Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Ypsilanti, Michigan
City
City of Ypsilanti
Images from top to bottom, left to right: Ypsilanti Water Tower, Depot Town/Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, Michigan Firehouse Museum, and Eastern Michigan University's Starkweather Hall
Images from top to bottom, left to right: Ypsilanti Water Tower, Depot Town/Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, Michigan Firehouse Museum, and Eastern Michigan University's Starkweather Hall
Flag of Ypsilanti, Michigan
Flag
Nickname(s): Ypsi
Motto: "Pride. Diversity. Heritage."
Washtenaw County Michigan Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Ypsilanti Highlighted.svg
Coordinates: 42°14′34″N 83°37′6″W / 42.24278°N 83.61833°W / 42.24278; -83.61833Coordinates: 42°14′34″N 83°37′6″W / 42.24278°N 83.61833°W / 42.24278; -83.61833
CountryUnited States
StateMichigan
CountyWashtenaw
First settled1823
Incorporated village1832
Incorporated city1858
Government
 • MayorPaul Schreiber
 • City ManagerRalph Lange
Area[1]
 • Total4.52 sq mi (11.71 km2)
 • Land4.33 sq mi (11.21 km2)
 • Water0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)
Elevation719 ft (219 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total19,435
 • Estimate (2012[3])19,621
 • Density4,488.5/sq mi (1,733.0/km2)
 • Density4,489.0/sq mi (1,733.2/km2)
Time zoneEastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
ZIP Code48197, 48198
Area code(s)734
FIPS code26-89140[4]
GNIS feature ID1616910[5]
Websitehttp://cityofypsilanti.com/
 
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"Ypsilanti" redirects here. For other uses, see Ypsilanti (disambiguation).
Ypsilanti, Michigan
City
City of Ypsilanti
Images from top to bottom, left to right: Ypsilanti Water Tower, Depot Town/Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, Michigan Firehouse Museum, and Eastern Michigan University's Starkweather Hall
Images from top to bottom, left to right: Ypsilanti Water Tower, Depot Town/Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, Michigan Firehouse Museum, and Eastern Michigan University's Starkweather Hall
Flag of Ypsilanti, Michigan
Flag
Nickname(s): Ypsi
Motto: "Pride. Diversity. Heritage."
Washtenaw County Michigan Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Ypsilanti Highlighted.svg
Coordinates: 42°14′34″N 83°37′6″W / 42.24278°N 83.61833°W / 42.24278; -83.61833Coordinates: 42°14′34″N 83°37′6″W / 42.24278°N 83.61833°W / 42.24278; -83.61833
CountryUnited States
StateMichigan
CountyWashtenaw
First settled1823
Incorporated village1832
Incorporated city1858
Government
 • MayorPaul Schreiber
 • City ManagerRalph Lange
Area[1]
 • Total4.52 sq mi (11.71 km2)
 • Land4.33 sq mi (11.21 km2)
 • Water0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)
Elevation719 ft (219 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total19,435
 • Estimate (2012[3])19,621
 • Density4,488.5/sq mi (1,733.0/km2)
 • Density4,489.0/sq mi (1,733.2/km2)
Time zoneEastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
ZIP Code48197, 48198
Area code(s)734
FIPS code26-89140[4]
GNIS feature ID1616910[5]
Websitehttp://cityofypsilanti.com/

Ypsilanti (/ˌɪpsɨˈlænti/,[6] often mispronounced /ˌjɪpsɨˈlænti/),[7] commonly shortened to Ypsi, is a city in Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan, perhaps best known as the home of Eastern Michigan University. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 19,435. The city is bounded to the north by Superior Township and on the west, south, and east by Ypsilanti Township. Ypsilanti is located six miles (10 km) east of Ann Arbor and thirty-five miles (56 km) west of Detroit.

The geographic grid center of Ypsilanti is the intersection of the Huron River and Michigan Avenue, the latter of which connects downtown Detroit, Michigan with Chicago, Illinois, and through Ypsilanti is partially concurrent with U.S. Route 12 Business and M-17.

On July 23, 2007, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that Ypsilanti, along with the cities of Caro and Clio, was chosen by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to take part in the Blueprints for Michigan's Downtowns program. The award provides for an economic development consultant to assist Ypsilanti in developing a growth and job creation strategy for the downtown area.[8]

History[edit]

Bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti at the Ypsilanti Water Tower

Originally a trading post established in 1809 by Gabriel Godfroy, a French-Canadian fur trader from Montreal, a permanent settlement was established on the east side of the Huron River in 1823 by Major Thomas Woodruff. It was incorporated into the Territory of Michigan as the village Woodruff's Grove. A separate community a short distance away on the west side of the river was established in 1825 under the name "Ypsilanti", after Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek War of Independence.[9] Woodruff's Grove changed its name to Ypsilanti in 1829, the year its namesake effectively won the Greek war, and the two communities eventually merged.

A bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti stands between a Greek and a US flag at the base of the landmark Ypsilanti Water Tower.

Automotive history[edit]

Ypsilanti has played an important role in the automobile industry. From 1920 to 1922, Apex Motors produced the "ACE" car. It was in Ypsilanti that Preston Tucker (whose family owned the Ypsilanti Machine Tool Company) designed and built the prototypes for his Tucker '48. Tucker's story was related in the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

In 1945, Henry J. Kaiser and Joseph W. Frazer bought the nearby Willow Run B-24 Liberator bomber plant from Ford Motor Company, and started to make Kaiser and Frazer model cars in 1947. The last Kaiser car made in Ypsilanti rolled off the assembly line in 1953, when the company merged with Willys-Overland and moved production to Toledo, Ohio. General Motors purchased the Kaiser Frazer plant, and converted it into its Hydramatic Division (now called its Powertrain division), beginning production in November 1953. The GM Powertrain Division ceased production at this facility in 2010.

Ypsilanti is also the location of the last Hudson automobile dealership. Today, the former dealership is the site of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. The museum is the home to an original Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car, which inspired the character "Doc Hudson" in the recent animated film Cars developed by Pixar.

Political history[edit]

Statue commemorating Harriet Tubman in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

In the early 1970s, along with neighboring city of Ann Arbor, the citizens reduced the penalty for the use and sale of marijuana to $5[12] (the Ypsilanti Marijuana Initiative; see also the Human Rights Party). When Ypsilanti prosecuted a man possessing 100 pounds (45 kg) of cannabis under state law, the defense argued he should have been charged under Ypsilanti's ordinance. The trial judge declared the ordinance's requirement that Ypsilanti prosecute only under city law unenforceable. An appeal court upheld the trial judge's ruling. Later, Ypsilanti City Council, using its power of codification, deleted the ordinance.[citation needed]

In 1979, Faz Husain was elected to the Ypsilanti city council, the first Muslim and the first native of India to win elected office in Michigan.

In the 1990s Ypsilanti became the first city in Michigan to pass a living wage ordinance.

In the late 1990s, the city adopted an ordinance to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, body weight (i.e., being obese or underweight). Two ballot measures to repeal the ordinance were led and bankrolled by conservatives, including Tom Monaghan. Both measures failed, the second by a larger percentage than the first.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.52 square miles (11.71 km2), of which, 4.33 square miles (11.21 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2) is water.[1] The Huron River flows through both the City of Ypsilanti and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.

Ypsilanti is located at 42°14′N 83°37′W / 42.24°N 83.62°W / 42.24; -83.62, in the western reaches of the Detroit/Windsor metropolitan area. Suburban development between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, via Washtenaw Avenue and Packard Road, has been unbroken since the late 1960s. Downtown Ypsilanti and the surrounding neighborhoods are the site of many historical homes, including kit homes by companies like Aladdin and Sears.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
19007,378
19106,230−15.6%
19207,41319.0%
193010,14336.8%
194012,12119.5%
195018,30251.0%
196020,95714.5%
197029,53840.9%
198024,031−18.6%
199024,8183.3%
200022,362−9.9%
201019,435−13.1%
Sources: United States Census[13] (1900–2000)
U.S. Census Bureau[14] (2009)

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 19,435 people, 8,026 households, and 2,880 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,488.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,733.0 /km2). There were 9,271 housing units at an average density of 2,141.1 per square mile (826.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 61.5% White, 29.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.4% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 8,026 households of which 18.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 19.7% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 64.1% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 25 years. 14.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 35.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.3% were from 25 to 44; 16.6% were from 45 to 64; and 8.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 22,362 people, 8,551 households, and 3,377 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,081.5 per square mile (1,962.3/km²). There were 9,215 housing units at an average density of 2,094.0 per square mile (808.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.40% White, 30.58% African American, 0.44% Native American, 3.18% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.32% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.47% of the population. 13.6% were of German, 6.8% Irish, 6.4% English and 5.5% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 8,551 households out of which 19.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.0% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.5% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.9% under the age of 18, 38.2% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 12.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,610, and the median income for a family was $40,793. Males had a median income of $30,328 versus $26,745 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,692. About 16.9% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

K–12 education[edit]

Ypsilanti Community Schools serve residents of the city, as well as parts of Ypsilanti Township. Ypsilanti Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools merged to form a new, united district on July 1, 2013.

Higher education[edit]

University Park on EMU campus.

A college town, Ypsilanti is home to Eastern Michigan University, founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School. Today, Eastern Michigan University has 18,000+ undergraduate and more than 4800 graduate students.[15] As well, Ypsilanti is home to Washtenaw Community College (WCC) sponsored off-site extension center.

Linguist List[edit]

Ypsilanti is also the home to the main editing site of the Linguist List, a major online resource for the field of linguistics. It is mostly staffed by graduate students who attend Eastern Michigan University and runs several database websites and mailing lists.[16]

Culture[edit]

It has been said that Ypsilanti is the Brooklyn to Ann Arbor's Manhattan.[17] Comparable to the gentrification causing many artists, poets, musicians, and hipsters to flee the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City to areas like Bushwick, nearby Ann Arbor has experienced massive increases in land value and taxes over the last several decades. Despite Ann Arbor's reputation in the region as a bohemian cultural center, many creative people have been driven out of the city to Ypsilanti due to these changes. A vibrant, underground arts scene has begun to emerge as a result.[18] This community gathers semiannually at the juried Shadow Art Fair held at The Corner Brewery.[19]

Since 1979, the city has become known for summer festivals in the part of the city called "Depot Town", which is adjacent to both Riverside and Frog Island Parks along the banks of the Huron River. Festivals include the annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, the Elvis Festival, the Orphan Car Festival, the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival, the former Frog Island Festival, and a Latino festival.

Overlooking Riverside Park is the non-profit Riverside Arts Center. Established in 1994 through the efforts of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority and several public spirited citizens, the Riverside boasts a 115 seat black box theater, a sizable art gallery and some meeting rooms and offices. In 2006 the adjacent DTE building was renovated with "Cool Cities Initiative" money and is in the process of being incorporated into the center's activities.

Domino's Pizza was founded in Ypsilanti in 1960 near the campus of Eastern Michigan University.

1963 Clara Owens establishes the Ypsilanti Greek Theater in Ypsilanti, Michigan for the performance of Greek theater productions.

In 1966 The Ypsilanti Greek Theater Opens at the EMU Baseball field. Bert Lahr and Dame Judith Anderson star in two productions, The Oresteia, a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus and The Birds by playwright Aristophanes.

Milton Rokeach's 1964 psychiatric case study, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, inspired a stage play and two operas. Poet W. H. Auden described it as "a very funny book ... about a hospital in which there are three gents, all of whom believe themselves to be the Lord. Which is common enough, except in the case of one—who had actually found a disciple!"[20]

Painter Fay Kleinman moved to Ypsilanti in the late 1980s with her husband, pianist Emanuel Levenson.

Author Kurt Vonnegut has a chapter titled "A Sappy Girl From Ypsilanti" in his 2005 book A Man Without a Country.

Author/comic Steve Martin mentions Ypsilanti in his short story "A Public Apology" from his book Pure Drivel.

Comic strip and film animation pioneer Winsor McCay received his only formal art training in Ypsilanti at Michigan State Normal College, now Eastern Michigan University. He is best remembered for the comic strip Little Nemo In Slumberland and the early animated film Gertie the Dinosaur.

Depot Town in Ypsilanti is also home to the Michigan ElvisFest every summer.

In music[edit]

In TV[edit]

Sites of interest[edit]

The new addition to the historic building which houses the Michigan Firehouse Museum was completed in the summer of 2002.

Ypsilanti has the second largest contiguous historic district in the state of Michigan,[22] behind only the much larger city of Grand Rapids. The historic district includes both downtown Ypsilanti, along Michigan Avenue, and the Depot Town area adjacent to Frog Island Park and Riverside Park, which features many specialty shops, bars and grills, and a farmers' market.

The Ypsilanti Water Tower, adjacent to the campus of Eastern Michigan University, holds the unique distinction of being the winner of the Most Phallic Building contest.

Starkweather Chapel, in Richardsonian Romanesque architectonic style, in Highland Cemetery

Other sites of interest include:

Local media[edit]

Ypsilanti is served by daily newspapers from Detroit. Ypsilanti once had its own daily newspaper, the Ypsilanti Press, but that paper closed June 28, 1994, after 90 years in business.[1] Upon closing, the Press sold its masthead, archives and subscriber list to the Ann Arbor News, which then began publishing an Ypsilanti edition. The Ann Arbor News ceased publication on July 23, 2009; it was replaced by a new Internet-based news operation, AnnArbor.com, which also produces print editions on Thursdays and Sundays. A weekly newspaper, the Ypsilanti Courier, is published every Thursday by Heritage Media from their Saline, MI offices.

Local radio stations include:

Transportation[edit]

Street map of Ypsilanti

Highways

Airports

Railroads

Non-motorized transportation

Notable people[edit]

Nicknames[edit]

Ypsilanti is often shortened to "Ypsi," particularly in spoken conversation and local/regional usage.

Because a large number of residents or their ancestors migrated from Appalachia, certain neighborhoods (particularly on the far east side of the city and into Ypsilanti Township) are sometimes called "Ypsitucky." Harriette Arnow's book The Dollmaker, which was made into a film starring Jane Fonda, focused on the lives of these "Ypsituckians."

Recently, the use of the term "Ypsitucky" has come under increased scrutiny due to its historically derogatory connotation. In 2008, the issue was raised after a dinner being held in Ann Arbor to honor Harriette Arnow was described as an "Ypsitucky Supper" in some of the event organizer's media releases.[35][36] In 2009, planning began for the "Ypsitucky Jamboree," a new music festival celebrating bluegrass music to be held in Ypsilanti in September 2009; this resulted in objections from some area residents and some members of the City Council, leading to renaming the event as simply "The Jamboree."[37][38][39]

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ US dict: ĭp′·sĭ·lăn′·tē
  7. ^ yĭp′·sĭ·lăn′·tē
  8. ^ "Governor Granholm Announces Michigan Main Street and Blueprints for Michigan's Downtowns Winners". 
  9. ^ "How Did Michigan Cities Get Their Names? Part 7". State of Michigan. 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2013-01-31. "Like Pigeon, Ypsilanti wasn't always known by the name is has today. The city was originally a trading post set up in 1809 and called Woodruff's Grove after Major Thomas Woodruff. The name was later changed to Ypsilanti in 1829 in honor of Demetrius Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti was a hero in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire." 
  10. ^ Blumberg, George P. (11 April 2003). "Driving; Hudsons Survive. The Dealer Does, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Charles McKenny Hall Dedicated Today". The Ypsilanti Daily Press. 1931-10-24. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  12. ^ "Ann Arbor Votes $5 Fine For the Use of Marijuana," New York Times: Apr 3, 1974
  13. ^ "Historical Population and Employment by Minor Civil Division, Southeast Michigan". Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. 2002. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Population Finder". U.S. Census Bureau. 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  15. ^ "Eastern Michigan University Website - Fast Facts". 
  16. ^ "About Linguist List". 
  17. ^ "Washtenw County Cultural Master Plan". p. 38. 
  18. ^ "Hipsilanti". 
  19. ^ "New local art shows launched in the Shadow Art Fair's absence". December 2010. 
  20. ^ Newman, Michael (Spring 1974). "The Art of Poetry: An Interview with W. H. Auden (No. 17)". Paris Review. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  21. ^ "De Niro flick films in Ypsilanti". Ann Arbor News (Ann Arbor News). Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  22. ^ "Conversation:Laura Bien", Michigan History (Historical Society of Michigan), March–April 2012: 10 
  23. ^ Amtrak back in Depot Town? Ypsilanti officials to consider request, Retrieved 5-3-2011
  24. ^ Needham, Bob (August 23, 2011). "Nickolas Ashford, singer and songwriter from Ypsilanti, dies". Ann Arbor News. 
  25. ^ Stone, Mike and Regner, Art (2008). The Great Book of Detroit Sports Lists. Running Press. p. 203. 
  26. ^ "CUTCHEON, Byron M., (1836 - 1908)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ Baines, Tim (January 14, 2014). "Ottawa RedBlacks sign NFL DB". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ypsilanti: Native Amy Devers appears on OWN remodeling program". Ypsilanti Courier. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  29. ^ Stone, Mike and Regner, Art (2008). The Great Book of Detroit Sports Lists. Running Press. 
  30. ^ "Long after she helped change Little League, Carolyn King's legacy remains alive and well". The Ann Arbor News. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  31. ^ "LUCKING, Alfred, (1856 - 1929)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Ypsilanti Public Schools Hall of Fame Inductees". Ypsilanti High School. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Don Schwall Awards". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond on NYC". Paste Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  35. ^ Miller, Jordan (2009-06-21). "'Ypsitucky Supper' planned next week, but term raises some eyebrows". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  36. ^ Davis, Merlene (2009-05-29). "A dirty word you might not have heard: Ypsitucky". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2009-05-29. [dead link]
  37. ^ Gantert, Tom (2009-03-20). "Planned "YpsiTucky" music festival draws criticism over event's name". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  38. ^ Mulcahy, John (2009-05-29). ""Ypsitucky" debate heads toward Ypsilanti City Council; city officials hope to resolve issue with festival promoter". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  39. ^ Mulcahy, John (2009-06-10). "Updated: Depot Town group will drop "Ypsitucky" from name of music festival planned in Ypsilanti". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]