Elmwood Park Branch Library
550 Chene Street
The Elmwood Park Branch opened on April 21, 1975 in the Elmwood Park Plaza. It is the only branch located in a shopping plaza. The library opening completed the development of a mini-community. The plaza included a senior citizen's high rise, a Farmer Jack supermarket, and several other businesses. The original owners included the library at the insistence of the community residents.
The Lafayette Park area was the first major urban renewal project in the city of Detroit. The demolition of what was then a large African-American community began in the 1950's. The original plan for the 129 acres was to demolish the residences and commercial buildings on the site and prepare the land for resale to private developers for residential use. The plan went through many changes before the building was completed and the area fully developed. Today, Lafayette Park consists of low and high-rise apartments, condominiums and townhouses. The population of the area is mixed both racially and economically, with an age range from young families to senior citizens.