Pontiac, then and now

1937

On the historic maps, click on an area to see the appraiser's description, which will appear on the right. Scroll down to see how they identified the neighborhood and its inhabitants and how appraisers felt about the area's long-term prospects.

2015

A majority black city today (52 percent African-American), in the 1930s blacks lived in several parts of Pontiac; today, those neighborhoods are as high as 84 percent black (shaded red). Yet there are large sections of the city and region, including north of downtown and southwest, near South Telegraph Road, that have far smaller black populations. In the green and blue areas on the 1930s map, south and west of town, where no blacks lived at the time, today have the fewest blacks in Pontiac (shaded yellow and green in 2015 map). Housing policy in the 1930s would have made it difficult for blacks to get a government-backed loan to move into in those areas.

See the other historic maps in this series:

About The Author

Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson is Bridge’s computer-assisted reporting specialist. He can be reached at mwilkinson@bridgemi.com.

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