Royal Oak, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Royal Oak, Michigan
settlement_type = City
nickname = Tree City U.S.A.
website =

imagesize =
image_caption =



mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in the state of Michigan

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Michigan
subdivision_name2 = Oakland
government_type = Commission-Manager
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Jim Ellison
leader_title1 = City Manager
leader_name1 = Tom Hoover
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1895 (village)
established_title2 =
established_date2 = 1921 (city)
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 11.8
area_land_sq_mi = 11.8
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
area_total_km2 = 30.6
area_land_km2 = 30.6
area_water_km2 = 0
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 60062
population_metro = 5456428
population_density_km2 = 1961.9
population_density_sq_mi = 5083.0
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 29 |lats = 20 |latNS = N
longd = 83 |longm = 8 |longs = 34 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes = Gnis|636352|elevation ]

elevation_m = 202
elevation_ft = 663
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 48067, 48068, 48073
area_code = 248
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 26-70040GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0636352GR|3
footnotes =

Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 60,062. It should not be confused with Royal Oak Charter Township, a separate community located nearby. It is the 5th largest city in Oakland County and the 18th largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan.


Royal Oak was incorporated as a village in 1891, and as a city in 1921. The city's name originates in 1819, from one of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass' expeditions surveying land. A tree located near the present day intersection of Crooks, Rochester, and Main reminded Cass of the Royal Oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester.

In the 1920s, Charles Coughlin became Father of Shrine of the Little Flower, a prominent landmark in the city. In 1926, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on the lawn of the original wooden church, and Coughlin used the incident to launch radio broadcasts on station WJR. Through this publicity he raised enough money to build the current limestone complex and tower from which he aired his radio show thereafter. He built a large following; however, in the late 30s Coughlin's broadcasts became increasingly controversial eventually leading to his removal from the air in 1939. [cite web|url=|title=Father Charles E. Coughlin, The Radio Priest|work=Detroit News: Michigan History|date=1995-07-23]

On November 14, 1991, Thomas McIlvane killed five people, including himself, with a Ruger .22 caliber rifle in Royal Oak's post office, which was one of a string of incidents across the United States in which current or recently fired postal workers attacked and killed co-workers en masse, leading to the phrase "going postal." [cite news | url= | title= Ex-Postal Worker Kills 3 and Wounds 6 in Michigan |org=New York Times | accessdate=2008-02-26]

Throughout the late 1990's and early 2000's, Royal Oak's downtown grew into an entertainment and nightlife destination. A number of large condominiums and lofts were built throughout the downtown and industrial areas. Though the economy took a downturn in 2006, the area remains an attractive area for young professionals and families.


The past decade has seen much in the way of development as the city's downtown has been transformed into a trendy and urban-chic restaurant, shopping, and entertainment district. Construction is underway on a number of high-rise building developments — mostly condo "lofts" with retail and office space on the lower levels. Points of interest include the Detroit Zoo, the renowned William Beaumont Hospital, the Royal Oak Music Theatre, the Main Art Theatre, the Baldwin Theatre, Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle, and the many unique shops, cafes, and restaurants which line the streets of the downtown area. In addition, the offices of Hour Detroit, a Metro Detroit lifestyle magazine, are located in the city. Royal Oak still has some edgier retail establishments, a few chain restaurants, dozens of unique restaurants and many new condominium projects.

The National Arbor Day Foundation has awarded Royal Oak the distinction of "Tree City USA" every year since 1976 due to the city's commitment to tree planting and preservationFact|date=April 2007.

In 1998, the foundation of famous "Saturday Night Live" comedian and Detroit-area native Gilda Radner created a free cancer support community for people with cancer, their families, and friends. Gilda's Club Metro Detroit operates a three-story non-residential house in Royal Oak and has welcomed more than 3,000 members for social and emotional support and fun activities.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.8 square miles (30.6 km²), of which, 11.8 square miles (30.6 km²) is land and none of it is covered by water.

Royal Oak is bordered by Pleasant Ridge, Ferndale and Hazel Park to the south, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Southfield and Beverly Hills to the West, Birmingham, Troy and Clawson to the North, and Madison Heights to the East.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 60,062 people, 28,880 households, and 14,440 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,083.0 people per square mile (1,961.9/km²). There were 29,942 housing units at an average density of 2,534.0 per square mile (978.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.80% White, 1.54% African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.

There were 28,880 households out of which 20.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.0% were non-families. 40.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.8% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 38.8% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $52,252, and the median income for a family was $68,109. Males had a median income of $50,562 versus $36,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,990. About 2.0% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


The city is served by Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools. It contains a location of Oakland Community College.There is also a private high school, Shrine Catholic, not operated by the city.

In recent years Royal Oak has begun to consolidate its public schools in response to enrollment levels that are lower than those of the baby boom era. In 2006, the city's two public high schools were combined into a new Royal Oak High School. Beginning in 2007, the city's two middle schools were combined into one school, named Royal Oak Middle School. Finally the total number of elementary schools was reduced to six. [ [ Consolidation Information | Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools ] ] Some parents protested the planned closure and demolition of Longfellow and Whittier elementary schools and were seeking to have them considered for historic district recognition by way of signed petition. [] Despite their efforts, both schools, as well as a number of other former elementary schools, were demolished in the fall of 2007.


Royal Oak utilizes the Council-Manager form of government, [ [ Government Overview] , City of Royal Oak. Accessed 2008-05-02] and is governed by a city commission consisting of a mayor and six commission members. The city commission appoints a city manager, who manages the day-to-day operations of the city.

The current mayor of Royal Oak is Jim Ellison, and the city manager is Thomas Hoover.

Current city commissioners are Michael Andrzejak, Terry Drinkwine, Carlo P Ginotti, Gary Lelito, Stephen Miller & Charles Semchena, Jr.


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Royal Oak, operating its Amtrak lines|Wolverine three times daily in both directions between Pontiac, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois via Detroit.

Commuter rail service was once provided by Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW) and later Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA) from Pontiac, Michigan to downtown Detroit with a stop in Royal Oak. This service ended on October 17, 1983 after subsidies were discontinued. Efforts continue to this day to restore such commuter service.

Class one freight rail service is provided by Canadian National Railway (CN).

Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operates local and regional bus transit.

Highways: There is an interchange connecting interstate highways I-75 and I-696 in the southeast corner of the city. Woodward Avenue (state highway M-1) is about a mile west of the interchange in the southeast corner of the city. Woodward proceeds northwest defining the western border of the city, and intersects with the north-south Coolidge Highway just south of 13 Mile Road. Additionally, the southern terminus of Rochester Road is about 1 mile north of the downtown district, where it angles off from Main street, just south of the location of the "Royal Oak" tree mentioned above, and connects Royal Oak with Rochester, Michigan, although the road itself continues on far beyond the city of Rochester. This road used to also be the route of an early 1900s electric trolley line which connected downtown Royal Oak with downtown Rochester.



In addition to the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, regional newspapers serving all of southeast Michigan, the city is served by the Daily Tribune, the Royal Oak Review, and the Mirror.

The popular 1990s sitcom "Home Improvement" is set in Royal Oak. In one episode, Tim is pulled over on a traffic stop by a police officer wearing a Royal Oak Police Department shoulder patch.

The Detroit Independent is headquartered in Royal Oak.

In 2008, two movies were filmed in Royal Oak. Scenes from "Prayers for Bobby" and "Grand Torino" were filmed in the downtown area.


Downtown Royal Oak features a wide assortment of nightlife venues, including The Royal Oak Music Theatre and The Landmark Main Art Theatre. The many restaurants range in fare from take-out sandwiches to high-end establishments specializing in cuisines like Italian, Belgian, Nepali, and others. A variety of pubs are also available and include biker bars, dance clubs, upscale breweries, sports bars, and rooftop bars.

During the summer, downtown Royal Oak becomes host to hordes of motorcycle enthusiasts from around the metro Detroit area. Wednesday nights Main Street is often lined with Harley-Davidsons, whereas Thursday night the streets fill up with sport bikes.

While Royal Oak's nightlife has attracted its share of celebrities, such as Kid Rock and Bob Seger's manager Punch Andrews, it has also attracted a few famous celebrity crimes, such as hockey star Sergei Fedorov in September 2001 for failing a breathalyzer test, and Eminem in June 2000 for gun possession.

In 1999 Meg White of the White Stripes was a day bartender for two years at the downtown bar Memphis Smoke. Years later, Jack White's ex- girlfriend Renée Zellweger was known to stop in at Memphis Smoke for carry-out. During the 2005 Detroit Lions football season, 2004 Playboy Playmate of the year, Carmella DeCesare lived in a downtown, upscale loft with her boyfriend Jeff Garcia. She was known for calling into local Detroit sports radio stations and complaining about local reporters' treatment of Garcia.

Famous citizens

* Kristen Bell - actress never a Royal Oak resident but a Shrine Catholic High School graduate
* Bruce Campbell - B-movie actor and director
* Father Charles Coughlin - "Radio priest" at the National Shrine of the Little Flower during the Great Depression
* Pete Dawkins - overcame polio to win the Heisman Trophy in 1958, eventually becoming a Rhodes Scholar as well as the youngest U.S. Army brigadier general ever
* Carmella DeCesare - 2004 Playboy playmate
* John Ellis - Singer/Songwriter, a Dondero High School graduate
* Paul Feig - Writer and filmmaker
* Kirk Ferentz - Head football coach at the University of Iowa
* Dean Fertita - Songwriter/musician/singer who has played with Queens of the Stone Age and The Raconteurs
* Bill Freehan - MLB catcher for the Detroit Tigers
* Glenn Frey - member of the band Eagles, who attended Dondero High School
* Christopher George - Actor Rat Patrol
* Keegan-Michael Key - Mad TV comedian never a Royal Oak resident but a Shrine Catholic High School graduate
* Kevin Carrico - independent writer/director/dp, a Dondero High School graduate, currently (2008) working with Keegan-Michael Key and attended college with Chris Gore, has also worked with Bruce Campbell
* Chris Gore - independent film maker
* David Grewe - Former baseball coach at Michigan State University
* Judith Guest - author of Ordinary People
* Tom Hayden - one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society
* Abraham Hoagland - 19th Century Mormon leader
* Jack Kevorkian - physician incarcerated for participating in euthanasia
* Bill Muncey - Famous Hydroplane driver
* Sam Raimi - Director of many films including the Spiderman film series
* Mike Valenti - Radio personality, and co-host of Valenti and Foster on 97.1 The Ticket

ee also

*Architecture of metropolitan Detroit
*Detroit Zoo


External links

* [ City of Royal Oak]
* [ Downtown Royal Oak]
*wikitravelpar|Royal Oak

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Royal Oak (Michigan) — Royal Oak 11 Mile Road (oben), Woodward Dream Cruise und National Shrine of the Little Flower (Mitte), Rackham Memorial Fountain (unten) Lage im County und in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak (Michigan) — Royal Oak Administration Pays  États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Municipio de Royal Oak (Míchigan) — Municipio de Royal Oak Municipio de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Royal Oak — (engl.: Königliche Eiche) steht für: eine Eiche, in der sich Karl II. von England auf seiner Flucht nach der Schlacht von Worcester 1651 der Gefangennahme durch die Parlamentarier entzog, siehe Royal Oak (Baum), den Namen zahlreicher Schiffe in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools — is also called ROSD for Royal Oak School District.The official name is School District of the City of Royal Oak. The district provides public school services for the municipality of: Royal Oak, Michigan in the United States. choolsSecondary… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak (disambiguation) — The Royal Oak was the tree in which Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Cities and townsIn England: *Royal Oak, County Durham *Royal Oak, Lancashire * Royal Oak, YorkshireIn the united… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak High School — Infobox Secondary school name = Royal Oak High School established = 2006 enrollment = 1900 grades = 9–12 principal = Michael Greening type = Public secondary colors = Blue, Black and Silver mascot = Rocky the Raven affiliation = Royal Oak… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak Middle School — Infobox Secondary school name = Royal Oak Middle School established = 2007 enrollment = 1250 motto = Students come to learn, Teachers come to teach. grades = 6 8 principal = Cecilia Boyer type = Junior High School colors = Red, White and Black… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak (Amtrak station) — Infobox Station name=Royal Oak image size= image caption=Royal Oak train platform address=201 South Sherman Drive Royal Oak, MI 48069 line=rail color box|system=Amtrak|line=Wolverine other=Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak — Royal Oak, MI U.S. city in Michigan Population (2000): 60062 Housing Units (2000): 29942 Land area (2000): 11.816328 sq. miles (30.604149 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.001072 sq. miles (0.002776 sq. km) Total area (2000): 11.817400 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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