The Last Days of Poletown

A neighborhood faces doom and a new auto plant may rise

The sign above a brick archway in the basement of Immaculate Conception Church in the Poletown neighborhood of Detroit reads GM—MARK OF DESTRUCTION. It is a wry twist on the "mark of excellence" slogan of the General Motors Corp., but none of the few dozen mostly elderly and Polish-American homeowners gathered in the room last week were laughing. Members of the Poletown Neighborhood Council, they are engaged in a battle to save their neighborhood as the city of Detroit prepares to raze some...

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