On this day in 1999, construction begins on Ford Field downtown. Mayor Dennis W. Archer and Detroit Lions officials are on hand.
The site had been part of a historic entertainment district called Paradise Valley, where many black-owned and operated bars, clubs and other businesses flourished during the 40’s and 50’s. The last structure standing from the Paradise Valley days, the 606 Horse Shoe Lounge, would be demolished just before Ford Field is complete in 2002.
Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.