The Web Site of Phil Cherner

 

1967 Detroit Riot-  Then and Now

As seen on ABC News in July, 2007 (only the still photos are mine):

      I was 16 years old when Detroit burned around me.  I have recently discovered photos I took in the days after the July, 1967 riot.  40 years later I returned to shoot photos of some of the same locations.  (The May, 2007 photos are in color).  Sadly none of the areas we revisted has been rebuilt.  For a larger view, click on any photo.

IMG003 cropped.jpg (392535 bytes)  IMG004 cropped.jpg (515344 bytes) IMG006 cropped.jpg (514938 bytes)  2007-May-Detroit_0058.jpg (519734 bytes)

    Above, three 1967 photos show a still smoldering building, and the firemen removing a mannequin.  In May, 2007 there was only a vacant lot.

    Pingree Street, below, was at the height of the destruction.  A fellow who lived on the south side of Pingree in 1967 described what happened-- a gas station on the corner of Linwood and Pingree "blew up".  The blast threw flaming debris over several houses to the east.  By the time the fire burned itself out all that was left were the steps and chimneys.  In the photo on the lower left a TV crew is filming a story.

    By 2007 the area had been converted to Yates Park. Steps from one of the burned houses were used to create benches for ballplayers.

IMG002 cropped.jpg (553358 bytes)  2007-May-Detroit_0033.jpg (723199 bytes) Detroit Riot IMG002 cropped.jpg (502612 bytes)  2007-May-Detroit_0036.jpg (920089 bytes) Detroit Riot IMG003.jpg (545859 bytes)  2007-May-Detroit_0052.jpg (742868 bytes)

      As you can see below, the Army was still patrolling when the 1967 photos were taken.  The street sign tells us the intersection is Lysander and Grand River, and on the upper right of the building facade there's an address.  In 2007 we stumbled about trying to find the intersection.  Eventually we discovered that not only was the Tyme Furniture building gone, but Lysander Street had been removed as well (or was grown over by weeds).  The fire hydrant had been replaced but the distinctive street lamps remain.  A 1967 map confirmed that Lysander once intersected with Grand River at this location.

Detroit riot army IMG002.jpg (377258 bytes)  Detroit Riot Grand River IMG003.jpg (455474 bytes) Detroit Riot Grand River IMG001.jpg (438958 bytes) detroit riot IMG002.jpg (367383 bytes)  2007-May-Detroit_0105.jpg (548400 bytes)

 

    Below, a few more photos from 1967.

 

1967 Detroit Riot 5.jpg (598927 bytes)  1967 Detroit Riot 4.jpg (344258 bytes)  Detroit Riot Pingree Street 3.jpg (304898 bytes)  1967 Detroit Riot 3.jpg (594700 bytes)  Detroit Riot 7.jpg (566210 bytes)

 

All photos copyright 1967 and 2007, Phil Cherner.