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Detroit's 1944 Proposal: Build UN Headquarters on Belle Isle

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Having contributed significantly to the Allied victory, Detroit was feeling pretty cocky just after WWII. With a population nearing 1.8 million, Detroit was the first American city to make a play at hosting the future UN headquarters. The spot? Belle Isle, where the UN could build a "Capital of the World" on the island's 1,000 acres. The location between two peaceful nations would be seen as a "living monument to world peace." Detroit was passed over for New York City, but Belle Isle still holds the strange allure of a developable property to this day. Convention and Tourist Bureau President Frank A. Picard summed it up nicely: "Other American cities may have one advantage, but Detroit has them all."
· Detroit's Quixotic Bid to Host the United Nations [Foreign Policy Group]