From the birth of Detroit. Only “One Avenue” has stood up to the call of time.
Woodward began as a trail frequented by American Indians, and later , early settlers trading and conducting business around and about Detroit. The trail which became Woodward is the oldest road in Michigan. Making it rich with history and great stories, which have been passed on for generations and centuries.
As a young boy I remember my grandfather constantly talking about his business in downtown Detroit, riding streetcars, buses and eventually driving down Woodward Avenue to check on the business, or to just enjoy a pleasant weekend throughout the city. Detroit was booming and Woodward Avenue was the major thoroughfare into the city. Woodward Avenues rich history continued to grow with time. Its claim to the nations first concrete highway, which was initially poured in 1908. As traffic grew, the remaining lengths of Woodward were paved and added by 1916. Woodward Avenue now stretched twenty-eight miles from Detroit to Pontiac. Three years later, the first red, amber and green traffic light in the country was in operation on Woodward Avenue.
Woodward Avenue became the “Main Street” of its time, and still is today. However, it was not any ordinary main street. This was Woodward Avenue, that had towing building, church’s, mansions, restaurants and theaters that harbored both sides of the street. If only Judge Augustus Woodward would have known in 1806 what his plans for a broaden avenue were to become. As prosperity grew in Detroit, so did the traffic on Woodward Avenue. This led to widening the avenue several more times. Transforming Woodward Avenue into the first “Super Highway” in America.