The neighborhood was named after Captain John Krainz, a World War II hero from Detroit. The neighborhood was once home to Malcolm X who lived on Keystone street in the 1950's. The Sojourner Truth housing project is located there. Many Motown singing groups, such as The Dramatics and The Floaters, were from the Sojourner Truth housing projects. In 2009, Mayor of Detroit Dave Bing led a ribbon-cutting dedication of Krainz Park.
Originally, Krainz Woods was a deeply wooded area located west of the Village of Norris. It later became a part of Hamtramck Township, and the City of Detroit annexed the area in 1916. Between 1923 and 1940, about 1,000 houses were constructed in Krainz Woods. In 1966 the Krainz Woods Neighborhood Organization was mostly White. During that year, the organization posted an advertisement in an African-American newspaper that asked Conant Gardens residents to go to a meeting at an area church to protest a proposed scattered-site housing and open occupancy. The whites in Krainz Woods wanted to recruit middle class blacks in Conant Gardens to oppose public housing.
Ten prisoners escaped from the Ryan Correctional Facility on August 21, 1994. Nine prisoners were recaptured and, according to authorities, one died of a drug overdose. On Monday August 29, 1994 a group of about 500 area residents held a meeting in the W.L. Bonner Cultural Center about the prison, and the residents decided that they needed to have the prison closed. The residents said that, prior to the prison's construction, the state had said that "harden" and "violent" criminals would not be held in that facility. On November 5, 1994, about sixteen members of the Krainz Woods Neighborhood Organization, including at least eight elderly people, demonstrated in front of the Ryan Correctional Facility, saying that the state did not implement promised measures, improving neighborhood lighting, hiring employees from the neighborhood, and implementing a grant to pay for security doors on the houses of the residents.
The Krainz Woods Neighborhood Organization serves a 17-city block area, east of Conant Gardens, and adjacent to the Detroit Reentry Center (formerly the Ryan Correctional Facility), and the Mound Correctional Facility. The community is bounded by Ryan Road, Mound Road, Nevada, and Seven Mile Road. Due to its proximity to Conant Gardens, Krainz Woods is often mistaken for, and erroneously considered as part of, that neighboring community.
The Krainz Woods business community consists of The Bay at Cranbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, three party stores (F&S Market, Moore Market and Piper Liquors), and two restaurants (Nevada Coney Island, and 7's Deli).
Previously Atkinson Elementary School in Krainz Woods served the community as the zoned elementary school. At one time Van Zile Elementary School served the community. Previously Farwell Middle School served the community.
- Scott, Gene. Detroit Beginnings: Early Villages and Old Neighborhoods. Detroit Retired City Employees Association, September 2001. Comerica Charitable Foundation
- Shaw, Todd C. Now Is the Time!: Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism. Duke University Press, September 4, 2009. ISBN 0822345080, 9780822345084.
- "Detroit urbanism, Detroit preservation, Detroit architecture, Detroit urban planning, Detroit buildings, Detroit historic preservation". Cityscapedetroit.org. 2005-05-19. Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "Malcolm X: The FBI File".
- "Photograph of Opening Ceremony". Img.timeinc.net. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- Scott, Gene, p. 55. "Once a deeply- wooded area west of the village of Norris, Krainz Woods is part of an area of Hamtramck township annexed in 1916. Approximately 1,000 homes were built there between 1923 and 1940. It is just east of Conant Gardens."
- Shaw, p. 44.
- Scott, Nathaniel. "Community continues prison demonstration." Michigan Citizen, in the Michigan Quarterly Review. November 26, 1994. Retrieved on December 28, 2012. Available on HighBeam.
- Scott, Nathaniel. "PRISON BREAK: Two Views. OUTSIDE: Community wants Ryan prison closed." Michigan Citizen, in the Michigan Quarterly Review. September 4, 1994. Retrieved on December 28, 2012. Available on HighBeam.
- "Mound Correctional Facility." Michigan Department of Corrections. Retrieved on December 28, 2012.
- "Elementary Boundaries – 2012/13 School Year ." (Archive) Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on November 1, 2012.
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- "High School Boundaries – 2012/13 School Year ." (Archive) Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on November 1, 2012.
- "Atkinson Elementary School." Detroit Public Schools. June 9, 2003. Retrieved on December 28, 2012. "4900 Hilldale, Detroit, MI. 48234 "
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- Krains Woods Community Council, n. d. "All Conant Gardens Home Owners Should Attend. Michigan Chronicle (Detroit, MI). Papers of the Commission on Community Relations. Archive of Labor and Human Affairs. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. "Welfare Rights, 1960s" Box 78, File 28.