Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Detroit: A City on the Move

Apparently this has been floating out there for a while, but architectural and cultural commentator Edward Lifson posted this fascinating 1965 Detroit promotional video called “A City on the Move.”

Update: Commenter Jim Meredith passed along a like to this Design Observer piece called The Forgetting Machine: A History of Detroit that you might find of interest too. And also a great photo essay of then and now photos called Detroit Re-Photography.

Part One (if the video doesn’t display for you, click here):

Part Two (if the video doesn’t display for you, click here):

I thought maybe I had posted this in this past, but couldn’t find it if I did. Apologies if this is a duplicate for you.

Topics: Urban Culture
Cities: Detroit

3 Responses to “Detroit: A City on the Move”

  1. Matthew Hall says:

    It’s too painful to watch. It really reminds me what a true and complete tragedy Detroit has become.

  2. Jim Meredith says:


    If you have not seen this yet, I think you might be interested…a new series on Detroit at Design Observer –


  3. Stephen Gross says:

    Wow! Really fascinating. It’s incredible to see how differently a city advertised itself 40 years ago. A few observations…

    * The visual focus is on built systems, not people. Lots of shots of skyscrapers, expressways, cars, and rivers. Far fewer shots of actual humans. The idea is to demonstrate that Detroit is great because Detroit builds *things*.

    * The video clearly acknowledges NYC as the center of urbanism and culture in the US. Not quite self-effacing, though; just honest recognition.

    * There is also clear emphasis on institutions: Wayne State, Institute of Arts, Public Library, etc.

    * It’s far less polished than we are now accustomed. The mayor speaks awkwardly. The high society folks are decently coiffed, but not exactly stageworthy.

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