DETROIT (WWJ) – When Hamtramck Historical Commission Chairman Greg Kowalski began hosting behind-the-scenes tours of the city four years ago, he never thought they would become such a treasure to residents and visitors.

“Hamtramck is only two square miles, but there’s a tremendous amount there historically, more than people expect,” Kowalski said.

As a part of the tour series of 2012, Kowalski will lead a tour at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 25. Admission for the event costs $20 for members of the Hamtramck Historical Commission and $30 for non-members.

Both walking and bus tours of the city are available, Kowalski said. He typically begins the tour at Saint Florian Catholic Church and branches out to well-known Hamtramck landmarks, including the Polish Art Center, New Palace Bakery and City Hall.

Kowalski, who currently is trying to establish a Hamtramck Historical Museum, also likes to mention the Prohibition Era and the residents who didn’t pay any mind to it.

“The prohibition had a big impact Hamtramck,” he said. “It wasn’t seen as a terrible thing, and almost all houses had illegal operations.”

In the end, he said, he wants to change people’s minds about the City of Hamtramck.

“People have so many misconceptions and apprehensions about the city,” he said. “When they go to the tour, their whole impression is changed. They see it’s nothing at all like they expected.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


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