City’s ‘Auto Row’ is officially designated

By Ian Perrotta

Hamtramck’s place in history was cemented last Friday (Sept. 17) with the dedication of a Wayside marker commemorating the “Automobile Row” corridor of Jos. Campau.

The marker, a plaque made from Digital High Pressure Laminate material, was built to stand up to the harsh conditions of an urban environment and is theft-proof and graffiti-resistant. Provided by the MotorCities National Heritage Program and paid for by a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation, it was acquired by the Hamtramck Historical Commission (HHC), which had also helped with its design.

On the plaque, a brief summary of the road’s history is given. Also included are photos of the street at its prime, as well as historical blurbs about significant parts of Automobile Row. Greg Kowalski, Chairman of the HHC, said he was impressed with the way the marker turned out.

“It’s more than I expected,” he said.

He also noted that while it was the fifth marker for Hamtramck, there were plenty of other places in the city that would be eligible for historic consideration.

“We have an opportunity to get even more markers,” he said. “Everywhere we turn there is an opportunity for another marker.”

(Ian Perrotta can be reached at

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