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“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!”
- Fitzhugh Mllan


The core of MotorCities is the history of the American auto industry and its many impacts upon the Nation. This heritage is the reason why the United States Congress designated MotorCities in 1998. This region's heritage is nationally significant; our country has been shaped and changed by the development of the mass produced automobile that became affordable to most every American.

Try to imagine life without a car. In the United States, not having affordable cars would alter everything. Our cities and suburbs would be shaped differently, we would shop differently, we would vacation differently. The auto industry and the rise of the middle class changed all this. This story can only be fully told in SE and Central Michigan where the Industry of the 20th Century grew to maturity.

As our country has been shaped by the auto industry, it is necessary to remember, cherish, and celebrate our nation's past. Not only does history enliven and explain our past, but it also tells us about where we are going in our future. Our society today is built upon everything that has taken place before hand, and the decisions that we make today affect the possible choices tomorrow.

History with out the places where it occurred is dead history. It can't speak to you. Real living places allow visitors to experience history three dimensionally, and without these places where it happened, we loose this connection to our past.

The history and events still took place, but if the sites and buildings are gone, we have lost the physical connection to the past. Once historic sites are demolished, they are gone forever. History is all about connections. Stories and our history is connected to specific places, sites, or buildings. Once a building is demolished or a site is significantly altered, those ties are lost. It is one of MotorCities's goals to save these historic places so as many of these connections are kept. The auto industry, and labor that grew from it, are nationally significant to the history of the United States. Without this industry, it would have been much more difficult to win two World Wars, create roads that connect this country together, develop a working middle class, etc.

What is Revitalization?

What is Preservation?

What is Historic Designation?

Ford Rouge Complex
The totality of the automotive process can be examined here.

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