Harper Woods, Michigan

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Harper Woods is a city located on the eastside of suburban Detroit, Michigan, United States. The city is located in Wayne County. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,254.



Harper Woods was incorporated as a city on February 19, 1951 when the residents of Gratiot Township voted to incorporate as the City of Harper Woods. A Charter Commission was elected, a charter prepared and adopted, and a City Council elected. The City of Harper Woods came into existence on October 29, 1951 when the charter took effect and the first City Council was sworn in.

According to the city's website, the City of Harper Woods was so named because it was then a wooded area and because its main thoroughfare was Harper Avenue (named for Walter Harper, founder of the nearby Harper Hospital in Detroit).

The fledgling suburb faced the usual problems confronting new cities: schools, streets, sidewalks, water systems, drains, etc. In 1956, Harper Woods was the subject of a community service study by the Bureau of Government, Institute of Public Administration, at the University of Michigan.

The development of Harper Woods reflected the growth of metropolitan Detroit. In 1955, the I-94 Expressway Route (which bi-sects the eastern part of the suburb) was approved, and construction on the Eastland Shopping Center began soon after. Eastland Center, one of the first outdoor malls in the Midwest, opened in 1957. Harper Woods continued to develop and grow over the decades. In 2001, Harper Woods celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Geography and demographics

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km²), all land.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 14,254 people, 6,292 households, and 3,756 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,521.1 per square mile (2,133.1/km²). There were 6,514 housing units at an average density of 2,523.1/sq mi (974.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.92% White, 10.24% African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.70% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.57% of the population. 14.4% were of German, 14.0% Italian, 12.5% Polish, 10.4% Irish and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

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