Livonia is a city in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Livonia is a very large suburb with an array of traditional neighborhoods (most of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s) connected to the metropolitan area by freeways. The population was 96,942 at the 2010 census, making it Michigan's 9th largest municipality. The municipality is a part of Metro Detroit, and located approximately 13 miles (21 km) northwest from downtown Detroit, and less than two miles (3 km) from the western city limits of Detroit.
First settled by pioneers from New England and New York, an act by the Legislature of the Territory of Michigan established the borders of Livonia Township on March 17, 1835. The settlers brought with them the name "Livonia", a name that had already been given to Livonia, New York, Livonia, Pennsylvania and a region of the Baltic Sea named Livonia in present day Estonia and Latvia, from which many early settlers came.
Livonia was incorporated into a city on May 23, 1950, by vote of the citizens of the township. A significant motivation was to gain tax revenues from the DRC (Detroit Race Course), which was Michigan's only thoroughbred horse racetrack that closed in 1998.
Livonia has been visited by six U.S. presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
In addition to its schools, colleges, churches, parks, recreation center, libraries, and St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Livonia also has commercial and industrial sectors, restaurants, and shopping. Laurel Park Place, an upscale fashion mall with 74 stores, is located at 6 Mile Road and Newburgh Road. Parisian and Von Maur department stores serve as anchors. Livonia has a number of shopping centers, including two Wal-Mart Supercenters, two Target stores, one Meijer store, two Costco stores, and many other smaller stores. Wonderland Village features a Wal-Mart Supercenter, a Target store, and three islands of retail buildings along Plymouth Road and Middlebelt Road. Sears and Walmart anchor the Livonia Marketplace.
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