Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I have written in this blog many times, Detroit should never be considered down for the count. Detroit has a way, how ever slow to evolve and change to meet the challenges it is presented. This weekend I was able to participate in the 14th Woodward Dream Cruise. First a little about Woodward Avenue: When fire raced through Detroit in 1805, only one building was left standing in the tiny settlement. But rather than give up and leave, prominent Detroiters including the territorial governor, William Hull, and the territorial supreme court judge, Augustus Brevoort Woodward, went to Washington to seek funding to rebuild Detroit. Their new plans for the city included a snowflake pattern similar to the layout in Washington D.C. and in Paris designed by Charles L'Enfant. The Grand Circus Park area in the middle of the main street was originally called Court House Avenue after a planned court building. Parts of the street had also been called Pontiac Road, Saginaw turnpike and Witherell. However common usage sanctioned Woodward.
In 1908 the world's first mile of concrete was built on Woodward between Six mile and Seven mile, thus creating the first arena for today's continuous battle against potholes. A fitting event for the emerging automobile capitol of the world. The entire 27-mile length of Woodward was paved in 1916 and in 1919 the three-color traffic light appeared on the thoroughfare.
In August 1995, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated—nearly ten times the number expected. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe—from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between caravan to Metro Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer.
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Posted by EpiphanyNoir at 8/19/2008 08:06:00 PM