Harper Woods is a U.S. suburban city located on the eastern border of Detroit, Michigan. The city is located in Wayne County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 14,236.
According to the city's website, Harper Woods was so named because it was then a wooded area and because its main thoroughfare was Harper Avenue (named for Walter Harper, founder of Harper Hospital in Detroit).
Harper Woods was incorporated as a city on February 19, 1951, from what was left of Gratiot Township. A charter commission was elected, a charter prepared and adopted, and a city council elected. The City of Harper Woods came into existence on October 29, 1951, when the charter took effect and the first city council was sworn in.
The fledgling suburb faced the usual problems confronting new cities: schools, streets, sidewalks, water systems, drains, etc. In 1956, Harper Woods was the subject of a community service study by the Bureau of Government, Institute of Public Administration, at the University of Michigan.
The development of Harper Woods reflected the growth of metropolitan Detroit. In 1955, Interstate 94 (I-94) (which bisects the eastern part of the suburb) was approved, and construction on the Eastland Shopping Center began soon after.