Woodbridge is a proud and active Detroit community with a rich and culturally diverse past that is still prominent today. Our neighborhood is known for its community-centered, friendly residents. Named after territorial Governor William Woodbridge, Woodbridge has been home to such famous Detroiters as Ty Cobb, David Stott, James Scripps, Meg White, Sixto Rodriguez, and founder of the Cranbrook Academy and the Detroit News George Booth.
A few minutes from Downtown, New Center and Midtown, Woodbridge is continually evolving. While primarily a residential neighborhood with many large historic homes, the area is also home to a growing number of art institutions — including the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit and 4731 Gallery.
Woodbridge is a neighborhood where personal contact is a part of daily life. On streets like Trumbull, Commonwealth and Avery, you see students of all ages, college professors, professional people, musicians and artists, anarchists and organic farmers, dog-walkers and bicyclists, longtime residents of all colors and social strata. You see them walking, lounging on front porches — a characteristic feature of Woodbridge— or firing up the barbecue in the neighborhood’s large backyards.
The land originated as a farm owned by Michigan governer William Woodbridge. After his death in the mid-1800’s, the land was divided into parcels. This is when the largest and most opulent housing was built, mostly on Trumbull Avenue, and on the corners of most every block. By the turn of the century, many middle-income and working-class Detroiters filled in the land with more moderate single-family and two-family homes. By the Depression, the inhabitants changed to lower-income residents, and many landlords divided two-family homes into tenements and rooming houses.
In the 1980’s, college professors took interest in restoring the houses. By this time, much of the housing stock was lost to the wrecking ball through the efforts of Wayne State University to develop the land. The university was forced to stop when the State of Michigan officially recognized the neighborhood as historic. Some of the inhabitants have lived in Woodbridge for more than 40 years. Some of them can trace their roots in the neighborhood back three or more generations.
The rich history left by the past residents continues to be celebrated today. An annual Home and Garden Tour held each September gives the public a firsthand view of the neighborhood and the colorful residents that continue to shape its history. Musicians, performers and artists have known Woodbridge for decades as a favorite place to live, rehearse, relax and visit friends.