YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Detroit/Midtown-New Center

From Wikitravel
Detroit : Midtown-New Center
Revision as of 21:31, 23 December 2008 by Thomas Paine1776 (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Detroit/Midtown-New Center

Default Banner.jpg

Midtown is the cultural center of Detroit. It is home to several museums and galleries, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Just north of Midtown is the New Center. This area developed in the 1920s as a business hub that would offer convenient access to both downtown and outlying factories. The New Center is home to some great 1920s architecture.


Detroit's New Center is considered to be the world's first edge city, a buisness hub remote from, but related to, a main urban core. It developed in the 1920s with the construction of several historic buildings, such as the Cadillac Place and the Fisher Building. Some of these buildings were designed by Albert Kahn, who is called the Architect of Detroit as he designed dozens of historic buildings in Detroit in the 1920s.

Detroit's Midtown attracts millions of people annually with its great museums and other cultural centers. It is also home to Wayne State University's main campus. On any given day, Midtown is probably the busiest place in town, with three times its population commuting in.

Get in

By car

If coming from the north, one should: Take I-75 South to Exit 53A towards Warren Avenue. Keep straight to go onto Chrysler Drive. Next, turn right onto Warren Avenue East. You will then arrive in Midtown and stay straight on Woodward or Cass Avenues.

If coming from the south, one should: Take I-75 North towards Detroit and continue to Exit 50 towards Grand River Avenue. Keep straight to go onto the Fisher Freeway West. Finally, turn left onto Woodward and you will arrive in Midtown.

If coming from the east, one should: Take I-94 West and continue to Exit 215C toward M-1/Woodward Ave/Brush Street. Keep straight to get onto the Edsel Ford Freeway East. Finally, turn left onto Woodward Avenue and you will arrive in Midtown.

If coming from the west, one should: Take I-96 East and take Exit 190A to merge onto I-94 East towards Port Huron. Take the M-1/Woodward Ave Exit 215C toward John R Road. Keep straight to go onto the Edsel Ford Freeway East. Turn right onto John R Road. Next, turn right again onto Hendrie Street to Woodward Avenue and you will arrive in Midtown.




  • Colonel Frank Hecker House, 5510 Woodward Avenue, [1]. Built in 1888, this Châteauesque-styled house would make you think you were in Paris. It currently is home to offices, but it is still worth a stop to just see the architecture. The house was based on the Château de Chenonceaux near Tours, France.
  • Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue at Farnsworth Avenue, 313.833.1000, [2]. Tu&W Noon-8PM, Th-Sa 10AM-6PM. Built in 1921, the Italian Renaissance building features white Vermont marble. It holds the second largest amount of books in Michigan after the library at the University of Michigan. Free.
  • Maccabees Building, 5057 Woodward Avenue. This high-rise truss tower was constructed in the neo-gothic architectural style, using a great deal of limestone, much like the Detroit Masonic Temple. This Albert Kahn-designed building is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
  • Old Main, 4841 Cass Avenue. Old Main has been a part of Wayne State University's main campus since it was built in 1934. It was built over a four year period out of limestone from the land directly in front of it. The structure was designed in a Classical Revival style.
  • Colonel Frank Hecker House, 5510 Woodward Ave., [20]. Offices.
  • David Whitney House, 4421 Woodward Ave., [21]. Now a fine restaurant.

Museums and historic sites

  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue, 313.494.5800, [3]. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. This museum, founded in 1965, holds the world's largest permanent exhibit on African American culture. $8 adults, $5 children and seniors.
  • Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit[22]
  • Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Avenue, 313.833.1805, [4]. W-F 9:30AM-3PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. This museum chronicles the entire history of Detroit, from the time of French settlement to the 21st century. The Detroit Historical Museum was founded in 1914 when historian Clarence M. Burton donated his collection to the Detroit Public Library, which led to the creation of the museum. $6 adults, $4 seniors and children. (42°21'35N,83°4'1''W)
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Avenue, 313.833.7900, [5]. W-Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-6PM. Originally named the Detroit Museum of Art, it has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. The DIA ranked as the second largest city-owned museum in the United States with an art collection worth more than one billion dollars. Its first painting was donated in 1883, and today its collection consists of over 65,000 works. The actual building of this 677,000 square foot museum is highly regarded by architects. $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 youth.
  • Detroit Science Center, 5020 John R Street, 313.577.8400, [6]. M-F 9AM-3PM, Sa-Su 10AM-6PM. This museum features many hands on exhibits and a IMAX Dome theater, a planetarium, and a kids' town. (42.35844,83.062130)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Avenue, 313 832 6622, [7]. W, Sa & Su 11AM-5PM, Th-F 11AM-8PM. This non-collecting contemporary art museum is housed in a 22,000 square foot building that used to be a car dealership. The architecture is intentionally raw and unfinished, and is intended to reflect the scars of urban blight which surround it. Free.
  • Underground Railroad at the First Congregational Church of Detroit[23], 33 E. Forest at Woodward Ave. Phone: (313) 831-4080.

Historic neighborhoods

  • Woodward East, on Alfred, Edmund, and Watson Streets from Brush Street to John R Street, [8]. This historic neighborhood is quite small. It is known for the High Victorian-style residences constructed for Detroit's richest citizens.

New Center


Fisher Building with it's timeless design.
  • Argonaut Building, 485 West Milwaukee Avenue. This building, designed by Albert Kahn, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The 275-unit structure structure is an Art Deco building, and uses primarily brick and limestone in its materials.
  • Cadillac Place, 3044 West Grand Blvd. This National Historic Landmark opened as the second largest office building in the world. Designed by noted architect Albert Kahn, it is an exquisite example of Neo-Classical architecture. Originally the General Motors Building, it had housed the company's world headquarters from 1923 until 1996, when the company moved downtown.
  • Fisher Building, 3011 West Grand Boulevard. This National Historic Landmark lies in the heart of the New Center. The Fisher Building itself is a good enough reason to visit the New Center. The office building rises 30-stories with a roof height of 428 ft. Designed in Art Deco, it is considered Albert Kahn's greatest work. The year of its construction, the Fisher building was honored by the Architectural League of New York as the year's most beautiful commercial structure. The building has been called Detroit's largest art object.


  • Hitsville U.S.A, 2648 West Grand Blvd, 313.875.2264, [9]. T-Sa 10AM-6PM. "Hitsville U.S.A." is the nickname of Motown Records first headquarters. It was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1959, and converted into the record label's administrative building and recording studio. All of the early Motown hits by artists such as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, The Temptations, The Supremes, Martha & the Vandellas, The Jackson 5, and The Four Tops, among others, were recorded in the studio at Hitsville. Since 1985, The Hitsville U.S.A. building has been the site of the Motown Historical Museum, dedicated to the legacy of the record label, its artists, and its music. Owned and operated by Esther Gordy Edwards, sister of Berry Gordy, the Motown Museum contains exhibits featuring costumes, photos, and records from Motown's success era. Also featured are Motown's "Studio A" and Berry Gordy's upstairs apartment, decorated to appear as they did during the 1960s. $10 adults, $8 seniors & children.
  • Detroit Children's Museum, 6134 Second, 313.873.8100, [10]. M-F 9AM-4PM. Detroit's Children's Museum is the third oldest children's museum in the country.

Historic neighborhoods

  • Arden Park-East Boston, on East Boston and Arden Park Boulevards, [11]. This neighborhood was created in 1892 with spacious lots to attract the city's wealthier residents. Architectural styles represented in Arden Park-East Boston include Italian Renaissance, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Bungalow style and Prairie Style. The neighborhood's most prominent landmark is the Gothic-styled Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
  • Boston-Edison, West Boston Boulevard, Chicago Boulevard, Longfellow Avenue, and Edison Avenue, stretching from Woodward Avenue on the east to Linwood Avenue on the west, [12]. This neighborhood consists of over 900 homes, making it the largest residential historic district in the nation. In 1891, Edward W. Voigt obtained the land that makes up Boston-Edison and platted spacious lots and set building restrictions that established the unique character of the neighborhood. Architectural styles represented include English Tudor revival, Roman and Greek Revival, French Provincial, Colonial Revival, Italian Renaissance, Prairie Style, and Vernacular. Henry Ford was one of the earliest residents of this neighborhood.
  • Piquette Avenue Industrial, along Piquette Street, from Woodward Avenue on the west to Hastings Street on the east.. The area along Piquette was an important center for automobile production in the early 20th century. Several automakers, such as Ford, Dodge, and Cadillac, had plants in this area. The Ford Piquette Plant, a National Historic Landmark, is a three-story mill-style building and where the first Model Ts were built.


Festivals and events

  • CityFest [24] Detroit. A food festival sponsored by Comerica. Traditionally held around July 4th in the New Center area near the Fisher Building.
  • Dally in the Alley [25] An annual festival of live music, visual arts, performance, food and beer that takes place in the alleys of the Cass Corridor, the weekend after Labor Day.
  • Dirty Show [26] Detroit International Erotic Art Exhibition, popular event.
  • Fash Bash [27] A cutting edge fashion event and fund raiser coordinated by the Detroit Institute of Arts, featuring big name celebrities, traditionally held in August.
  • Detroit's Night Life includes a multitude of clubs throughout the metropolitan area.
  • Detroit's Vibrant, Underground Arts Scene Detroit is home to over 80 galleries, with artists hailing from around the world. Artists are attracted to Detroit due to its abundance of raw, under-utilized industrial space and its inspiring environment of pre-depression era buildings. Detroit's public information campaign, "The World is Coming, Get in the Game" [28] features an online tour [29] of this arts scene.
  • Detroit's Music Scene The Detroit sound is the sound of the world. It is shaped by Detroit's unique past, its cultural diversity, its energy and its future. Detroit's public information campaign, "The World is Coming, Get in the Game" features an online tour of this music scene. Keep in mind that unlike some cities, there is no central entertainment district (Greektown only partially counts) and many up and coming groups play at venues scattered throughout the area. Website Motor City Blog [30] lists music events happening in the Detroit area.

Performing arts

  • Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Boulevard, 313.872.1000, [13]. This theatre is located inside the Fisher Building and is one of Detroit's oldest venues. The theatre is adorned with marble, Indian rosewood and walnut paneling, and crystal and bronze decorative work.
  • The Magic Stick/The Majestic Theater at 4120-4140 Woodward Avenue combines a show space, a theater, cafe and a bowling alley. Rock -n- Bowl is in the Majestic Theater complex. The oldest bowling alley in the state. DJs play old-school punk and new wave music while you bowl. You can get up close and personal to the bands or shoot pool while listening to live music. Highly recommended for checking out some new music whether it be local or a touring band.


  • Eastern Market [31] 2934 Russell St., Detroit. Historic Farmers Market. Hours 7 AM - 5 PM. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sundays.
  • John K. King Books [32] 901 W. Lafayette, 313-961-0622 One of the best used bookstores in America with over 500,000 books in stock.
  • Pure Detroit [33] Detroit. Detroit Souvenirs. Stores inside the Renaissance Center, the Fisher Building, and the Guardian Building.
  • Peoples Records, 3161 Woodward Avenue (at Peterboro), +1 313 831-0864, [14]. Vinyl record shop in Midtown.


Detroit is home to many American classics including the Coney Island Hotdog, Sanders Bumpy Cakes, Dominos Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza, Better Made Potato Chips, and Vernor's Ginger Ale. (Vernor's Ginger Ale shares the distinction as America's oldest soft drink with Hire's Root Beer).

Vegetarian Friendly

  • Avalon Bakery, 422 W Willis St, +1 313 832-0008. Assorted breads, vegetarian sandwiches, cookies, muffins, coffee and espresso are served here. Located in the Cass Corridor near Wayne State. Bread is $3.25-$5 a loaf.
  • Cass Cafe, 4620 Cass Ave, +1 313 831-1400, [15]. M-F 11AM-11PM; bar until 2AM; Sa 5PM-1AM; bar until 2AM; Su 5PM-10PM; bar until midnight.. Hip restaurant, bar & art gallery. Located in the Cass Corridor near Wayne State. Voted "Best place to take friends from New York" by the Metro Times $5 to $10.
  • Goldengate Café, 18700 Woodward (3 Blocks South of 7 Mile), +1 313 831-1400, [16]. Mo-Tu Noon-8PM, W-Th 11AM-11PM, F Noon-11PM, Sa Noon-9PM, Su Noon-7PM. Friendly Vegan Cafe. Busiest nights are on Wednesday when they have a drum circle. Most entrées: $7-$9.
  • Traffic Jam and Snug, 511 W. Canfield St, +1 313 831-9470 (), [17]. M-Th 11AM-10:30PM,F-Sa 11AM-Midnight, Su 11AM-8PM. Bakery, dairy and Brewery. This was one of the first brew pubs in Michigan. Has a vegetarian sandwich, vegetarian burger and vegetarian burrito.


  • Roma Cafe[34] 3401 Riopelle (Via Roma), Detroit +1 313 831-5940
  • Union Street [35] 4145 Woodward Ave. Very good food, great drinks. Right on Woodward, less than 1 mile from downtown.


  • Cuisine Restaurant (French). [36]. 670 Lothrop, Detroit. New Center area, behind the Fisher Theatre.
  • Opus One [37] 565 E. Larned St., Detroit. +1 313 961-7766. Fine dining. Offers theatre and sports packages.
  • David Whitney House, 4421 Woodward Avenue, 313.832.5700, [18]. The David Whitney House was built in 1894 for one of Michigan's wealthiest citizens at the time, David Whitney. It has 52 rooms, 218 windows, 20 fireplaces, a secret vault in the dining room, and an elevator. The house has been a restaurant since 1986.


Vernor's Ginger Ale, created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, shares the distinction as America's oldest softdrink with Hire's Rootbeer. A local favorite, Detroiters pour Vernor's over ice cream. Also try Faygo soft drinks, another former Detroit based soft drink company. Detroiters enjoy Michigan Wines[38].

  • Bleu Room Experience [39] 1540 Woodward Ave., Detroit. High tech nightclub, gay friendly, live music, large dance floor, VIP lounge.
  • GiGi's [40] 16920 W. Warren, Detroit. Gay Bar, don't loiter in the parking lot or you might get mugged. Try Ferndale but those will most likely be more expensive. 313.584.6525
  • The Labyrinth [41] 1701 Cass Ave., Detroit. Gothic night-club.
  • Leland City Club [42] 400 Bagley St., Detroit. Nightclub with Techno and Alternative Rock.
  • Motor City Casino Resort, [43] Grand River, Detroit. Amnesia nightclub, top floor.
  • St. Andrews Hall [44] 431 E. Congress, Detroit. Premier historic nightclub, three levels with live music, Techno, Alternative, Hip-Hop.


  • Inn on Ferry Street, 84 East Ferry Street (between Woodward and John R), +1 313 871-6000, [19].


  • Detroit Convention and Visitor's Bureau [45].

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!