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Summer of Shed/Barricade Ends, Takes Shed/Barricade With It

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[Images via Michelle and Chris Gerard]

Summer 2014 dies softly sometime around 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning when you all return to to work after Labor Day Monday off. R.I.P. Also being killed off is the barricade between Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park which became the scandal of the summer. These photos, taken two weeks ago, show the structure in full-force. GP Parkers claimed that the shed was a welcoming market to people in both cities. Skeptics thought the whole ordeal reeked as a thinly veiled attempt for a richer suburb to wall out the poors across the border.

June 20: Motor City Muckraker wrote about Kercheval, a street which connects the two cities, being blocked off at the border where it met Alter. At the time there was just a concrete square but plans to build a farmer's market had been released. MCM wrote that some were calling it an "attempt to keep out Detroiters from the suburban community," but also wrote that "But Grosse Pointe Park officials expected [the market] attract Detroiters to an area that will be walkable with plenty of retail and restaurants."

June 27: Click on Detroit also takes note of the barrier. At this time the shed is in place at what used to be an intersection between the cities. They describe this intersection as " that uncomfortable elephant in the room for at least a generation. On one block: Boarded-up blight and a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. The next: Trendy restaurants, families on bikes and decorative string lights." They are not incorrect.

July 16: MCM reports that the property where the shed was built actually belongs to Detroit . By law, Grosse Pointe Park can't build on Detroit property without city approval.

July 28: The Freep covers the barricade. "We're not in some kind of conspiracy against Detroiters — that's just so far-fetched," Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Pro Tem Greg Theokas said.

August 13: The Detroit News editorial board defends the barricade in an article entitled "Grosse Pointe Park stands up to blight." They write "consider what the suburban community is walling itself off from. The area of Detroit's east side that borders Grosse Pointe Park is among the most blighted in the city, perhaps in the country."

August 19: It's over! Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan signs an agreement that gets the thing taken down. The deal involves removing blight and redeveloping the entire border area.

August 20: Bye Bye Barricade! A Freep editorial proclaims, the barricade, "shouldn't have built it in the first place." The article includes the phrase "That's a fine kettle of fish."
· Grosse Pointe Park to remove barricade, Detroit to remove area blight in border agreement [Click on Detroit]