Paradise Valley


Paradise Valley photo of Paradise Valley
As Detroit's manufacturing base boomed during two world wars (1917 ~ 18 and 1942 ~ 45), large numbers of African Americans moved here to work in the factories. Detroit's African American population increased from five thousand in 1910 to three hundred thousand by 1950. Throughout this period segregationist policies restricted were blacks could live, own businesses, and spend their free time. During the 1930s a commercial center emerged in the area roughly bounded by Adams, Brush, Alexandrine and Hasting Street (replaced by I-75). Known as 'Paradise Valley,' it had black-owned medical offices and retail shops as well as swank restaurants and hotels. Some night-clubs, called 'black and tans' were frequented by blacks and whites alike. African Americans owned and operated all of the businesses in the valley.
 
 
Side 2
Formerly the intersection of Adams Avenue and St. Antoine Street, this site was once part of Paradise Valley, Detroit's African American business and entertainment district. From the 1930s into the 1950s Paradise Valley bustled around the clock. Nightspots like 606 Horseshoe Lounge, Club Plantation, and Club 666 featured entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, the Ink Spots, and Sarah Vaughan. Blacks who performed elsewhere in Michigan were excluded from white hotels and stayed in the valley. Beginning in the 1940s, urban renewal projects, the construction of freeways, and new development devastated African American neighborhoods, including Paradise Valley. The valley's last three structures, located along St. Antoine Street were demolished in 2000.

Registered Site S0680
Erected 2003

Location: St. Antoine near Ford Field
Detroit, Wayne County

Topics:
Black History


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