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Historical Map of Black Bottom, Detroit

Compiled in 2018 from Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sourced from the Library of Congress
Sanborn Map Company, Vol. 4, 1922 - Nov 1951
Black Bottom Street View / Black Bottom Archives

Black Bottom was the center of Black life in Detroit, beginning in the early 1900's and continuing through the Great Migration, when Black people moved to the city in large numbers from the American South. From the 1950's to the 1970's, the City of Detroit completely demolished the neighborhood in the name of "urban renewal." Hastings Street, which once held the largest concentration of Black-owned institutions and businesses in the city — as well as places that supported its internationally renowned music culture — was demolished to build the Chrysler Freeway.

This map shows Black Bottom as it stood in 1951, right before the first phase of demolition began.

(Click for high-resolution image)