Detroit may be in bad shape now, but it was once an elite American city.
The automobile industry had its home base in Detroit and the population spiked from just over 285,000 in 1900 to over 1.5 million by 1930. Downtown was bustling with large industrial buildings, hotels, trolleys and street cars. There were also numerous parks, theaters and opera houses for recreation.
But the past few decades haven’t been kind. Detroit lost 25 percent of its population in the first decade of the 21st century, falling to only 713,777 people. The decline of the domestic auto market and overall migration from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt has drastically reduced the quality of life.
We dug up some pictures of Detroit in its glory days from the Library of Congress.