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Carl Almblad Papers

Identifier: UP001602
The papers of Carl W. Almblad contain correspondence, manuals, maps, reports, studies and printed material related to urban planning, urban renewal and historic district development in the cities of Chicago and Detroit.

Important subjects in the collection: American Institute of Planners Blessing, Charles A. Cavanagh, Jerome P. Central business districts--Michigan--Detroit Chicago (Ill.)--City planning Cobo, Albert E. Detroit--Virginia Park neighborhood Detroit--West side industrial neighborhood Detroit Medical Center Detroit (Mich.) City Plan Commission Detroit (Mich.)--City planning Detroit (Mich.) Community and Econ omic Development Department Detroit (Mich.) Historic District Commission Detroit (Mich.)--Model Neighborhood Agency Detroit (Mich.)--Population Detroit (Mich.)--Race relations Detroit (Mich.)--Social policy Detroit (Mich.)--Urban renewal Federal aid to community development--Michigan--Detroit Gribbs, Roman S. Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration--Michigan--Detroit Historic districts--Michigan--Detroit Housing rehabilitation--Michigan--Detroit Miriani, Louis C. New Center Commons Virginia Park Wayne State University--Michigan--Detroit Young, Coleman A.
Series Description: Series I, Personal, 1938-1962: This series contains notes, reports, and studies pertaining to Mr. Almblad's time in Chicago as well as his education at the University of Illinois and Wayne State University. Other information on Chicago may by found in Series IV, Other Cities. For more information about Mr. Almblad's career with the City of Detroit, see Series II, Detroit City Planning Commission and Series III, Historic District Commission.

Series II, Detroit City Plan Commission, 1913-1988: This series contains agendas, articles, brochures, budgets, clippings, drawings, guides, manuals, maps, notes, papers, plans, proposals, reports, scripts, etc. to reflect the activities of the Detroit City Plan Commission and urban planning. The documents are arranged by geographic area, city department and subject to reflect.

Series III, Historic District Commission, 1964-1988: This series contains articles, brochures, budgets, contracts, guidelines, maps, notes, procedures, recommendation, reports, etc. pertaining to the Detroit Historic District Commission activities including historic district designation, rehabilitation techniques, approval procedures and city ordinances, citizen organizations, and information about historic districts.

Series IV, Other Cities, 1947-1987: This series contains articles, brochures, clippings, and reports pertaining to urban planning and historic designations in cities outside the Detroit Metropolitan Area. For more information on Chicago see also Series I, Personal.


  • 1913 - 1988


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


24 Linear Feet (24 SB)


An urban planner, Carl Almblad worked with the Chicago Plan Commission, the Detroit Plan Commission, the City of Detroit Community and Economic Development Department and the Detroit Historic District Commission. The papers of Mr. Almblad relate to urban planning, urban renewal, and historic district development in the cities of Chicago and Detroit.


Carl W. Almblad was born on August 16, 1924 in Chicago and spent his entire professional career as an urban planner. He pursued undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the early 1940s and received a B.S. in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1950 and an M.S. in urban planning from Wayne State University in 1961.

In 1950 he began work with the Chicago Plan Commission as a student intern and was later promoted to associate planner. His responsibilities included conducting redevelopment studies, housing and economic studies, and regional studies.

Mr. Almblad left Chicago in 1953 to join the Detroit City Plan Commission where he worked over the next several years as a senior, principal and, finally, head city planner, responsible for urban renewal planning, master plan studies, coordination with neighborhood groups, model neighborhood plans, and city-wide historic and renewal studies. In 1971 he was appointed assistant director of the City Plan Commission.

In 1974, Mr. Almblad assumed leadership of the City of Detroit Community and Economic Development Department. As planning head of the department, his duties included regulating zoning uses, urban renewal planning, public works projects administration and responsibility for urban design, graphics, exhibits and films. He left in 1982 to become chief administrator of the Detroit Historic District Commission.

After his retirement in June of 1988, Mr. Almblad relocated to North Carolina, where he has become an avid watercolorist.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Boxes 2-17), Series 3 (Boxes 16, 18-22), and Series 4 (Boxes 22-24).


A few photographs and a large collection of slides have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Collection and several books on urban planning and the city of Detroit have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Carl Almblad Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA