Page:EB1911 - Volume 08.djvu/129

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114
DETROIT


the other 6 m. from the centre of the city, connect the factory districts with the main railway lines. Trains are ferried across the river to Windsor, and steamboats make daily trips to Cleveland, Wyandotte, Mount Clemens, Port Huron, to less important places between, and to several Canadian ports. Detroit is also the S. terminus for several lines to more remote lake ports, and electric lines extend from here to Port Huron, Flint, Pontiac, Jackson, Toledo and Grand Rapids.

The city extended in 1907 over about 41 sq. m., an increase from 29 sq. m. in 1900 and 36 sq. m. in 1905. Its area in proportion to its population is much greater than that of most of the larger cities of the United States. Baltimore, for example, had in 1904 nearly 70% more inhabitants (estimated), while its area at that time was a little less and in 1907 was nearly one-quarter less than that of Detroit. The ground within the city limits as well as that for several miles farther back is quite level, but rises gradually from the river bank, which is only a few feet in height. The Detroit river, along which the city extends for about 10 m., is here ½ m. wide and 30 ft. to 40 ft. deep; its current is quite rapid; its water, a beautiful clear blue; at its mouth it has a width of about 10 m., and in the river there are a number of islands, which during the summer are popular resorts. The city has a 3 m. frontage on the river Rouge, an estuary of the Detroit, with a 16 ft. channel. Before the fire by which the city was destroyed in 1805, the streets were only 12 ft. wide and were unpaved and extremely dirty. But when the rebuilding began, several avenues from 100 ft. to 200 ft. wide were—through the influence of Augustus B. Woodward (c. 1775-1827), one of the territorial judges at the time and an admirer of the plan of the city of Washington—made to radiate from two central points. From a half circle called the Grand Circus there radiate avenues 120 ft. and 200 ft. wide. About ¼ m. toward the river from this was established another focal point called the Campus Martius, 600 ft. long and 400 ft. wide, at which commence radiating or cross streets 80 ft. and 100 ft. wide. Running north from the river through the Campus Martius and the Grand Circus is Woodward Avenue, 120 ft. wide, dividing the present city, as it did the old town, into nearly equal parts. Parallel with the river is Jefferson Avenue, also 120 ft. wide. The first of these avenues is the principal retail street along its lower portion, and is a residence avenue for 4 m. beyond this. Jefferson is the principal wholesale street at the lower end, and a fine residence avenue E. of this. Many of the other residence streets are 80 ft. wide. The setting of shade trees was early encouraged, and large elms and maples abound. The intersections of the diagonal streets left a number of small, triangular parks, which, as well as the larger ones, are well shaded. The streets are paved mostly with asphalt and brick, though cedar and stone have been much used, and kreodone block to some extent. In few, if any, other American cities of equal size are the streets and avenues kept so clean. The Grand Boulevard, 150 ft. to 200 ft. in width and 12 m. in length, has been constructed around the city except along the river front. A very large proportion of the inhabitants of Detroit own their homes: there are no large congested tenement-house districts; and many streets in various parts of the city are faced with rows of low and humble cottages often having a garden plot in front.

Of the public buildings the city hall (erected 1868-1871), overlooking the Campus Martius, is in Renaissance style, in three storeys; the flagstaff from the top of the tower reaches a height of 200 ft. On the four corners above the first section of the tower are four figures, each 14 ft. in height, to represent Justice, Industry, Art and Commerce, and on the same level with these is a clock weighing 7670 ℔one of the largest in the world. In front of the building stands the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument, 60 ft. high, designed by Randolph Rogers (1825-1892) and unveiled in 1872. At each of the four corners in each of three sections rising one above the other are bronze eagles and figures representing the United States Infantry, Marine, Cavalry and Artillery, also Victory, Union, Emancipation and History; the figure by which the monument is surmounted was designed to symbolize Michigan. A larger and more massive and stately building than the city hall is the county court house, facing Cadillac Square, with a lofty tower surmounted by a gilded dome. The Federal building is a massive granite structure, finely decorated in the interior. Among the churches of greatest architectural beauty are the First Congregational, with a fine Byzantine interior, St John's Episcopal, the Woodward Avenue Baptist and the First Presbyterian, all on Woodward Avenue, and St. Anne's and Sacred Heart of Mary, both Roman Catholic. The municipal museum of art, in Jefferson Avenue, contains some unusually interesting Egyptian and Japanese collections, the Scripps' collection of old masters, other valuable paintings, and a small library; free lectures on art are given here through the winter. The public library had 228,500 volumes in 1908, including one of the best collections of state and town histories in the country. A large private collection, owned by C. M. Burton and relating principally to the history of Detroit, is also open to the public. The city is not rich in outdoor works of art. The principal ones are the Merrill fountain and the soldiers' monument on the Campus Martius, and a statue of Mayor Pingree in West Grand Circus Park.

The parks of Detroit are numerous and their total area is about 1200 acres. By far the most attractive is Belle Isle, an island in the river at the E. end of the city, purchased in 1879 and having an area of more than 700 acres. The Grand Circus Park of 4½ acres, with its trees, flowers and fountains, affords a pleasant resting place in the busiest quarter of the city. Six miles farther out on Woodward Avenue is Palmer Park of about 140 acres, given to the city in 1894 and named in honour of the donor. Clark Park (28 acres) is in the W. part of the city, and there are various smaller parks. The principal cemeteries are Elmwood (Protestant) and Mount Elliott (Catholic), which lie adjoining in the E. part of the city; Woodmere in the W. and Woodlawn in the N. part of the city.

Charity and Education.—Among the charitable institutions are the general hospitals (Harper, Grace and St Mary's); the Detroit Emergency, the Children's Free and the United States Marine hospitals; St Luke's hospital, church home, and orphanage; the House of Providence (a maternity hospital and infant asylum); the Woman's hospital and foundling's home; the Home for convalescent children, &c. In 1894 the mayor, Hazen Senter Pingree (1842-1901), instituted the practice of preparing, through municipal aid and supervision, large tracts of vacant land in and about the city for the growing of potatoes and other vegetables and then, in conjunction with the board of poor commissioners, assigning it in small lots to families of the unemployed, and furnishing them with seed for planting. This plan served an admirable purpose through three years of industrial depression, and was copied in other cities; it was abandoned when, with the renewal of industrial activity, the necessity for it ceased. The leading penal institution of the city is the Detroit House of Correction, noted for its efficient reformatory work; the inmates are employed ten hours a day, chiefly in making furniture. The house of correction pays the city a profit of $35,000 to $40,000 a year. The educational institutions, in addition to those of the general public school system, include several parochial schools, schools of art and of music, and commercial colleges; Detroit College (Catholic), opened in 1877; the Detroit College of Medicine, opened in 1885; the Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery, opened in 1888; the Detroit College of law, founded in 1891, and a city normal school.

Commerce.—Detroit's location gives to the city's shipping and shipbuilding interests a high importance. All the enormous traffic between the upper and lower lakes passes through the Detroit river. In 1907 the number of vessels recorded was 34,149, with registered tonnage of 53,959,769, carrying 71,226,895 tons of freight, valued at $697,311,302. This includes vessels which delivered part or all of their cargo at Detroit. The largest item in the freights is iron ore on vessels bound down. The next is coal on vessels up bound. Grain and lumber are the next largest items. Detroit is a port of entry, and its foreign commerce, chiefly with Canada, is of growing importance. The city's exports increased from $11,325,807 in 1896 to $37,085,027 in