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Belle Isle through the years

Detroit purchased Belle Isle in 1879, making it the nation's largest city-owned park. Planned by the designer of New York's Central Park, it remains one of Detroit's most alluring assets. Its deteriorating condition and city's fiscal morass prompted state and city leaders to propose a lease of the island (shown in 1901) to the state, which can better pay for its upkeep.

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Belle Isle through the years