Roosevelt Park Excavations

Since 2011 Wayne State archaeologists Krysta Ryzewski and Thomas Killion have been leading excavations at Roosevelt Park in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. Roosevelt Park stands in front of the ruins of the Michigan Central Train Station (MCS) and was originally designed to serve as a grand esplanade welcoming arriving visitors to the city. 2012 excavationsThe construction of the MCS between 1911-13 and Roosevelt Park in 1918-21 involved the demolition and forced displacement of over 300 working-class households and other buildings from the urban 19th-century neighborhood. The displacement of the community who lived in the footprint of Roosevelt Park was a process involving a nearly decade-long conflict between residents, city officials, park planners, and railroad agents.


Excavations at Roosevelt Park have been the focus of Dr. Krysta Ryzewski’s biennial Archaeological Field Methods class (ANT5280) in 2012 and 2014. During the fall of 2016 the class is investigating the contrasts in material culture, the area’s urban landscape, and the neighborhood’s demographics prior to and during the contentious displacement process. Follow the 2016 excavation blog 

For more information about previous excavations, please contact Krysta Ryzewski