Downtown Detroit Architecture Walking Tour: Campus Martius to Grand Circus Park
Please join us Sunday, June 26, for a guided walking tour of some of Detroit's architectural jewels. Our guide and fellow alumni Michael H. Hodges (SIPA '87) was the fine-arts writer at The Detroit News for 30 years. Michael is also author of "Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit" and regularly contributes to the online Detroit Art Review.
This is sure to be a fun event — rain or shine. The tour starts at 2 p.m. at 160 W. Fort St., between Griswold and Shelby.
We'll explore the heart of Detroit's remarkable revival, starting at Minoru Yamasaki's 160 W. Fort St., the city's very first postwar modern building. From there we'll take in Detroit's only McKim Mead & White design, Albert Kahn's Detroit Savings Bank, and walk through the Guardian Building's over-the-top Art Deco lobby. Then we'll progress north along Woodward through Campus Martius Park, past the Shinola Hotel to Grand Circus Park and the David Whitney Building, by Chicago legend Daniel Burnham.
On the way back we'll check out the glitzy new apartment building that's filled in the long-empty Statler Hotel site on Washington Boulevard, take a peek at the exterior restoration of the Book Tower, and duck through a thoroughly spiffed-up Capitol Park, the intimate, triangular "square" (as Easterners would have it) that feels like it was airlifted in from Tribeca.
Architects covered: Minoru Yamasaki, Albert Kahn, Daniel Burnham, Wirt Rowland, Louis Kamper and Donaldson & Meier.
Here are the details:
Date: Sunday, June 26, 2022.
Time: 2-4 p.m. with opportunity to gather after the tour, see "Afterwards" below.
Where: We'll meet just outside the entrance to 160 W. Fort St., between Griswold and Shelby.
RSVP/Cost: $10 per person, kids under 16 are free.
Total distance: a little under 2 miles. If anyone needed to bail at the halfway point at Grand Circus Park, they could take the QLine, free all this year, back to Campus Martius.
Parking: On-street parking may be available along W. Fort or W. Lafayette or side streets near Woodward. There's also a parking structure at 131 W. Lafayette near Michigan Ave. that says it's open 24 hours.
Afterwards: Options for a post-tour drink include Maru, the Japanese restaurant inside 160 W. Fort (with a great bar), Parc in Campus Martius Park, or the Apparatus Room, the strikingly handsome restaurant in the Foundation Hotel at Washington and Larned.
What to bring? Well, it's Michigan. If it looks like rain, bring an umbrella.
*Top image is from the Guardian Building. Bottom is an historic image of the David Whitney Building credited to J.W. Hughes.