MotorCities National Heritage Area
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Explore and Record your MotorCities Adventure!

MotorCities National Heritage Area encourages you to explore our region with our annual Passport book. Stand in the footprints of automotive pioneers and legends of the labor movement. Learn the stories of the people, place, ideas and innovations that shaped America’s history and put the world on wheels. Explore and Enjoy!

Watch a video featuring many of our Michigan passport sites.

Passport 2020 coverOur Michigan passport books (click on the picture at left to page through!) are available at the following sites in these cities:

Belleville: Yankee Air Museum

Brooklyn:  Cambridge Junction Historic State Park

Chesterfield: Stahls Automotive Foundation

Dearborn: Automotive Hall of Fame
Greenfield Village
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Detroit: Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Institute of Arts
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
GMRenCen
Historic Fort Wayne

Dundee: Old Mill Museum

Eastpointe: Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society

Flint: Durant-Dort Carriage Company/GM Factory One
Sloan Museum

Grosse Pointe Shores: Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Hickory Corners: Gilmore Car Museum

Lansing: Michigan History Museum
R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

Livonia: Roush Automotive Collection

Plymouth: Plymouth Historical Museum

Rochester: Meadow Brook Hall

Shelby Township: Packard Proving Grounds

Westland: Nankin Mills

Ypsilanti: Michigan Firehouse Museum
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum 

OR email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have a copy mailed to you.

image 20110131153453 nps passportThe National Passport Stamp Program was created in 1986. It is designed to serve as a log of the unique experiences that a visitor encounters as they visit national parks, landmarks and heritage areas across the country. The National Park Stamps can be found and acquired at no cost at National Parks participating in the Passport program.

The passport book can also be purchased from the National Park Service's store website ($9.95 plus S&H) or can be purchased at local National Parks and/or Heritage Areas' visitor centers/gift shops.  

file 20170214190918 Building the Enginefile 20170213194403 Building the EngineIn 2017, a unique confluence of organized labor milestones will be recognized through a public awareness effort called, “Building the Engine: Auto and Labor, 1932-1937.”

With informative programs, publications and events, regional partners including the MotorCities National Heritage Area and the Michigan Labor History Society will present the story of how these events laid the foundation for organized labor in the auto industry and beyond.

To navigate labor anniversaries being commemorated as part of this effort, click on the links below.

80th anniversary, 1936 Kelsey Hayes Sit-Down Strike – Dec. 14, 2016

80th anniversary, 1936-37 Flint Sit-Down Strike

and first UAW-GM contract – Dec. 30, 2016-Feb. 11, 2017

85th anniversary, 1932 Ford Hunger March – March 7, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Battle of the Overpass – May 26, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Lansing Labor Holiday – June 7, 2017

Special publications, events, educational programming and more will be presented under the identity of “Building the Engine,” including a series of blog posts featured on the MotorCities website. Other information about the program will be listed on motorcities.org as well as the Michigan Labor History Society website at mlhs.wayne.edu.

MotorCities Support Button Membership

Become a member today using our secure online system. We value your membership and thank you for your support! 

Read our Membership appeal letter!

Your 2021 Membership entitles you to...

1. Member-only exclusive discounts on admission and/or gift shop at many of our partner sites:

Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn: 20% off admission
Detroit Historical Museum: 20% off general admission and 10% off in the Museum Store
Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores: 20% off general house tours
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant 
in Detroit: 20% off admission
Gilmore Car Museum
in Hickory Corners: 10% off in the gift shop
The Henry Ford
in Dearborn: 10% off the purchase of any membership
Meadow Brook Hall
in Rochester: 10% off admission for up to two guests
Michigan Firehouse Museum in Ypsilanti: 10% off in the gift shop
Michigan History Museum in Lansing: buy one, get one free adult admission + a 10% discount in the store
Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society in Eastpointe: $2 off admission per person
Old Mill Museum in Dundee: 20% off in the gift shop
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing: $4 admission per person + 10% discount in the store
Roush Automotive Collection in Livonia: 10% off in the gift shop
Alfred P. Sloan Museum
in Flint: 10% off in the store
Yankee Air Museum
in Belleville: 50% off admission 

2. MotorCities Membership Card

Membership card 600

3. Your very own MotorCities Trivia Cards (Coming Soon!)

4. Recognition on the MotorCities website

2021 Membership List

Click below to sign up or renew your MotorCities individual or organizational membership.


Internal Revenue Service recognizes MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership, Inc. as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts tax deductible in the U.S.A. Our Federal Tax ID # is 13-1635294

Open for the season as of April 1, 2021 

Click here to see a video featuring Elena Bussell-Shelef, a descendant of one of the men killed at the Ford Hunger March, and learn why this park is so important. 

Dedicated on October 22, 2020!

Click here to see more photos from the ceremony.

Click here to see coverage from WXYZ-TV Channel 7 from that evening's newscast.

Ribbon Cutting RESIZED 

Crowd RESIZED

Debbie Dingell RESIZEDCongresswoman Debbie Dingell

On October 22, 2020 a group of community partners known as  the Fort-Rouge Gateway Coalition (FRoG), along with government officials (Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, State Representative Tyrone Carter, Detroit Deputy Mayor Conrad Mallett and Detroit City Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez attended), the Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) and funders, cut the ribbon and opened the new Fort Street Bridge Interpretive Park, located at the foot of the Fort Street Bridge, at 12700 Denmark St. in southwest Detroit.

On March 7, 1932, during the Great Depression, auto workers organized a march from Detroit to the Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn. Known as the Ford Hunger March, the event was one of the most significant events leading to the creation of the United Auto Workers union.

“The historic Fort Street Bridge, central to the march, was decommissioned in 2013, and a new bridge was built in its place,” said Shawn Pomaville-Size, executive director, MotorCities National Heritage Area. “The FRoG partnership has worked to ensure the history of the Hunger March, the significance of the former bridge and its importance to the region is now recognized here at this new Fort Street Bridge Park. It is the culmination of many years of work, and we’re happy to see our new park has become a reality.”

According to Paul Draus, professor of sociology at the University of Michigan – Dearborn and facilitator of the FRoG partnership, the development of the park was “driven by the belief that our shared prosperity was built upon the sacrifice of others – in this case, five unemployed workers who gave their lives in a march for jobs – and the gifts of nature, so often unacknowledged.”

An ancestor of one of the five workers who was killed during the Ford Hunger March, Elana Bussell-Shelef, was one of the people who cut the ribbon to open the park.

A centerpiece of the park is a sculpture called “March On,” funded by the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefit Plan and created by Erik and Israel Nordin of the Detroit Design Center. The sculpture features salvaged parts from the original bridge. The artists' vision is to pay homage to the spirit of the Rouge River and the 1932 Hunger March by evoking the complex interconnection of industry and community, as well as ongoing struggles for environmental justice and social equity.

The park links to major greenway arteries like the Iron Bell Trail, Downriver Linked Greenways - with plans to connect to the Rouge Gateway Trail and to the Lower Rouge River Water Trail. It also holds true to the visionary leadership of the late U-M Dearborn Vice-Chancellor Ed Begale who saw this park and the rebirth of the lower Rouge through the Rouge River Gateway Master Plan as an incredible opportunity for the community.  He left his legacy to continue under the leadership of Dr. Paul Draus, who plans to continue holding the torch into Phase II.

Major funding for the park project came from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Famil Foundation, Ford Motor Company and the Marathon Petroleum Company.

Additional support came from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Fund for Design & Access of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Dearborn Rotary Foundation, AK Steel, DTE Energy, UAW Local 600, Mike Herceg & Joan Kelley, the Michigan Labor History Society, the Bussell Family, John B. Wilson (In Memory of Gino Stavola), Bridgewater Interiors, Michael & Nancy Darga, and the Walter & May Reuther Fund.

MotorCities National Heritage Area, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, City of Detroit, City of Dearborn, Marathon Petroleum Company, Michigan Department of Transportation, United Auto Workers Local 600, Friends of the Rouge, Friends of the Detroit River, various neighborhood block groups, PEA Inc. and others have collaborated to build this park.

Almost Done ... September, 2020

Park photo September 2020 1 RESIZED

Park photo September 2020 2 RESIZED

Park photo September 2020 3 RESIZED

Park photo September 2020 4 RESIZED

More Progress ... August, 2020

August 2020 sculpture with crane

August 2020 sculpture installation

August 2020 stairway

August 2020 reader walls

(After a few months away ...) We're getting closer! June, 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 1 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 2 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 3 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 4 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 5 June 2020


Construction Update! February, 2020

February 2020 photo 2

Construction Continues! January, 2020

2

Construction Has Begun! November, 2019

Worker RESIZED

Ground Has Been Broken -- October 9, 2019!

FROG group shovels in the groundCongresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib join MotorCities Executive Director Shawn Pomaville-Size and representatives from the Fort-Rouge Gateway Coalition (FRoG) put shovels in the ground at the site of what will soon be the Fort Street Bridge Interpretive Park in southwest Detroit.

 

Contact Brian Yopp, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 313.259.3425, with any questions about the park.

Read a Detroit Free Press article about the origins of the park efforts.


Enjoy this video on the plans for the new park space.



Click here to view the preliminary site plan

file 20141218161722 fort street bridge park