Talk:Ann Arbor, Michigan/Archive 3

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I'd like to see us add a religion section to the Ann Arbor article. The city was the birthplace of The Word of God community in the late 70's/early 80's which is WIDELY considered to be the progenitors of the charismatic Catholic movement worldwide. Plus, there's this whole hostility towards Domino's Tom Monaghan drama which ultimately resulted in him choosing to move much of his operations to Naples Florida. The underlying subtext was the local government's antipathy for Monaghan's conservative politics and in-your-face Catholicism. Big Daddy 14:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

  • It depends on what you are focusing on (because this would determine where a religion section will end up). If you are talking about the religious make-up of the city, it should go under demographics. Otherwise, I see it as something that will go under history. The one area I am unsure about is Tom Monaghan (I am aware of the fact that he had once proposed building a giant cross near Domino's Farms). But before such information is inserted, can you give me some reliable references that I can work with? Also, can anyone else help with this? Thanks. Pentawing 21:59, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm not saying that most Ann Arborites love Monaghan or Ava Maria School of Law, but we should ask whether it was truly antipathy toward Monaghan's conservative politics that spurred the specific impasse with the zoning authorities, or whether it was genuine disagreement on purely zoning-related issues. (After all, Ann Arbor is known for being extremely exacting and strict with proposed changes to zoning codes; and Monaghan has a track record of unorthodox architectural projects.) Ropcat 02:25, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Big Daddy that that's an interesting aspect of Ann Arbor's history, but also with Pentawing that it belongs in the history section (or culture) rather than a separate religion section. I don't think there's anything encyclopedia-worthy about Ann Arbor religion in general, aside from such historical footnotes. But I DO think the WoG/Monaghan/Ave Maria story deserves mention somewhere. Hard to make it NPOV though. I don't think we have articles for Word of God, but there are various Monaghan/Ave Maria-related entries. rodii 15:56, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

The only published work I could quickly find dealing with any Monaghan-related subjects is: Gordon Pritchard Bugbee, _Domino's mansion: Thomas Monaghan, Gunnar Birkerts and the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright_, with foreword by Vincent Scully (Troy, Mich.: Planning Research Organization for a Better Environment Press; distributed by Southern Illinois University Press, 1988). (Looks, obviously, to be a piece of architectural criticism.) Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything on the Word of God movement. Ropcat 20:09, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

    • I found one mention of the Word of God movement on the Ann Arbor District Library's website concerning the city's history. However, it only mentions the movement without describing it in detail. The only other mention of the Word of God movement is through websites associated with Word of God organizations, but I am unsure if they can be used (e.g. their reliability). Pentawing 21:32, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
      • Yeah, I don't have any published sources on WoG either, though if I remember right the Observer had a lengthy article on it a few years back. It is a really interesting byway of Ann Arbor history. (By the way, I didn't mean to imply Monaghan was connected with WoG--I don't know whether he was or not.) rodii 01:24, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Wow! Lots of great comments. Ralph Martin is the go-to guy for information about the Word of God community as he (along with a guy named Clark I believe) are widely regarded as the founders. I understand Martin is currently working as a professor at a Catholic University in Steubenville, Ohio. I've learned quite a bit more about sourcing for Wik articles since originally making this suggestion and I don't know if I can find anything yet on my accusation that it was indeed antipathy towards Monaghan's religion that forced him out of town. But it should be easily documented, especially since Ann Arbor's bending over backwards to hold onto Pfizer amongst other companies belies the 'exacting and strict zoning codes' argument. Finally, I disagree that WOG website info is by default unsuitable. So long as it merely provides a history it would be useful. Those challenging their version of things ought to be able to contribute as well with their own supported arguments. But to leave it out completely would be a serious omission in my view. Big Daddy 16:38, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks for these notes, BigDaddy777. I did write a short bit under "Education" on Ava Maria School of Law, although the school itself should probably get its own page eventually. (There is already a decent amount on it under the Tom Monaghan page.) Regarding the motivations behind the zoning dispute: all this stuff gets tricky to research quickly since there's no electronic archive for either the Ann Arbor News or the Observer. My take on the Word of God issue is that we might put a little bit about religion in Ann Arbor under the "Culture" section (including religious/denominational demographics), with a very quick mention of Word of God, and then give Word of God its own article for more extended discussion. However, to put too much about Word of God in the main Ann Arbor article might imply that it is disproportionately significant to local culture, when actually its importance stems more from it starting in Ann Arbor than from it now playing a major role in local cultural life. (At least that's my understanding, thought I very well could be wrong here.) If someone wanted to write a Word of God article, there very well might be a short article in some sort of encyclopedia of Catholic thought, or Catholic history. Not sure. By the way, I think Word of God jumped into a couple local mainline Protestant congregations, and the denominations acted to remove it because its charismatic strain wasn't in accord with mainline Protestant theology. But I'm pretty hazy on this, and I'm sure it would be near-to-impossible to source this. Pentawing, what do you think about all this? Ropcat 22:58, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Rop, you've pretty much got it right. I'm not an expert, but I have a pretty good working knowledge of what went down. I think the AA Observer article is a relatively useful reference piece but may be slightly POV. But where you're really right is the place WOG deserves in Ann Arbor history. It's notable not because it affected Ann Arbor culture one whit (it certainly didn't appear to even at it's height of popularity) but because somehow this very significant religious movement that would ultimately influence Catholocism all the way to the Vatican (and not a few other denominations either as you point out) could actually have been birthed in Ann Arbor. (It's the sort of the modern day version of 'How can anything good come out of Nazareth?' :) As to what happened to the Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations that went 'charismatic' as a result of WOG, I think it's a mixed bag. There still remains one quasi-charismatic Presbyterian church in Ann Arbor that has it's roots with WOG. They're called Covenant and I believe are located on Jackson. There's also the Ann Arbor Vineyard (an independent charismatic franchise)pastored by former WOG affiliated minister Ken Wilson. I do recall hearing of a 'purge' of Charismatics from Lutheran churches, but am under the impression that there was still one left standing - The cross and the Sword or something like that. I'm starting to get hazy now, too :) Big Daddy 05:47, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Hi BigDaddy. Why don't we hash out a one-or-two sentence statement on religion here on the Talk Page, and then insert it once everyone's been able to comment, modify, etc? Then if you'd like to start a WOG article, that would be terrific. My suggestion for the short statement (for the main Ann Arbor article) would be to give a demographic breakdown of religions and denominations, and then say that Ann Arbor was also the birthplace of the Word of God Movement, and is the headquarters for the Islamic Assembly of North America and the Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist organization. Now, I wonder where we can find demographic stuff on religious affiliation in Ann Arbor... Ropcat 20:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
      • Wow you guys, great discussion... I think we should be careful when we say things about Monahan being "driven out of town." As far as I know, he is still around, somewhere out in Northfield Township (or Barton Hills?)--as much as any mega-rich person can be said to live in any one place. I'm under the impression he still has his "shack" (a little house he uses to get away) out in Northfield too. Ave Maria moved to Florida, or is moving, but Monhan didn't and I don't think Ave Maria was "driven out" either. The story is convoluted and I'm not sure anyone knows the whole truth--the Observer article seemed pretty meticulous to me, and I was still confused when I was done with it. And there are at least three places involved as well--Ann Arbor, which may have been antipathetic to Monahan's endeavors but didn't really play any official role (so I don't think the Pfizer argument really holds up); Superior Township, which was his main adversary in the zoning wars (and there I think the issue really was growth vs. "rural character"); and Northfield Township, which is where a lot of his activities currently operate with a fairly low profile (but go for a drive around Northfield on a nice day and count the nuns out for a run!), I guess what I'm saying is that there's a lot of complexity in this story, and unless someone has really assembled the facts to offer a definitive account, I would tread lightly. (I would love to see a WOG article, by the way, and BD and Ropcat's memories match mine, which are equally hazy. I agree that WOG doesn't merit more than a brief mention in the Ann Arbor article.) rodii 22:28, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of at least mentioning Ann Arbor as the birthplace of WOG. A sentence or two seems fine to me as well. I was unaware of those other religious institutions roots in the city, but I guess I felt that it was a little ironic, thus more noteworthy, that a group like WOG was founded here. That a Buddhist organization has an affiliation with Ann Arbor shouldn't surprise anyone who gets Ann Arbor. As far as Monahan goes, the best place to go is to the source. I'll see if I can find out his take from friends I know. I understand the ostensible reasons stated for driving Monahan's Catholic operations out of Ann Arbor. I personally find them a little suspect, that's all. No proof yet. I do think it will, in the end, be something very noteworthy. Kind of like that boneheaded decision to create a North Campus back in the day. So much for preserving 'rural character' huh? Big Daddy 09:40, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I can understand why you would be skeptical of the "ostensible" reasons for the anti-Mongahan feelings, BD--god knows I have heard lots of knee-jerk Monaghan-hating around Ann Arbor. But I think the facts don't really back up the idea that that played a role in "driving Monaghan out" in this case. Domino's Farms was conceived in 1983 and the zoning battles (and I was wrong, it was Ann Arbor Township, not Superior Township) started right about then; Monaghan bought the Tigers around then too, and he was very well-liked in Ann Arbor in those days. It was like we had our very own Frank Lloyd Wright-loving pet billionaire. What led to the clash with township was that his original plan for the skyscraper at Domino's Farms was completely out of scale for the site, but the revised plan (the Domino's Farms of today) was a huge hit. Monaghan's widely publicized return to traditional Catholicism and the right didn't start until after 1989, when the zoning wars with the township were over. So although there was a clash between Monaghan and the local government, it really wasn't over Monaghan's religion--the sequence of events is just wrong... and I'm not aware of any more recent fights. The city was happy to have Ave Maria move in, for instance. I would beware of revisionist history on this issue. rodii 17:35, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Nope, I'm wrong, there have been several more recent battles between Monaghan and the township, e.g., over the "25-story crucifix" and the proposed move of Ave Maria to Domino's Farms. So Big Daddy, you have a point, though one that would be hard to present in an NPOV way. rodii
Oh, everyone here seems quite reasonable. I'll bet we could. :) Big Daddy 17:55, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  • 2 sources on religion in Washtenaw County (same US Census dataset, I think): [1] [2]
    • Sounds good, everyone. BigDaddy, I fully appreciate your point about WOG being more surprising in the Ann Arbor context than, say, the Jewel Heart connection. I do think, though, that if we're going to have a couple sentences on religion in the main article, it's worth including the other two organizations, since they're of national scope and are headquartered in AA. Regarding the issues of disagreement between Ava Maria and local authorities: thanks for pointing out, Rodii, that these other municipalities were involved; I didn't know that it involved Superior Township and Northfield as well. (In fact, did Ann Arbor zoning authorities play any role in the dispute?) I just think, in researching this, that we need to adhere to the "No Original Research" guidelines of wikipedia -- which means nailing down our assertions in reputable, checkable sources. The Observer article would be a great starting point. In summation, I guess we're talking about three projects here: 1.) a couple sentences on religion for the main Ann Arbor article (demographics; groups that started or are headquartered in AA); 2.) a more thorough overview of the Ava Maria School of Law zoning dispute (building on information already in the Tom Monaghan article) for placement either in the Monaghan article or in a new Ava Maria article; 3.) a fresh article on Word of God. (Did I get that right?) I can work on Project 1 within the next few days, although feel free to take a crack at it. Ropcat 18:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Ropcat's plan. (As I said above, I think the Domino's Farms zoning dispute was strictly between Ann Arbor Township (not Superior, my bad) and Domino's. DF is outside the city limits, or was at the time.) --rodii
  • Although Ave Maria School of Law is leaving, I don't believe the Thomas More Law Center has any intention of moving -- or does is? Ropcat 04:42, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

I read through the discussions and found that many of the ideas are viable. Nevertheless, I don't believe a lot of materials on religion can be placed in culture, given that in my experience unless one were involved with a religious group, religion doesn't play a major role in Ann Arbor cultural life (to me, Ann Arbor resembles Boston, Massachusetts and Berkeley, California, where religion isn't the primary focus in life, if at all). Nevertheless, major religious movements and figures can be mentioned in history while the religious makeup of the city can be mentioned in demographics. I agree with the idea of separate articles for Word of God and Ave Maria (law school and foundation). Concerning resources for Word of God, websites for associated groups could be used for a basic overview but the details have to be scrutinized before they are added (I saw a lot of conflict over Opus Dei over details about that group). Currently, I am in the middle of other things outside Wikipedia, so my ability to research and add new material over the long-haul is, at the moment, limited. However, I will still monitor this article and copyedit any new additions so that those passages will meld well with the rest of the article. Pentawing 05:26, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

    • By the way, I read that Monaghan was establishing Ave Maria University near Naples, Florida and will close Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti in 2007. However, I didn't read of Ave Maria Law School's making a definite decision to move to Florida as well (though there were talks about that). Anyways, I found a lot of news sources talking about the conflict between Monaghan and Ann Arbor over Ave Maria University (even from the Detroit Free Press). Hence it should definitely be noted (under history). Pentawing 05:54, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
That's good to know. I really feel this 'Monaghan Exodus' will some day be a big issue for Ann Arbor. In a negative way. I also like the inclusion of the WOG in the history section. I'd like to propose that the sentence be embellished slightly since the point is that the normally-thought-of-as-very-liberal Ann Arbor birthed both an international movement amongst Christians worldwide as well as a leading contender for heir to the title of 'the conservative ACLU' which is currently thought to be Jay Sekulow's group out of Washington[1]. Not that this is a big deal, but I will take issue with this statement about Ann Arbor "religion isn't the primary focus in life, if at all." Having lived in both Cambridge and Ann Arbor (as well as New York and other alleged anti-religious towns :) I'd say Ann Arbor was by far the most religious. But again, it's sort of underground. When you say 'Ann Arbor in the '70s' to people, their first thought isn't usually 'Oh yeah, intense Charismatic Christianity!' But it was a major force throughout that decade. I also think the University community draws in a huge religious element. From Hillel to the campus preachers, it's actually disproportionately religious. My two cents... Big Daddy 11:43, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The mainline Protestant denominations are somewhat stronger than in many other places; the charismatic strains, megachurch trends, and religious right are right now less strong than in many other places. So Ann Arbor, in my view, is not particularly unreligious; I agree with BigDaddy on that. But, as far as the statement that "religion isn't the primary focus in life": I do agree that explicitly religiously-framed engagements with the broader civic life (and, particularly, politics) might be less common, but that is probably because the city's dominant religions/denominations are ones that traditionally opt for a slightly quieter or more circumspect relationship with the wider civic sphere. Probably similar to most other affluent, moderately liberal Midwestern communities. In any case, I certainly wouldn't describe Ann Arbor as hostile to religion. By the way, I tweaked Pentawing's edit to "History"; let me know if it needs more adjustment. Ropcat 15:42, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
    • This is an interesting discussion in that it becomes obvious how hard it is to "capture" the truth about a community--there's a real blind man and the elephant thing going on here. Nevertheless, my two cents: this is a reasonably religious community, though it's easy to miss it unless you're in the right social networks. And just as a counterbalance to the conservative emphasis above, there's also a significant left-wing/social justice brand of religion being practiced. There's a large and flourishing UU community, smaller congregations like the Evangelical Church of the Incarnation (ECI), the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Religious Action for Affordable Housing, the American Friends Service Committee, Temple Beth Emeth, the "Social Justice Ministry" at St, Mary's Student Parish, and many others. None of this is "surprising" from the standpoint of the stereotype of leftie Ann Arbor, but maybe it's a corrective to the stereotype of secular Ann Arbor (and the idea that religion = conservative). And Ropcat, we've got megachurches too--check out around Scio Church and Wagner sometime. (This is an interesting discussion, but I'm not sure how it should translate into a Wikpedia article.) rodii 18:09, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Looks good to me. The only tiny tweak I would make would be to call WOG a 'Catholic' rather than Christian organization. While acknowledging their influence outside the scope of Catholicism, I'm confident that this characterization would be the prevailing sentiment, both from within and without WOG. I also agree with your overall assessment of religious sensibilities in Ann Arbor. Not as 'quiet' as in New England, but probably more subdued than in say Warren. Well written article and comments. Good job.Big Daddy 17:44, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
One learns something new everyday :) Until this discussion, I wasn't really aware that the religious community in AA is stronger (my assessment was based on comparisons with areas such as the Deep South and Denver). Of course, the connotation of "People's Republic of Ann Arbor" (similiar to Cambridge and Berkeley) is, to me, pretty telling of social leanings, but at least AA isn't as far-left as I was made to believe. By the way, is there anything more that can be added for religion? Pentawing 18:22, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry Rodii, I didn't mean at all to ignore the left/liberal religious sensibilities also at play in Ann Arbor. Pentawing, on your question of anything else to add: perhaps just demographics on religious/denominational breakdowns; and possibly mention of the national religious organizations headquartered in Ann Arbor (Islamic Assembly of North America and the Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist organization). BigDaddy, I'll make the change from "Christian" to "Catholic" as you suggest. Thanks! Ropcat 18:51, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Concerning demographics, I just found out that by law the US Census does not gather information concerning religious affiliations. The sources we have focus on Washtenaw County as a whole rather than Ann Arbor alone. I am still looking for some dataset to work with, but if you could suggest a source that focus only on Ann Arbor, all the better. Pentawing 20:14, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
    • No worries, Ropcat, I didn't think you were ignoring anything, I just started thinking about some of the points being made. My main point is that this discussion may be getting into areas that this article just shouldn't try to handle, unless someone can dig up an authoritative source. rodii 18:00, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
  • My name is Ellen Karagoulis and I happen to know where you can get lots of accurate information on the Word of God community, and also the Sword of the Spirit organization which is an international network of charismatic, ecumenical, Christian communities. By the way, it would be more accurate to call Word of God Christian rather than Catholic because of their emphasis on ecumenism (all the major Christian denominations working together). If you have any questions e-mail me at
    • Do you mind listing the sources so that everyone working on this article can use them? Thanks. Pentawing 22:54, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

The international organization that is closely connected with the Word of God is at the following link: You can find their statement of purpose, as well links to other communities similar to the Word of God. The actual Word of God is no longer part of the Sword of the Spirit, but most of the communities are similar to the original Word of God community so you can see what their original purpose was. But if you e-mail Steve B. Clark, he was one of the founders and he can give you lots of accurate information if he isn't too busy. I'm not sure what his e-mail is, but he is part of a large lay organization of Christian celibate men called the Servants of the Word, and if you e-mail Don Schwager, he can probably put you in touch with Steve Clark. His e-mail is The Sword of the Spirit website has tons of information on Christian communities around the world, so hopefully this will help. Don't bother mentioning my name to Don Schwager because he probably doesn't know who I am, but Steve Clark should. God bless.

  • I was a part of the Word of God community in the 1970s. The Detroit Free Press Magazine dated Sept. 20, 1992 has a significant article entitled "The Rise and Fall of a Heavenly Empire". The writer of this article clearly had access to records and documents that contributed to a very accurate portrayal, I believe. This Community was very good in so many ways, but it took a couple wrong turns that were terribly damaging to many people, although it's teachings were always doctrinally pure (so far as I know, it was never challenged in this respect by Catholic or Protestant authorities). A book should be written on the Word of God community's origins, history, and eventual near-collapse. Others deserve to learn from this painful experience. I am paxman.


I notice that anonymous user has just made some additions to the last paragraph of the history section, dealing with the Greenbelt. However, I find these a bit confusing and maybe misleading. The user notes that the city is only permitted to buy development rights, but I was under the impression that the city could buy either development rights, or buy the land outright, as it saw fit. Also, the addition of the last two sentences to the paragraph is a bit misleading. Here are the sentences: The Greenbelt has been particularly divisive, because the purchase of merely the development rights does not allow city residents actually to use the undeveloped land in any fashion. Furthermore, some have complained this is merely a thinly veiled attempt by residents to increase their housing values and to limit the access of the poor to Ann Arbor area property ownership. The first sentence is misleading because, as I understand it, the ferocity of the debate has had little to do with whether or not residents can use the Greenbelt land for, say, recreation purposes. The second sentence just seems kind of POV unless opposing viewpoints are incorporated. Overall, given that this is supposed to be a very quick trawl through the city's history, I think that the paragraph worked better before the new material was added. Ropcat 23:10, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I moved it over to the history sub-article. But now that you mentioned the POV issue, I think it should be reworded or removed outright. Pentawing 23:13, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
Thing is, I more or less agree with what the anon wrote. The greenbelt, if I understand it, does mean that only the city can decide to use the land for anything but recreation. So just adding that clarification fixes that part of the anon's wording. The next part is fairly standard greenbelt economics. It is fairly accepted that the greenbelt will drive prices up for people that already have houses built. A development econonomics textbook could probably confirm that. Now the way it is phrased is POV, but it seems largely correct. That said, only a little more detail should go in about the greenbelt, and maybe move it to the economics and development type info instead of history. - Taxman Talk 16:31, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • On your first point: Why couldn't the city use the land it buys outright for recreation? Obviously, the land for which it buys only development rights it can't use for recreation; presumably that would remain farmland or whatever it currently is, according to the preferences of the land's owner. Regarding your second point, on rising prices: that's true, unless the city increases density in already-developed areas. There are actually three parties to the debate: 1.) pro-greenbelt, pro-increased density people (who want to ameliorate the rise in housing costs caused by a greenbelt by raising the supply of housing through taller buildings and in-fill development); 2.) pro-greenbelt, anti-growth people (who don't seem to have a plan to prevent spiraling housing costs; these are mostly from either environmental organizations or are people who don't want to lose the traditional "human scale" of downtown through taller buildings); 3.) anti-greenbelt folks (which includes parties that normally aren't in alliance: namely advocates for the poor and for low-cost housing, and big developers who construct new housing in the outskirts). The greenbelt plan pitted groups 1 and 2 against group 3; the proposed greenway plan (distinct from the greenbelt issue) is pitting groups 1 and 2 against each other. Ropcat 20:58, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
    • The first part is basically what I was saying. I agreed land it buys outright can be used for recreation, but I used enough complicated sentence structure that it wan't immediately obvious. Using it for recreational areas certainly wont curb the rising prices issue, it will probably tend to make property in the city more valuable of course. Don't forget in your group 2 are people that want to have the property values increase, including most current property owners. I'm not familiar with the greenway plan. But in any case, our hashing out the issue here only helps so much. What we really need are reputable sources to draw the material from to add to the article if needed. Do you know of the best places to document this besides the Ann Arbor News? If I'm not misunderstanding, the city is referring to this as the PROS plan right? This would be a good start if so. - Taxman Talk 22:23, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I think the Ann Arbor greenbelt should probably get its own article, rather than delving into pretty complex land-use issues in lengthy fashion on the main Ann Arbor article. Regarding sources: I think the Ann Arbor Observer has run pieces on this, too. (There was one particular piece that presented the mayor as being basically a puppet for the president of the local Sierra Club.) As far as motivations: I'm not sure there's any way to tell for sure whether most homeowners voted for the plan out of a desire to raise their own property values, or out of ecological concern, or out of a sense that sprawl was sucking vitality out of the city center. The votes of renters might be some sort of barometer: if renters mostly voted in favor of the plan, it would necessarily have been out of some motivation other than buoying their real-estate investments. Even for those opposed to the plan, though, there were a lot of motivations in addition to the house-price issue: for instance, some people charged that the plan was poorly thought out and was rushed onto the ballot before important technical questions were answered; others were sprawl opponents who thought the plan would feed leap-frog development; and still others liked the greenbelt concept but thought it shouldn't be adopted without some formal commitment to high density, in order to prevent the greenbelt from becoming a tool of no-growth advocates. Interesting debate, and it would probably make a good Wikipedia article. Ropcat 22:45, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, now that I think of it, the article doesn't need anything more than at most one sentence more about the greenbelt. Have at it for a larger article on it. I think we have one or two stub articles on the general concept. In general, should we have a little more coverage of the environmental activism and involvement of the city in environmental efforts? We have a bit, but not as much as perhaps we should given the relative importance of that in the city. - Taxman Talk 17:29, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks, I'll probably start an article on this, but not for the next couple weeks yet. I agree with you that we might want a sentence or so on environmentalism in Ann Arbor. I wonder if there's some "factoid" that might illustrate this, so it's not just a vague assertion. Were there any early environmentalist measures in the city (out ahead of the national curve)? Or are there measures now that seem to have more teeth than in most places? Not sure quite how to illustrate the city's environmentalist sympathies, but it would be good to do... Ropcat 18:19, 8 September 2005 (UTC)


  • Consider a section about how environmentally concious we are. The link keeps getting removed from the external links section and Ann Arbor has a HUGE recycling following and this is just one of the many ways A2 recycles. There are over 4,000 people "freecycling" in this community via the link and even more recycling on a daily basis through the enormous amount of other recycling organizations in Ann Arbor.
    • Last I checked, most of the people in the Ann Arbor freecycle group aren't from ann arbor. Ann Arbor has more internet access (and had access earlier) than most of S.E. michigan, so its online communities tend to attract disproportionate numbers of outsiders. Normally Detroit would fulfil this function, but it doesn't have very high internet penetration (or didn't till recently). I'd add that more development downtown would do 100 times more for the environment (by reducing sprawl, pollution, etc.) than the recycling program. Tlogmer 20:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
      • Please check again because this is an inaccurate fact- MOST of the people freecycling in are from Ann Arbor. Yes, others are allowed in as this helps annarborites to re-home their unneeded items when a local doesn't need/want it. 8 May 2006

Comparison with national averages[edit]

Why is this graph blank? MarkBuckles 02:10, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I have also noticed the blank graphs, though I have no idea what happened. I suspect it may have something to do with the image files on the Wikipedia servers (which we cannot be able to address unless someone is willing to upload the images again). PentawingTalk 05:05, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Infobox photo[edit]

I reverted the infobox photo put up by User:Shengzhoumi2 to the one by User:Gsgeorge. The newer one was a bit weak in terms of composition and overall quality, with nearly half of the frame occupied by trees and other greenery. It is Tree Town, but I think that users looking at the page would want to see a more striking photo, a better and more aesthetically appealing shot of the actual skyline. That, and the fact that the older photo had all of the legal stuff sorted out, but that is besides the point of overall quality. If anyone has any problems with this let me know here.Fedallah 23:50, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Named for a prostitute?[edit]

I've heard rumors that the town was named for a prostitute? Sounds crazy to me, is that true? --AW 23:04, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I've never heard that but it would be a juicy addition if true. Seems unlikely given the fact of the founders' wives' names. I don't suppose you have a reference? Rees11 00:41, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

As the Home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor attracts some negative attention from Michigan's rivals in athletics. The phrase "Ann Arbor is a whore" is sometimes used. I believe Awiseman is referring to this, either deliberately or unintentionally. 21:37, 9 January 2007 (UTC)Anon.

I guess that's it. thanks --AW 21:56, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Is there a reason that "Harvest Mission Community Church, a multiethnic church in Ann Arbor" got put onto the External Links? If not, let's take it off, because clearly every church in Ann Arbor should not be noted among the general-info sites in this list. Thanks. Ropcat 06:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Rees11, for removing it. Ropcat 02:47, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome! Thanks for catching this. Rees11 03:28, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


I removed Google from the list of major employers. I assume "major" means "large number of employees."

Is Domino's really located in the city? I always thought it was just outside the city. I can't find a map of the city limits right now but the official city web site says the address of Domino's Farms (Frank Lloyd Wright Dr) is not in the city. Rees11 03:56, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


Significant omissions from the list of common nicknames for the city are "The People's Republic of Ann Arbor" and "Berkeley East."

I MISS A2[edit]

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! __earth (Talk) 09:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)


I added a sentence about Ann Arbor consistently ranking high on annual 'best places to live' lists. I thought this was important for people looking to move to the area and wondering about the overall quality of life. SueA2 (talk) 17:49, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


I removed the part about a trolley to Briarwood. First, it's wrong, this was going to be light rail, not a trolley, and the tracks are not disused. Second, it's obsolete, this has not been discussed in years as far as I know. Feel free to put this back in if you have a source for this information. Rees11 11:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


UMS: Is this really a performing arts group? They don't perform themselves, they bring in groups to perform. Maybe I'm being too nit-picky. If we do mention them, shouldn't we give the full name rather than the acronym? Do we really want to say they're 129 years old, which means someone will have to edit the article and bump the age once a year? Better to say what year they were founded.

"Ann Arbor ranks first among U.S. cities in the number of booksellers and books sold per capita." This oft-repeated claim was debunked in a story in the (I think) February Observer about Ann Arbor myths. Rees11 16:32, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I removed UMS as the organization, from my knowledge, is associated with UM. As for the booksellers per capita, can you provide a link to the source you are talking about? I can't seem to be able to get a hold of the Ann Arbor Observer online. PentawingTalk 00:53, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

It was actually January, not February. I don't have the title but it's a story about Ann Arbor myths and legends. I'm afraid I don't care quite enough to check the sources myself, but I thought I should mention it here. Rees11 01:10, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Here's what they say on their website: "While proudly affiliated with the University of Michigan and housed on the U-M campus, UMS is a separate not-for-profit organization that supports itself from ticket sales, grants, contributions, and endowment income." Ropcat 03:29, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Sister Cities[edit]

I removed the new list of sister cities. I don't think we need two lists, and the new one was incorrect; Peterborough linked to the one in England, for example. Rees11 16:56, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, I don't get it. The duplicate list of sister cities has re-appeared. I'm going to remove it again. If the current list is wrong, fix it. If it's in the wrong place, move it. I don't think we need two lists, and if we do, they should at least be the same list. Rees11 14:16, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Someone dropped Remedios from the list and added a ref listing only six. I tried to track this down but the only thing I could find in the Council minutes was an item discussing Remedios on the agenda in November 2003, no resolution actually adding it. And the reference that's been added only lists six. So I have modified the text to match the reference. If anyone can find a reference for Remedios, please add it. Rees11 (talk)

Ok, I found it. I didn't look far enough in the minutes from the 6 Nov 2003 meeting. The vote happened after midnight. I will add Remedios back in to the list and add the Council minutes as a ref (if I can figure out the correct ref). Rees11 (talk)


I would not say that State Street and South U are part of downtown. To me, downtown ends and campus begins at Division. But I don't have a reference so maybe it's just me.

I also changed the part where it says the Arb is near downtown but again I have no reference, so I will yield to majority opinion on this if everyone else thinks I'm wrong. Rees11 16:57, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

A few data points: I've also always thought of downtown as extending only to somewhere around Division. However, I also know many people who include central campus and its adjacent commercial areas in their definition of downtown. BobDively 17:29, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
There are a lot of different ways to define "downtown", but regardless of how you do, saying that the Arb is just east of central campus is better. As to the question of what constitutes downtown, I see a narrow and a broad interpretation.
    • Narrow: Downtown is approximately bounded by Ashley on the west, Division on the east, William on the south, and Catherine on the north.
    • Broad: Downtown is approximately bounded by the train tracks on the west, Washtenaw/Forest on the east, Hill on the south, and the Huron River to the north. Cmadler 18:12, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I just checked the City's Downtown Development Plan and it covers all the way to the corner of South U and Washtenaw, so I'll shut up now. But thanks for the confirmation that I'm not the only one who thinks downtown stops at Division. Rees11 16:49, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Ann Arbor shops and businesses[edit]

Recently, someone added the following passage to the article:

Ann Arbor also boasts several locally owned, decades-old unique retail survivors that also function as retail tourist attractions. One example is Sam's Clothing, which opened in the 1940s and resembles a lower-cost L.L. Bean, selling 'basic clothing' (jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, and socks). Another store is The Blue Front Party Store, called this ('Blue') because the original owner sold children's toys and adult magazines side by side. In 1981, the owner died and left the store to his favorite employee, who auctioned off all the old toys for their original grease penciled-on prices. It then became much the full-service, legendary party store it is today.

Though I am familiar with the two stores, the problem is that I can't find any online sources describing them in detail. Recently, there is a Wikipedia user who is demanding citations for many articles, including those that are featured (the above passage has no citations). Hence, can anyone try to dig up some other sources that can be used as citations? Thanks. PentawingTalk 23:10, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, and I would add that almost any city is going to have "locally owned, decades-old unique retail survivors," so I'm not sure these should even be listed. If we start listing them, where do we stop? Rees11 22:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

"Retail tourist attractions"? Sam's is a nice store (I shop there myself), but there's nothing particularly unique about it. The clothes that they sell are also sold by large chains and catalogs. And there are a half dozen other non-chain, small clothing stores downtown. BobDively 23:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I grew up in A2 in the 60's/70's (but left nearly 30 years ago). During that time, Herb David's Guitar Studio (I hear that it has moved) was not only a cool second-floor practice room space where many talented local players gave lessons and rehearsed, but a luthier shop that did very sophisticated craftwork and some high profile guitar repairs/customization. Many well-known musicians of the era from SE Michigan and elsewhere were connected with the shop. Reputation said that John Lennon had some guitars worked on there in the "Free John Sinclair" days; Bob Seger hanging around, as well as Fred Smith, Iggy, and I believe Kris Kristofferson. Anyway, Herb David should probably get some mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Gabriel Richard[edit]

I see someone added Gabriel Richard to the list of Ann Arbor private schools. But it's not actually in Ann Arbor. Does it really belong here? Rees11 12:52, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Reese11 - Gabrieal Richard is attached to St. Thomas Church, only blocks from downtown Ann Arbor, and certainly within city limits.Ewhite77 17:31, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by "attached to." I can't find any mention of St. Thomas on their web site. They appear to be administered directly by the Lansing Diocese, not by St. Thomas. And the building is not anywhere near St. Thomas. Rees11 11:36, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

It must've moved. When I went to St. Thomas elementary (admittedly ~ 20 years ago), Richard was connected to the actual building of St. Thomas School (directly next to the church itself). From your report, it sounds like that is no longer the case.--Ewhite77 18:00, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

They moved out of town a few years ago. I'm not sure what's in the building now but it's not a school. Rees11 14:45, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

I took out Gabriel Richard. Rees11 02:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

If Roe v. Wade is overturned[edit]

I had heard years ago (I live on the East Coast of the US) that if abortion were to be made illegal again in Michigan, that the maximum penalty if a woman were to undergo an abortion in Ann Arbor would be $5. 14:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I grew up in AA, and this sounds very much like an urban legend.Ewhite77 15:52, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I live in Ann Arbor now, and I'm an attorney and pro-choice elected official. The claim is complete nonsense. Abortion IS ALREADY a felony in Michigan statutes, since it was illegal before Roe v. Wade, and the legislative compromise over the years has been not to change the law. If the Supreme Court turns the abortion issue back to the states, Michigan reverts to status quo ante of abortions being totally illegal. Hence, in the wake of such a decision, Michigan will immediately become an abortion law battleground.
The slim basis for this rumor: 30 years ago, Ann Arbor was famous for its $5 marijuana fine. Also, some years back, the city held straw votes declaring itself symbolically a "zone of reproductive freedom" as well as a "nuclear free zone" and probably several other things. Kestenbaum 03:06, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it is not entirely symbolic. It is indeed a part of the City Charter, and it is modeled on the $5 pot law. In essence, it is a charter amendment passed in April 1990 that declares that if abortion ever becomes illegal in Michigan (i.e. state anti-abortion law becomes prosecutable after Roe is overturned), it will also become a civil infraction in Ann Arbor, subject to a $5 fine. Furthermore, the city attorney may only prosecute under the Ann Arbor civil-infraction code, and may not refer the complaint to any other authority for prosecution. So it appears that the original commentator is pretty much correct. Please see the following two USA Today articles, along with the 1990 amendment to the City Charter. Whether this would stand up in court is unclear.

"Michigan," USA Today, April 4, 1990: "ANN ARBOR - Backer of measure to set $ 5 fine on abortion if it's ever illegal praised 15,698-8,578 passage. Residents also voted, 12,901-11,419, to raise city's $5 marijuana fine to $25. Foe Rich Birkett: 'The people were clearly pro-choice on abortion, and I expected them to be pro-choice on marijuana as well.'"
Steve Marshall, "City Hopes to Thwart Michigan on Abortion Law," USA Today, Feb. 14, 1990, p. 3A: "Voters this spring will decide if their city should become a 'zone of reproductive freedom' - a place where state abortion restrictions could be circumvented by minimal local penalties. The proposal would not change the legality of abortion; only Michigan lawmakers can do that. But it would allow local judges to assess a $5 fine for violators - unless the Legislature mandates tougher fines. ... No matter what the state Legislature does, Ann Arborites - many of them University of Michigan students - will vote on their $5 law April 2. ... The proposal is the brainchild of Sabra Briere, a 39-year-old secretary at the university's School of Public Health who says she was 'sick and tired of someone else deciding what was going to happen with our lives.' Her drive to get the measure on the ballot got three signatures over the 3,720 needed. The wording of her proposal to amend the city charter is modeled after the $5 pot law, though questions about its legal effectiveness remain."
And here is Chapter 20 of the City Charter: Declaration of Zone - SECTION 20.1. The people of the City of Ann Arbor declare the City to be a Zone of Reproductive Freedom. SECTION 20.2. Restrictions on Reproductive Freedom (a) No person within the City of Ann Arbor shall violate any law, rule, or regulation of this state which restricts or prohibits the right of any woman to an abortion, or which restricts or prohibits the right of a person to perform an abortion, as such right existed on January 20, 1981. (b) Any violation of Section 20.2(a) shall be subject to a sentence of up to $5.00, including judgment fees and costs, and no probation or any other punitive or rehabilitative measure shall be imposed; provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to prohibit deferred sentencing. The District Court clerk shall accept any plea of guilty, which is made in the same manner as admissions of responsibility are accepted at the Parking Violations Bureau of the Fifteenth District Court as of December 1, 1989. Persons of any age pleading guilty of violations of this section shall be allowed to tender the sum of $5.00 to the District Court clerk as a full and complete satisfaction and discharge of liability, and no appearance before a district judge or other judicial officer shall be required. (c) In all arrests and prosecutions for violation of this section, appearance tickets and the relevant procedures set forth in Public Act 147 of 1968, as amended, shall be used. (d) No city officer, agent, or employee shall complain of the violation of Section 20.2(a) to any other authority except the Ann Arbor city attorney; and the city attorney shall not refer any said complaint to any other authority for prosecution. (e) The people of the City of Ann Arbor specifically determine that the provisions contained in this chapter are necessary to serve the local purposes of providing just and equitable legal treatment of the citizens of this community, and in particular those women seeking safe abortions; and of providing for the public peace and safety by preserving the respect of such citizens for the law, and for the law enforcement agencies of the City. Such provisions are necessary within the City because of the widespread local support for reproductive freedom. (Sections 20.1-2 added by election of April 2, 1990)

Ropcat 06:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

But Ropcat the law is not aimed at the woman or provider, they are aimed at maybe protesters? Or if in the event RvW overturned those who report ilegall activity with a $5 fine so all in all misleading disscusion unless I mis something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by F Tech (talkcontribs) 06:04, 13 October 2007 (UTC) The current Michigan law -- which exists on the books and would become active if Roe v Wade were overturned -- punishes the provider. This ordinance, as part of the City Charter, protects providers, so access to abortion remains possible. Sabra Briere —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Shaky Jake Woods[edit]

I know nothing, but this seems notable. --AVRS 10:09, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

yeah, it's important. it's the featured article on Sunday's front page. Shakey Jake is an Ann Arbor icon- if Blanket Man has an entire article devoted to him, then i think Shakey Jake should at least have some mention on the Ann Arbor page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Major highways[edit]

Do we really need so much detail on the major highways? Also, US-12 doesn't actually go through Ann Arbor, does it? Rees11 (talk) 18:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The current US-12 does not. The original one did: it was Jackson Road.—Chowbok 17:26, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Cleanup 2008[edit]

Since you are slated for front page, I decided to review the page. We had some interesting and odd comments upon our front page FA a few days ago for Minneapolis.

  • Intro terribly short! You ought to expand it with points perhaps from culture or educationn. It should note some of the highlights of each section. Three paragraphs is a much fuller and concise lead.
  • History it needs to be combined into paragraphs, not individual sentences. it looks like a random assortment of trivial facts. remember, a reader needs to feel like they're being introduced to how Ann Arbor came into being and how it might have affected the world. Draw on the main article to expand it. And a lot of opinions and claims with no sources (Human Rights Party and gentrification paragraphs).
  • Geography and cityscape I don't understand why the Census data has been left in, there should be an introductory paragraph not data points.
  • Demographics again census data but no prose
  • Law and government Good! this is a good example of how to write a section. Wikiproject city MOS prefers SIster Cities to be its own section near the bottom of the page.
  • Economy Pretty good. The Borders moving information is rather excessive unless its somehow notable how they moved around town. Could use another photo.
  • Education Good, what I expect from Ann Arbor.
  • Culture/Med/Health Perfect
  • Transportation Its not necessary to itemize the highways, its not very helpful nor is very descriptive for people. Writing into prose would be much clearer.

That's it! If you could improve the first few sections, this page is going to be solid. At the moment, I am a bit worried you will lose FA status on next review. The short intro, while might have worked back in the day, is not going to fly at all and in fact is an indicator of a weak city page. See San Francisco for probably the best FA City article out there. .:davumaya:. 09:19, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips. I've moved Sister Cities to a separate section at the end, and moved the list of highways in-line. Both are easy changes and do improve the article I think. I proposed fixing the highway list a few months ago and no one objected. Rees11 (talk) 15:41, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I just spent a couple hours adding references, copyediting, and expanding the lead. Should be good enough for the Main Page now. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:49, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Fabulous work! .:davumaya:. 01:23, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Haven't been around for awhile, so I was surprised to find that the article is the front page. Anyways, I reedited the introduction along the lines of that of Boston, Massachusetts (of which I also did the FA for some time ago). If there is anymore problems, feel free to talk about it and improve if necessary. PentawingTalk 01:33, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


I would just like to say that this is one of the best articles I've read. Well done!--Nick54321blastoff (talk) 02:10, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

"There is only one Ann Arbor"[edit]

That's a song lyric dating back at least to the sixties, probably earlier. The Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau claims, "There is only one Ann Arbor in the world..."

That may be so, but Pardes Hanna translates as "Ann Orchard," close enough for horseshoes. __Just plain Bill (talk) 03:59, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Precise location?[edit]

Why is the location (coordinates) so precise? =Nichalp «Talk»= 12:08, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

That's a good question. I assumed it was the precise location of some landmark, like the center of the street coordinate system. But I looked it up, and it's in the parking lot of some frat house (Theta Chi?) off South U. I suggest we either improve the accuracy or reduce the precision. Rees11 (talk) 13:34, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I plugged in the coordinates of USGS marker NE0696, which is at the southeast corner of the Courthouse and the closest to the center of the street coordinate system I could find. Also rounded to whole seconds. Rees11 (talk) 13:55, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Ann Arbor being a university town, it seems quite appropriate to centre it in a frat house parking lot. Wanderer57 (talk) 14:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

"College or graduate students"[edit]

Thanks for the article. Ann Arbor is a lovely city, based on my recollections of a visit there many years ago.

I'm curious about this sentence from the opening paragraph: "It is the state's seventh largest city with a population of 114,024 as of the 2000 census, of which 36,892 (32%) are college or graduate students".

As the University of Michigan is the largest educational institution, why are "university students" not mentioned? It seems to me that "university or college students" would better fit the situation. Graduate students are (almost always) "university students" I believe.

Thanks, Wanderer57 (talk) 13:37, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


GO A2! __earth (Talk) 13:50, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

As a University of Illinois alumnus, I've never been more tempted to vandalize an article in my life :-D (don't worry... I'll behave) Teemu08 (talk) 14:02, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi Teemu08: Thank you!!
P.S. When did Illinois get a University?  ;o)
Wanderer57 (talk) 14:44, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Tree Town vs City[edit]

If anyone cares, there is substantial evidence for the "tree town" nickname. First, if you want something official, the City government's internal events newsletter is the Tree Town Log. Second, try the Google test. There are more than twice as many hits for "town" as for "city." Finally, the Ann Arbor News is not searchable, but the Daily is, and there are plenty of hits that could be used as references: "tree town" "tree+town"&btnG=Search

The confusion may stem from Ann Arbor's designation as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Rees11 (talk) 18:39, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Weather stats[edit]

The weather statistics are currently drawn from stats for Ypsilanti. Stats for Ann Arbor should be drawn from a source about Ann Arbor, such as those provided by MSU's Ann Arbor weather station, no? Vassyana (talk) 18:18, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

There are several weather stations in Ann Arbor, and readings between them vary measurably. The one at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, is off from the one on North Campus at AOSS[1]. Edward Vielmetti (talk) 18:38, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't see how that addresses my concern. Regardless of variation between weather stations in Ann Arbor, shouldn't the article reference Ann Arbor statistics instead of relying on stats for Yypsilanti? Vassyana (talk) 18:42, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that information from the weather station at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport appears to be lacking (particularly with regards to precipitation and snowfall). Hence, the use of the weather station at Willow Run Airport (which provides more comprehensive data). So far, I am unsure where else to look for comprehensive average weather information exclusively within Ann Arbor (Weather Underground and the National Weather Service do not appear to make it easy to find such information, particularly in table format). However, I would appreciate it if someone does find the information somewhere. PentawingTalk 04:55, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Photo gallery[edit]

Generally, I am not a fan of photo galleries within articles. Hence, I have moved the gallery here. In any case, I believe that the images should be transferred to Wikimedia Commons (as the images are under GFDL). PentawingTalk 04:55, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Religion section[edit]

The religion section of this article needs serious expansion, or deletion. Right now it's like some Every Three Weekly send-up of the arrogance of the large population of undergraduate Jews from the East Coast. (talk) 04:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Agreed it should be expanded or deleted. Rees11 (talk) 05:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
It now sounds as if only Jewish and Christian communities are important in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is also home to a significant Muslim population (cf. The Islamic Center) and also has several Buddhist temples and practice groups--the Zen Temple of Ann Arbor, Jewel Heart, etc. (talk) 19:22, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. In the meantime, I have moved the section here in hopes that someone will take the time to expand it further. If the section is to be included, I suggest that it be placed in the demographics section. PentawingTalk 04:12, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Ann Arbor is home numerous Churches and Synagogues catering to several different religious denominations. Notable congregations include the Conservative Judaism Beth Israel Congregation. Established in 1916, it is Ann Arbor's oldest synagogue.[2] Belle's Apostolic Lutheran Church was also in Ann Arbor. Also known as First Apostolic Lutheran Church, it was established in 1984, and taken down in February, 2004.[citation needed] The city of Ann Arbor also contains St. Mary Student Parish, which services the Catholic community of the University of Michigan with masses in both English and Spanish.

January 1824[edit]

According to this WP article, Ann Arbor was founded in January 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. I've done some research on the early history of Ann Arbor and I couldn't find any evidence that it was founded in January 1824. In fact, Allen and Rumsey chose the site now know as Ann Arbor in early February 1824. It is better to say that Ann Arbor was founded in 1824. I've erased January from the lead and history sections. AdjustShift (talk) 18:03, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

I checked the books I have on hand and if they give a month at all they say Allen and Rumsey "came to" Ann Arbor in Feb (which is not necessarily the same as founding). Apparently Allen's wife was along and Rumsey's joined them later that year. I think if I were going to found a village in Michigan I'd pick June, not February.
History of Ann Arbor, Michigan also says January, and gives a broken web link as its source. Rees11 (talk) 21:30, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
The source seems to be Founding and Settlement, which says A&R came to Detroit in January and headed west from there in February. So I think Feb is correct. Rees11 (talk) 21:36, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Citation needed for the following[edit]

These passages are relevant to the article, yet are in need of citation. I think I have found an article that can support these passages, but I cannot be able to access the full article (the article is entitled Soulless Cities: Ann Arbor, the Cutting Edge of Discipline: Postfordism, Postmodernism, and the New Bourgeoisie by Corey Dolgon). PentawingTalk 01:36, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

The economy of Ann Arbor underwent a gradual shift from a manufacturing base to a service and technology base during the 20th century, which accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, the downtown transformed from one dominated by retail establishments dealing in staple goods to one composed mainly of eateries, cafés, bars, clubs, and specialty shops.

I suspect tourism is the city's biggest industry now but I have been unable to find any good sources. Rees11 (talk) 04:03, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Surely the University of Michigan is the city's biggest industry?—Chowbok 17:27, 10 July 2010 (UTC)


For anyone interested, I took a number of photos of historic properties in Ann Arbor. They're all on Commons at [2]. Andrew Jameson (talk) 18:56, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per discussion below. The only opposition seems to be related to a guideline that is under discussion, and it is discussions such as this that ultimately inform the guideline, and not the other way around. - GTBacchus(talk) 23:22, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Ann Arbor, MichiganAnn Arbor — "Ann Arbor" already redirects here. Why not just simply call the page "Ann Arbor" instead of "Ann Arbor, Michigan"? Just like Detroit, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee don't include the name of the state because they're so well-known, so should Ann Arbor. User:Krauseaj 15:06, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Support The disambiguation by state doesn't appear to be necessary in this case. It's certainly the primary topic given all the articles in the disambiguation page relate, in some way or fashion, to the city.--Labattblueboy (talk) 18:29, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Ann Arbor is always this one. It'll be easier to link to. --Pnm (talk) 05:49, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, but why this one in particular, when there are so many other places in the US that have similarly needless disambiguators?--Kotniski (talk) 11:41, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would conflict with our naming convention for places in the US. The convention has a specific exemption for certain cities, including the more well-known ones linked above, but this does not include Ann Arbor. The convention is currently under discussion, and might change, but this article should stay where it is until that happens. --Avenue (talk) 14:03, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Ugly photo[edit]

Couldn't we find a more pleasant photo of Ann Arbor then the billboards/back of buildings pic that pops up on Facebook? Not really sure how this works, but I would prefer a scene of downtown, the river or maybe the Arb... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ [3]
  2. ^ History, Beth Israel Congregation website, About Us. Accessed February 16, 2008.