Incorporated as a city in 1815, Detroit is one of the oldest cities in the Midwest. Known as Motor City, Detroit is where Henry Ford built his first car in 1896 and established the Ford Motor Company seven years later. Currently undergoing the nation's largest redevelopment program, Detroit has a population of about 1 million, making it the 10th-largest city in the U.S. Detroit serves as world headquarters for the nation's auto giants, including General Motors and Ford Motor Company, and the North American headquarters of DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen. It also houses the home offices for Domino's and Kmart. It is the leading city in the production of steel, paint, and pharmaceuticals and has one of the world's busiest inland ports. It's home to the oldest state fair in the nation, the second-tallest hotel in North America (the 73-story Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center), and shares the world's first auto traffic tunnel between two nations, the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel.
The city is in the midst of a highly publicized, multi-million-dollar redevelopment program that includes Campus Martius, a new development in the business district, which will house Compuware's world headquarters; Tri-Centennial Park, a $500-million development project along the Detroit River; major street improvements; and the construction of hundreds of residential lofts and retail outlets in the downtown area. The city also just recently opened its new Northwest Airlines World Gateway Terminal at Detroit-Metro Airport.
Motown Records, the pride of Detroit, was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., in 1959. Some of music's most celebrated artists began their careers in Motown
. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, the Jackson 5, The Temptations, and Diana Ross all got their starts in Detroit. Other famous Detroit natives include Aretha Franklin, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Lindbergh, Madonna, Tom Selleck, Robin Williams, Eminem, Bob Seger, and Ted Nugent. To date, 23 Detroit artists and groups have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Contrary to popular opinion, Detroit has some of the most exclusive and beautiful suburbs in America. Bloomfield Hills, one of Detroit's most prestigious neighborhoods, is one of the most affluent suburbs in the country. The fourth-wealthiest suburb in the nation, Bloomfield Hills features country clubs and the homes of many of the country's richest auto executives, sports figures, and music stars. Gross Pointe, Dearborn, and Dearborn Heights remain popular neighborhoods. Upcoming suburban locations slated for rapid growth and development include Birmingham, Brighton, Northville, Plymouth, and Royal Oak, where the new condos offer a downtown feel.
The highlight of any trip to the region is riverboat gambling. Detroit boasts four popular casinos: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity, Greektown, and the Casino Windsor.
Detroit offers sports fans a legendary history. The Detroit Tigers captured their first World Series in 1935 and won subsequent pennants ten years later in '45, then in '68, and the last in '84. Detroit's NHL team, the Red Wings, has won the Stanley Cup three times. In 1990, the Detroit Pistons won their second NBA World Championship and followed that with their third in 2004. The city hosted the first indoor World Cup soccer championship as well as the 35th Ryder Cup golf tournament. Other upcoming events are Super Bowl XL in 2006, the 2007 NCAA men's basketball tournament (first- and second-round games), the 2009 Final Four, and the 2008 PGA Championship.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African history is the largest museum of its kind in the world. Detroit's fascinating auto museums, including the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford Estate, the Henry Ford Museum, Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame, and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum offer insight into the ingenuity that made the city a world power. The new Arab American National Museum and Cultural Center is scheduled to open in 2005, and a new Holocaust Memorial Center has just opened in Farmington Hills.