Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Welcome to Historic Detroit

New Patreon merch for supporters!

Sep. 8, 2020

NEW MERCH ALERT! It's been a labor of love running HistoricDetroit.org for you the past nine years, but sadly, our hosting costs, Heroku back end fees and photo licensing can't be paid with hugs 'n' kisses. We'd like to thank all of our Patreon patrons for your continued sustaining support! Because we rely so heavily on your donations to keep the site going, and because we know you deserve to be rewarded for your generosity, we've added new donation incentives. You can change your donation incentive at any time, so if you've already received one incentive, feel free to choose another! We've added new T-shirt designs that are EXCLUSIVE to our generous Patreon members. In addition to new retro designs for the Belle Isle Children's Zoo and the Leland Hotel (City Club, what?!), we've also dusted off our "Made in Detroit USA" shirts, one of our more popular T-shirt designs from our previous foray into apparel five or six years ago. Hopefully this will keep you feeling the love after you've already fulfilled your donation incentive! Because we DO love you - as do the thousands and thousands of visitors we get each week for our free public service. You can check out how you can help keep HistoricDetroit.org running by going to www.patreon.com/historicdetroit. Thanks, as always, for helping us continue to tell stories of Detroit's historic places and people!

Meet Detroit's "Swaying Splinter"

Aug. 3, 2020

We've added half a dozen new buildings to the site, including the Citizens Building, an architectural curiosity that was only 20 feet wide but 150 feet tall. This caused it to sway in high winds! Our page on the building includes previously unpublished photos you won't find anywhere else!

New content

Jun. 1, 2020

We are still here and still adding new content to the site, both in terms of adding new locations and postcards, but also updating building histories as they are renovated or, sadly, demolished! Check out new pages on the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, its predecessor, the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Hotel Clifford and more!

New sites, new postcards added

Dec. 28, 2019

We've added a slew of new locations to the site, as well as uploaded more postcards to the site. As we continue to be in book-writing mode, updates have been slow, but we're still here!

Revamped website launches!

May. 27, 2019

We are proud to unveil the revamped HistoricDetroit.org! Thanks to donors to our Patreon campaign, we were able to bring back maps, add new search filters, improve galleries and more! We've also added several new locations to the site.

Thank you for your support over the years and, again, to our Patreon members. You can help us out by joining at www.patreon.com/historicdetroit!

Welcome to the new HistoricDetroit.org

May. 7, 2019

Thanks to the support of our Patreon backers, we have been able to revamp HistoricDetroit.org’s back end and implement some new features. I’d like to invite you to take a sneak peek at this new site. Check out our new map feature, as well as our filter system that allows you to sort by categories such as maritime, historic houses and more.

Website update: Redesign coming, maps have gone away

Jan. 29, 2019

Just a heads-up that the maps on our website have temporarily gone away because of a price increase from Google.

Running an ad-free site, we couldn't shoulder the hike given all the maps we used, so we had to get rid of them -- for now.

Good news: A site revamp is in the works that will bring improved photo galleries and, hopefully, a solution to the map problem.

More details: bit.ly/2Bd8qNX

Help keep the site running and get a vintage Detroit postcard each month!

Jan. 4, 2019

Donate $10 a month to help keep HistoricDetroit.org running, and each month we will send you an original Detroit postcard from 1900-1950s! Many are postmarked with great stories from the Motor City of olden times.

Each month, your trip to the mailbox will be like a trip into Detroit's past! Not only that, it will help you build your own vintage Detroit postcard collection! Buildings and scenes vary, but we'll make sure you get some good ones!

Sign up at our Patreon page right here!

Help us keep the website running

Jun. 18, 2018

Hello, friends. I'm afraid we need to have a serious conversation. For seven years, I've been running this website as a service to #Detroit and those who share my love for the city. Hosting costs, web development costs, subscriptions to research tools and more, not to mention the insane amount of time that I pour into it, have really started to add up. Applications for grants have resulted in failure. Book royalties after taxes (about 50 cents per) doesn't really get the job done. As a result, I've been able to spend less and less time on the site. I find myself wondering whether I should just shut the whole shebang down.

But then I see that we average 18,000 to 20,000 visitors each month. I think that if just a fraction of you would consider chipping in, even just a few dollars a month, it would help us keep things going. It also would help us greatly expand what we can do and share on the site, and maybe even hire some help to really get things popping. Our photo galleries, quite frankly, suck and need stocking, for instance. We have added rewards, including a neat service that will have an authentic Detroit postcard mailed to you each month. Every trip to the mailbox will be like a trip back in Motor City history! We are also exploring some more rewards and have some exciting ideas in store. On top of all that, we will also list your name as a sponsor on the website. We greatly appreciate your likes, your clicks and your page views over the past seven years, but now we're asking for you to help us shoulder the costs of continuing our mission!

So, if you’d like to help us continue our mission, you can make a donation to our Patreon page right here. We've set up some neat rewards to thank you for your generosity and helping us continue to share the stories behind the Motor City's buildings, boats, monuments and more!

Thank you for your support!