Detroit, City Beautiful: Excavations of a Displaced 19th-century Community in Corktown

Author(s): Brenna Moloney; Krysta Ryzewski

Year: 2014


Brenna Moloney (Primary) and Krysta RyzewskiKeywords (3): Detroit, Displacement, City BeautifulAbstract:Popular histories of the now-ruined Michigan Central Railroad Terminal and the adjacent Roosevelt Park celebrate the building and its landscape as pioneering monuments of the early-20th-century ‘City Beautiful’ movement in Detroit. These histories disguise the struggles involved in the creation of such public works, in this case the protracted resistance raised by the Corktown community’s residents, who were forcibly displaced during the construction process. Little is known about these working-class residents and the conditions of their urban community in the late-19th-century period leading up to the demolition of their neighborhood. This poster presents an overview of the archaeological research into four of the over 100 households buried beneath Roosevelt Park. Artifacts excavated from these households by Wayne State University students in 2012 provide direct insight into the material world of the displaced, their socio-economic position in pre-automobile Detroit, and the contours of this lost community.

Cite this Record

Detroit, City Beautiful: Excavations of a Displaced 19th-century Community in Corktown. Brenna Moloney, Krysta Ryzewski. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437388)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): POS-98,10