I got an great correction via email. I cut and pasted a caption without much thought saying this is a “Very old picture, the 20′s-30′s era. It looks like the depression time.” Not true, as Dan wrote me, this really is from the 50′s Here are some of Dan’s details to point out my mistake:
“This picture is more like around 1950 give or take. Those tracks in the pavement of Woodward are street car tracks of the Detroit Street Railway and these people are mostly Christmas shoppers waiting for one of the next street cars. The buildings behind them with all the Christmas trees on the awnings are the Hudson’s and Kern’s department stores in downtown Detroit. The street running between the two buildings is Gratiot Avenue. The Hudson’s building behind them to the left did not have that small corner addition at Woodward and Gratiot added on until about 1946. You can see the diffrence in that corner addition from the rest of the facade of the building. While both buildings have been torn down that clock from the Kern’s building behind them to the right was placed on a pedistal and is on display at that corner. That clock is the big giveaway to exactly where this photo was taken. These people are too well dressed for a breadline with their Christmas shopping bags. Also the girl in the front of the line (furthest one on the right) has bobby socks and saddle shoes. Those came out in the 40s. It does look cold though.”
Nice to hear from a real Detroit historian ! Thank you Dan !