Historic Detroit

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

Welcome to Historic Detroit

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!

Site updates

May. 6, 2018

We have added more than 200 new historic postcards and 20 new buildings and monuments to the website.

How to help support our Belle Isle book project

Nov. 14, 2017

Thank you to everyone who has submitted photos and donated to our project. We are raising money in order to pay photographers for their work, ensuring we make the most beautiful book possible of one of Detroit's most beautiful places. We have all sorts of nifty donation incentives for you, from books, T-shirts and vintage Detroit postcards to life jackets from the Boblo boats, bricks from the Guardian Building, old Vernors memorabilia and actual used train tickets from Michigan Central Station. All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. You can learn more about the project and help make it happen by clicking right here.

Belle Isle book fund-raiser is live!

Oct. 18, 2017

Help us pay photographers for our Belle Isle project and take home some nifty Detroit artifacts, from Boblo boat life jackets to actual tickets from Michigan Central Station from the 1920s! ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Click here for more info!

Celebrate our new book with free shipping!

Sep. 23, 2017

To celebrate the release of our new book, "Greetings from Detroit: Historic Postcards from the Motor City," we're offering free shipping on it, as well as our book/postcard bundles, which will net you a copy of the book AND authentic Detroit postcards from 1900-1940 of your very own. Check it out in the shop, right here.