Detroit’s Lost Poletown with Author Brianne Turczynski

Poletown was a once vibrant, ethnically diverse neighborhood in Detroit. In its prime, it had a store on every corner. Its theaters, restaurants, and schools thrived, and its churches catered to multiple denominations. The Rochester Hills Public Library (RHPL) presents “Detroit’s Lost Poletown” with author Brianne Turczynski on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. on the library’s online Zoom platform.

Event Logo with a headshot of the author, the book cover, and name of event.

In 1981, General Motors announced plans for a new plant in Detroit and pointed to the 465 acres of Poletown. Using the law of eminent domain with a quick-take clause, the city planned to relocate 4,200 residents within ten months and raze the neighborhood. With unprecedented defiance, the residents fought back in vain. In 2004, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the eminent domain law applied to Poletown was unconstitutional—a ruling that came two decades too late.

Join RHPL and Turczynski as she discusses the history of the neighborhood, its demise, her research, and the interviews she conducted, as well as how the story of Poletown impacted her. This program is open to the public and requires registration to join the live Zoom presentation.

Author Brianne Turczynski

Brianne Turczynski is a freelance writer and historical researcher from Rochester, Michigan. She received her master’s degree in education from Oakland University with a concentration in English and history. In addition to being the author of the historical fiction novel, Proper Mourning, her fiction and poetry has appeared in Halcyone Magazine, The 3288 Review, The Write Launch and the Flying Ketchup Press. Her nonfiction has been featured in Valley Living Magazine, Michigan Out of Doors Magazine, and Planet Detroit News. She has won awards for her writing through Oakland University, and she’s currently producing and directing a documentary film about economic and social change in one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods. Her book Detroit’s Lost Poletown: The Little Neighborhood that Touched a Nation is available to order. In her spare time, she whittles, repairs broken violins, and loves to fish.

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