Monday, August 25, 2008

Detroit's Unique Neighborhoods: Corktown

In honor of the Irish roots of both the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Nominees for the Democratic Party, let's visit Corktown in Detroit, the oldest still-surviving neighborhood in the City.

Although Corktown is now primarily an Hispanic neighborhood, it was originally settled by immigrants primarily from County Cork in Ireland in the mid-1800s. The original area of Corktown has shrunk over the years, but the neighborhood is now listed on the National Register of Historic Districts and is a Designated Historic Detroit for the City of Detroit. The historic streets contain a mix of Victoria-era homes in beautiful colors, newly built condos, and one of the oldest remaining structures in Detroit dating from before the 1850s.

Today's Corktown is located just west of downtown, bordered by Michigan Avenue, Porter Street, the Lodge Freeway, and 16th Street. Tiger Stadium (or what's left of it), is located in Corktown, and many related businesses sprang up around the old ballpark. Since the Detroit Tigers moved to Comerica Park, a new night-life has come to the area, including new bars and restaurants, and revived local rock music venues. The Corktown neighborhood has also been designated as a Michigan "Cool City" and is admired as one of the most "walkable" areas in Detroit.

Two recent books about the history of the Irish in Detroit can be viewed here...if you visit Corktown, make sure to stop by Nancy Whiskey's, PJ's Lager House, Slows Bar-B-Q, and the many other night-life venues!

Shameless Plug: please read my husband's blog The "D" Spot...

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