Michael Patrick McCulloch

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Mary Fair Croushore Graduate Student Fellow

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    “Building the Working City: Designs on Home and Life in Boomtown Detroit, 1914-1929”

    This dissertation studies the making of industrial worker’s housing in Detroit in the period 1914-1929, between Ford’s Five Dollar Day and the Great Depression. The project argues that while industrialists and real estate developers promoted the ownership of single-family homes as a source of security for workers, this security proved elusive from the start due to shifting real estate values, economic crises, and racial tensions. This perspective challenges histories that site Detroit’s instability in the postwar era, offers a historically grounded perspective on the city’s residential “ruins” of today, and provides lessons to inform the debate around American homeownership in the wake of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.