MotorCities National Heritage Area

file 20170214190918 Building the Enginefile 20170213194403 Building the EngineIn 2017, a unique confluence of organized labor milestones will be recognized through a public awareness effort called, “Building the Engine: Auto and Labor, 1932-1937.”

With informative programs, publications and events, regional partners including the MotorCities National Heritage Area and the Michigan Labor History Society will present the story of how these events laid the foundation for organized labor in the auto industry and beyond.

To navigate labor anniversaries being commemorated as part of this effort, click on the links below.

80th anniversary, 1936 Kelsey Hayes Sit-Down Strike – Dec. 14, 2016

80th anniversary, 1936-37 Flint Sit-Down Strike

and first UAW-GM contract – Dec. 30, 2016-Feb. 11, 2017

85th anniversary, 1932 Ford Hunger March – March 7, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Battle of the Overpass – May 26, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Lansing Labor Holiday – June 7, 2017

Special publications, events, educational programming and more will be presented under the identity of “Building the Engine,” including a series of blog posts featured on the MotorCities website. Other information about the program will be listed on as well as the Michigan Labor History Society website at

MotorCities Support Button Membership

Become a member today using our secure online system. We value your membership and thank you for your support! 

Your 2020 Membership entitles you to...

1. Member-only exclusive discounts on admission and/or gift shop at many of our partner sites:

Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn: 20% off admission
Detroit Historical Museum: 20% off general admission and 10% off in the Museum Store
Detroit Institute of Arts:
20% off admission for guests from outside Wayne, Oakland & Macomb counties + 20% off the purchase of any membership for any visitor
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
in Grosse Pointe Shores: 20% off general house tours
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant 
in Detroit: 20% off admission
Gilmore Car Museum
in Hickory Corners: 10% off in the gift shop
The Henry Ford
in Dearborn: 10% off the purchase of any membership
Meadow Brook Hall
in Rochester: 10% off admission for up to two guests
Michigan Firehouse Museum in Ypsilanti: 10% off in the gift shop
Michigan History Museum in Lansing: buy one, get one free adult admission + a 10% discount in the store
Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society in Eastpointe: $2 off admission per person
Old Mill Museum in Dundee: 20% off in the gift shop
Plymouth Historical Museum: $1 off admission per person 
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing: $4 admission per person + 10% discount in the store
Roush Automotive Collection in Livonia: 10% off in the gift shop
Alfred P. Sloan Museum
in Flint: 10% off in the store
Yankee Air Museum
in Ypsilanti: 50% off admission 

2. MotorCities Membership Card

Membership card 2020

3. Your very own MotorCities coasters (not actual size!)

MotorCities coaster art RESIZED

4. Recognition on the MotorCities website

2019 Membership List

Click below to sign up or renew your MotorCities individual or organizational membership.

Internal Revenue Service recognizes MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership, Inc. as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts tax deductible in the U.S.A. Our Federal Tax ID # is 13-1635294

(After a few months away ...) We're getting closer! June, 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 1 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 2 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 3 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 4 June 2020

Fort Street Bridge Park construction 5 June 2020

Construction Update! February, 2020

February 2020 photo 2

Construction Continues! January, 2020


Construction Has Begun! November, 2019


Ground Has Been Broken -- October 9, 2019!

FROG group shovels in the groundCongresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib join MotorCities Executive Director Shawn Pomaville-Size and representatives from the Fort-Rouge Gateway Coalition (FRoG) put shovels in the ground at the site of what will soon be the Fort Street Bridge Interpretive Park in southwest Detroit.

On October 9, 2019, MotorCities staff and board members joined Congresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib, our partners in the Fort-Rouge Gateway Coalition (FRoG), and Friends of the Rouge to break ground for the new Fort Street Bridge Interpretive Park, located at the foot of the Fort Street Bridge in southwest Detroit.
On March 7, 1932, during the Great Depression, auto workers organized a march from Detroit to the Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn. Known as the Ford Hunger March, the event is one of the most significant events leading to the creation of the United Auto Workers union.
"The historic Fort Street Bridge, central to the march, was decommissioned in 2013, and a new bridge has taken its place," said Shawn Pomaville-Size, MotorCities' executive director. "A group of community partners called the Fort-Rouge Gateway Coaltion have worked to ensure the history of the Hunger March, the significance of the former bridge and its importance to the region would be recognized within this new Fort Street Bridge Park. We see the new park as a first step in transforming a neglected urban space into an experiential gateway that interprets the history of labor, industry and the environment, while creating equitable access to green space."
Plans for the park include a sculpture, kayak launch, boardwalk, rain garden, and a walking path symbolizing the renewed health and viability of the Rouge River and regional commitment to the environment.
MotorCities National Heritage Area, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, City of Detroit, City of Dearborn, Marathon Petroleum Co. LP, Michigan Department of Transportation, United Auto Workers Local 600, Friends of the Rouge, Friends of the Detroit River, various neighborhood block groups, PEA Inc. and others collaborated to build this park.

Contact Brian Yopp, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 313.259.3425, with any questions about the park.

Read a recent Detroit Free Press article about the park efforts.

Enjoy this video on the plans for the new park space.

Click here to view the preliminary site plan

file 20141218161722 fort street bridge park

Shawn with Lilly Tate and McMorrow RESIZEDCo-Chairs of the Michigan Legislative Auto Caucus from left to right: Rep. Jim Lilly, Rep. Joe Tate and Senator Mallory McMorrow with MotorCities Executive Director Shawn Pomaville-Size.  

October 30, 2019 was the sixth annual Michigan Auto Heritage Day! 

It is a day where supporters of automotive heritage preservation come together in celebration of the state’s unique history of automotive industry. 

MotorCities also honors projects from around the National Heritage Area that have gone above and beyond to protect our rich heritage with our annual Awards of Excellence.

Michigan Auto Heritage Day and the Awards of Excellence launched in 2014.

Stay tuned for photos from the 2019 event.