Corktown, Detroit

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Corktown Historic District
Corktown Detroit.jpg
Bagley Street in Corktown
Location Detroit, Michigan
 United States
Coordinates 42°19′50″N 83°03′50″W / 42.33056°N 83.06389°W / 42.33056; -83.06389Coordinates: 42°19′50″N 83°03′50″W / 42.33056°N 83.06389°W / 42.33056; -83.06389
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Late Victorian, Federal
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 78001517[1]
Added to NRHP July 31, 1978

Corktown, located just west of Downtown Detroit, and is the oldest extant neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan.[2][3] The current boundaries of the current district include I-75 to the north, the Lodge Freeway to the east, Bagley and Porter streets to the south, and Rosa Parks Boulevard (12th Street) to the west.[1] The neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[1]

The Corktown Historic District is largely residential, although some commercial properties along Michigan Avenue are included in the district.[4]


The Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s caused heavy Irish migration to the United States in droves, and by the middle of the 19th century, they were the largest ethnic group settling in Detroit.[3] Many of these newcomers settled on the west side of the city; they were primarily from County Cork, and thus the neighborhood came to be known as Corktown. By the early 1850s, half of the population of the 8th Ward (which contained Corktown) were of Irish descent.[3] Historically, the neighborhood was roughly bounded by Third Street to the east, Grand River Avenue to the north, 12th Street to the west, and Jefferson Avenue/Detroit River to the south.[3]

By the Civil War, German immigrants had begun making inroads into the Corktown neighborhood.[5] By the turn of the century, the original Irish population had diffused through the city, and other immigrants, notably Mexican and Maltese, moved in.[5] As the century progressed, southern migrants in the U.S. lured by the jobs in the automobile industry followed suit.[5] By the middle of the 20th century, the size of Corktown was reduced through urban renewal schemes, the building of light industrial facilities, and the creation of the Lodge Freeway and Fisher Freeway.[3]

On June 30, 2015, Quicken Loans announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art, 66,000-square-foot Technology Center in Corktown, at 1401 Rosa Parks Blvd. The new facility will feature two 10,000-square-foot server rooms in addition to training, office, meeting, and technical support space. Half of the data center including one server room will be occupied by the Quicken Loans’ technology team. An equal-sized 33,000 square foot portion of the building, including the second 10,000 square-foot server room, is available for lease. [6] [7]

The residential section is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a City of Detroit Historic District. The neighborhood contains many newer homes and retains some original Irish businesses.[5]


Tiger Stadium was in Corktown at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street until its demolition in 2009.
The historic now-abandoned Michigan Central Station in Corktown.

The original buildings in Corktown are Federal-style detached homes and rowhouses built by Irish settlers. A worker's row house circa 1840 is located on Sixth Street and is one of the oldest existing structures in the city of Detroit.[3] In further years, modestly sized Victorian townhouses with Italianate, Gothic, and Queen Anne elements were constructed.[4]


Residents are zoned to Detroit Public Schools. Residents are zoned to Owen at Pelham and King High School.[8][9][10]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit operates the Most Holy Trinity School in Corktown. It is one of the four remaining Catholic grade schools in the city.[11]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Corktown". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Greater Corktown Development Corporation". Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. 
  4. ^ a b Corktown Historic District from the National Park Service, retrieved 8/6/09
  5. ^ a b c d Armando Delicato, Julie Demery, Detroit's Corktown, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, ISBN 0-7385-5155-4
  6. ^ Construction Underway On New Quicken Loans Technology Center
  7. ^ Dan Gilbert unveils new Quicken Loans computer center
  8. ^ "Interactive Map." Greater Corktown Development Corp Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  9. ^ "Owen MS Attendance Area." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  10. ^ "M. L. King HS Attendance Area." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  11. ^ "Detroit area's Catholic schools shrink, but tradition endures" (Archive). Detroit Free Press. February 1, 2013. Retrieved on September 13, 2014.
  12. ^ "Detroit City Council Biography." Sheila Cockrel. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.

External links[edit]