Southfield is a suburb of Detroit and is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 76,090. Southfield was surveyed in 1817 according to the plan by Michigan territorial governor Lewis Cass. The first settlers came from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan, as well as the states of New York and Vermont. The city was founded by John Daniels in 1823. Other notable families are credited as being founders of the modern day city, who included the Stephens, Harmon, McClelland and Thompson families.
The community was first organized as a township on July 12, 1830. Southfield took its name from its location in the "south fields" of Bloomfield Township. A post office was established in 1833 and the first town hall built in 1873. The Southfield Fire Department was formed on April 6, 1942 and the Southfield Police Department in 1953. A portion of the township incorporated as a city on April 28, 1958. The current city hall was built in 1964 as part of the new Civic Center complex, which also became home to Southfield's police headquarters. The Civic Center was expanded in 1971 to include a sports arena with swimming pool. Evergreen Hills Golf Course was added in 1972, and in 1978, a new public safety building, the Southfield Pavilion and a new court building was added. In 2003, an expanded and redesigned Southfield Public Library opened to the public on the Civic Center grounds, featuring state-of-the-art facilities. Outside the Civic Center complex, Southfield also has municipal parks and recreation facilities, which were largely developed in the 1970s, including Beech Woods Recreation Center and John Grace Community Center.
Today, Southfield is home to 700 acres of parkland, a nationally recognized public school district, eight colleges, and more than 26 million square feet of office space. Southfield is home to Duns Scotus College, a Franciscan friary which hosts an annual gold cup polo tournament. More than eighty Fortune 500 companies and several internationally-recognized corporations have major offices in Southfield, including the North American Headquarters of Denso, Federal-Mogul, Lear Corporation, and Electronic Data Systems. Southfield is also the broadcast media center for the Detroit area, with studios and broadcast facilities for several television stations including WXYZ-TV, WJBK-TV, WKBD-TV, and WWJ-TV. Detroit's two metropolitan daily newspapers are also located in the city.