Community Displacement and the Creation of a 'City Beautiful' at Roosevelt Park, Detroit

Author(s): Krysta Ryzewski

Year: 2016


Michigan Central Station and Roosevelt Park were constructed between 1908 and 1918 as part of Detroit’s City Beautiful Movement. The construction process was a place-making effort designed to implant order on the urban landscape that involved the displacement of a community who represented everything that city planners sought to erase from Detroit’s city center: overcrowding, poverty, immigrants, and transient populations. Current historical archaeological research reveals how the existing ornamental landscape of Roosevelt Park masks the history of a forgotten working-class neighborhood. This synthesis of archival and material evidence details the conditions of life within the neighborhood and of a contentious, decade-long displacement struggle rooted in the inequalities of early-20th-century industrial capitalism. Positioned at the start of a century of controversial urban planning initiatives, the Roosevelt Park case study encourages understandings of displacement as a process that has diachronic and comparative dimensions, both in Detroit and in other urban settings.


Cite this Record

Community Displacement and the Creation of a 'City Beautiful' at Roosevelt Park, Detroit. Krysta Ryzewski. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434493)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 304