Detroit taps Toronto architects to redesign & revitalize downtown historic district park

The Downtown Detroit Partnership is a partnership of corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders that supports advocates and develops programs and initiatives designed to create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit.

On February 24, 2017, the Downtown Detroit Partnership selected architecture firm Public Work to lead a Capitol Park Historic District redesign project this fall.

The Capitol Park Historic District is roughly bounded by Grand River, Woodward and Michigan Avenues, and Washington Boulevard. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Capitol Park itself is a triangular plot of land (now a public park) bounded by Shelby Street, Griswold Street, and State Street. The plot is an artifact of Augustus Woodward‘s 1805 plan for the city of Detroit. The Historic District includes the park and seventeen surrounding buildings for a block in each direction. Buildings within the district include the Farwell Building, the Griswold Building, the David Stott Building, the Detroit Savings Bank Building, and the Industrial Building.

Public Work, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada was selected out of four finalists in an October, 2016 request for proposals (RFP) to redesign and help bring new life to the historic district. They will present a renovation plan and concept designs to the community for further input and feedback in spring 2017.

Our team looks forward to continuing the process with the community to create a design for Capitol Park that can dramatize the experience of place and revive this dormant space as the engaging, vibrant heart of this historic district,” said Marc Ryan and Adam Nicklin, co-founders and principals of Public Work. “We see the resurgence of Capitol Park as an opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue with the many layers of the site’s history, while projecting a bold future for this unique place. We are thrilled to be part of an initiative that will prioritize the cultivation of life in the public realm as part of the larger urban transformations taking place in Detroit.

Capitol Park’s redesign is intended to create a more engaging space for residents and visitors, provide park amenities, and support new and existing businesses in the area.

Groundbreaking is expected to begin in fall 2017, with completion anticipated for spring 2018. The park will be funded by DPP through their private sector partners.

Photo credit: Downtown Detroit Partnership

See Crain’s Detroit Business article by Tyler Clifford.

See DBusiness article by Stephanie Shenouda.

See Detroit Downtown Partnership website.

See Public Work website.

You must be logged in to post a comment