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Pontiac

City of Pontiac

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  Summary  

Pontiac is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan named after the Ottawa Chief Pontiac, located within the Detroit metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County.

The city is best known for its General Motors manufacturing plants (GM's primary truck plant was formerly in Pontiac) and the former GM automobile brand Pontiac, which was first produced in and named after the city. Also of note is the Pontiac Silverdome, the stadium that hosted the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1975 until 2002, when the team moved back to Downtown Detroit.

On February 20, 2009 the state of Michigan placed the city into receivership, and the Department of Treasury appointed Fred Leeb the city's emergency financial manager in March 2009.

  History  

Early expeditions into the land north of Detroit described the area as having "extreme sterility and barrenness". Developments and exploration were soon to prove that report false.

The first settlers arrived in what is now the city of Pontiac in 1818. Two years later there were enough people there to form a village named after the famous Indian Chief who had made his headquarters in the area only a few years before. Pontiac was Michigan's first inland settlement.

The village was officially recognized by the state legislature in 1837 and it incorporated as a city in 1861. From the beginning, Pontiac's central location served it well. It attracted professional people, including doctors and lawyers, and soon also became a center of industry. The city became the location of choice for woolen and grist mills which made use of the Clinton River as a power source. With the coming of the railroad through the downtown area in 1844, Pontiac's progress and success were assured.

Abundant natural resources led to the establishment of several carriage manufacturing companies, all of which were thriving at the turn of the century when the first self-propelled vehicles were introduced. Pontiac quickly became a capital of the new automotive industry. As the small "horseless carriage" manufacturers became consolidated under the mantle of the General Motors Corporation, Pontiac grew as the industry grew, suffering the same setback as other cities during the depression years of the 1930s. In the boom years following World War II, Pontiac was at the forefront of growth in affluent Oakland County.

In 1970s, construction began on the "Pontiac Plan." This plan included the Phoenix Center, two office buildings and a high rise residential complex. The "Pontiac Plan" was a vision of Pontiac business owner C. Don Davidson.

In 2010, city leaders and business owners launched "The Rise of The Phoenix" initiative. This plan was aimed at businesses interested in downtown retail space. The applicants selected would be given free rent in exchange for multi-year leases as well as one-year of free parking in city lots. This plan will lead to 52 new businesses to locate in downtown Pontiac.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Pontiac (Míchigan)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.