I’ve been trying to chart the changing borders of a few of Detroit’s well known neighborhoods. I had gotten in pretty deep into researching Corktown when I came across the Corktown History blog where the above map was posted.
More from author Paul Sewick:
As Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood becomes increasingly popular, questions frequently arise regarding its exact boundaries. But Corktown was not a planned community with fixed borders. It grew, developed, and changed organically. This map is an attempt to trace its changing definition. The original parish borders of Most Holy Trinity Church are generally agreed to coincide with the old neighborhood. But as urban renewal hacked its way through the city, some segments of Corktown were isolated and took on a new character, while others were wiped out completely. These parts comprise the area denoted as “Former Corktown.” “Old Corktown” is the area that remains relatively intact. The development projects that divided Corktown also joined its core with other residential areas that would not have been considered “Corktown” in the 19th century–the “Corktown Addition”. Of course, this is just another attempt to define a neighborhood that doesn’t want to be defined.
For a history of the attempts other have made, read more on Corktown’s Blurry Borders
Paul notes how the development of the M-10 Lodge expressway cut Corktown in half and the Briggs neighborhood came about near the former Briggs Stadium site. Later the West Side Industrial redevelopment project took off a portion of Corktown.
Recently, members of the Briggs neighborhood voted to be renamed as ‘North Corktown” and there is a new group centered in the West Side Industrial area who are starting to call the area “West Corktown.” A mention must also be thrown in about the supposed joke of “Corktown Shores.” Perhaps Corktown will again expand (organically or planned) to it’s former boundaries?