has gone from being part of Canada to become an American city. The whole world knows that Detroit is the center of the automobile industry in America.

Do you want to know its history, where to go, and why it's called the abandoned city? Then read our article forward and enjoy.

Detroit's History

The city was founded in 1701 by Antoine Laumet, who had decided to establish a trading post here specifically for the fur trade. Prior to the 19th century, the city had belonged to Canada. What started as a piece of land with a fence surrounding it has since grown into one of America’s largest cities, gaining fame as the “City of Motors”, thanks to the construction of the largest auto manufacturing plants in the country.

Why Is Detroit a Ghost Town?

Since large factories are located in the city limits, the environmental situation has become threatening since the beginning of the 20th century. Gradually the wealthy citizens left Detroit, followed by skilled professionals. Finally, in the second half of the twentieth century, only low-wage workers and the unemployed, who could not afford to move, remained here.

The global economic crisis has worsened the situation so much that entire areas have fallen into disrepair and decay. The local government is trying to raise enthusiasm and welcome new citizens to the city, and are seeing some success in their efforts, but we must admit that Detroit is partly an abandoned city. At the dawn of the city's development, few would have guessed that this could happen to it.

Detroit Airport: Its History, Services, and How to Get to the City


The main airport of the U.S. state of Michigan is located in the city of Detroit. In addition to Detroit, Wayne County International Airport serves nearby towns such as Toledo, Ontario, and others. The airport for a long time was the leader in the United States in terms of served takeoffs and landings.

In terms of passenger traffic, the airport is in the top 20, serving about 32.5 million passengers a year. Most of the passenger traffic relates to domestic flights, with only 3 million international passengers annually.

The airport in Detroit has six runways, two each of 2,591 meters and 3,048 meters long, and runways of 2,654 and 3,659 meters.


The airport in Detroit is ready to offer its guests various services that may be needed on the road. Hungry passengers can visit cafes, restaurants, snack bars, and pizzerias - anyone can find a dish to their liking. In addition, you can visit stores that offer various goods - souvenirs, clothes, drinks, including alcohol, perfumes, etc.

For passengers traveling with kids, there are plenty of playgrounds located through the terminals to tire them out before a flight.

Tourists traveling in business class wait for their flight in a comfortable VIP lounge. Moreover, the airport has a conference room for business meetings.

There is paid access to the Internet in the terminal area. Also, passengers can withdraw cash from ATMs or bank branches, exchange currency in the exchange office, send mail, and much more.

In addition, there are car rental companies at the airport, so tourists who want to travel on their own can go to their office. If necessary, passengers can also always ask for medical assistance in the medical center or buy the required medicines in the pharmacy.

How to Get to the City?

By Train

The airport terminal is so large that the internal subway is used to take passengers to the desired location. Miniature trains with two wagons each take passengers to their final destinations. Schedules are posted all over the terminals to assist passengers with any queries.

By Bus

At the passenger terminal exit, there is an overpass on the right, from which you should move towards the post. There, you will see a bus stop.

The buses that go to Detroit are SMART Flight 261 (the lettering is on the side). They run from 4:55 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The others run through the airport area.

The final stop for buses leaving the airport is in the suburbs of Detroit. From there, you should take a route to the right point in the city, such as Michigan Central Station. City journeys stop at a particular sign: Detroit City Limit.

The ticketing point for the SMART bus is located at the boarding point. The cost is $2.50. For this amount, you can go to the city center. However, you will have to part with the ticket on public transport - the driver will pick it up.

By Car

Detroit Airport has car rentals, and cab stands inside the building. In addition, there are free shuttles that can be used to get to them on the grounds.

Depending on whose services the passenger chooses to use, a cab ride to the main streets will cost about $35 to $45. The cost of renting a car depends on many factors: car brand, rental period, etc.

Surely you will also be interested in how to get to the airport itself. The cheapest and easiest way is public transport. More expensive - cab. And what if you have your own car?

If you have such a possibility - use it. Of course, you can always park your car while traveling directly at the Detroit Airport parking or near the airport. However, if you want to save money, we recommend you choose the second option.

This type of parking is more advantageous in the sense that they are cheaper. However, since the airport and such a parking lot are often separated by a few miles, you may have a question - then how do I get to the airport? It's simple - you can always take a shuttle that will bring you where you need to go.

You can learn more about all Detroit Airport parking rates and Detroit Airport parking rates on our website.

By Ferry

It is not possible to get to the city from the airport by ferry. But there are water connections to many lakeshore towns. For example, the Detroit River connects Lake Erie to the Huron River, from which you can get to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. So if you have the opportunity to visit Canada, you should consider this way of traveling, a vivid experience - guaranteed.


Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

The historic area of the city along Piquette Avenue is where the American auto industry was born. It was home to the first Ford Motor Company, Studebaker, Cadillac, Dodge, and Regal Motor Car plants. Seventy years ago, more than 50,000 workers worked here, and now most of the houses are dead factory buildings, where the first gallons of diesel were once assembled. Many companies have managed to go bankrupt. It takes a long walk down the entire avenue.

The three-story Ford factory is in brick building No. 461. Here you can see vintage cars, as well as Henry Ford's workroom, where his personal belongings and tools are carefully preserved.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

An 11,000-square-foot space dedicated to illustrating the historical role of blacks in the formation of the United States. It was founded in 1965 by obstetrician-gynecologist Charles H. Wright. Seven exhibition halls display 30,000 pieces of art and fascinating archaeological finds, and it regularly hosts lectures, films, and scientific discussions.

Belle Isle Park

The island on the Detroit River is about three miles long and one mile wide and is a testament to the city's decline. In the late 18th century, it was the site of a park that fell into despair as the wealth of Detroiters declined. It costs $6 million a year for the local government to maintain it. The way out was found in creating the monarch's enclave on the island. The settlers can live here autonomously from the state, paying into the city's treasury about $2000 a year.

Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic's unique handmade ceramics factory is one of the well-known landmarks in the United States and beyond. Founded in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry with Horace Caulkins, it has become famous for unusual technological solutions. For example, they were the first to create a metalized glaze that could look indistinguishable from metal. Today the factory operates as a museum and has an online store with worldwide delivery.

Detroit Public Library

The city's oldest library was founded in 1865. The original collection consisted of only 5,000 items. Today, the main branch is housed in a building on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and there are 22 other branches scattered throughout the city. You can visit the library for free to walk around the building, admire its architecture and the art on display. In addition, all sorts of events are regularly held here: exhibitions, workshops, concerts, contests, etc.

Detroit Masonic Temple

The largest Masonic Temple in the world is the seat of many Masonic social organizations. The Neo-Gothic limestone building of 1939 is 16 stories (64m) high and contains 1,037 rooms. In addition to its direct purpose, the internal space of the vast complex is used to house theaters, sports complexes, offices, canteens, and a hotel with 80 rooms.