A Guide to Public Spaces in Detroit

Austin Black II

Urban convenience, premier entertainment, striking waterfront views, a steeped history defined by the city’s automobile industry, a rich cultural scene filled with museums, art galleries, and storied architecture, and an eclectic mix of neighborhoods offering unique amenities greatly define the thriving city of Detroit, Michigan. This beloved metropolis is widely known for its widespread reinvention and innovation over the years, and its verdant outdoor greenspaces and public indoor spaces have been greatly affected by such change, and for the better.

Over the years, city officials have transformed vacant lots into hands-on, integrative, and creative public spaces that benefit the community. Today, the past decade's intentional and innovative urban planning and development have created some of the best public spaces in the country.

Magnificent public indoor spaces

Detroit is an area with a rich arts and cultural background. The city is a vibrant hub of dynamic music, fine arts, and history, from its legendary Motown legacy to its amazing alley art murals. For its residents, city living in Detroit offers abundant entertainment and recreational opportunities.

Detroit Opera House

1526 Broadway Street, Detroit, MI

The Detroit Opera House is a cultural city centerpiece. One can find the best in opera, ballet, and music at this beautiful venue. Although there is a rooftop bar, the opera house is family-oriented and even hosts programs for aspiring teen operatic singers.

The Fillmore Detroit

2115 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI

The Fillmore Detroit is a historic landmark in the heart of Detroit. This fantastic venue was originally opened in 1925, serving as a movie house. Today, the newly renovated theater hosts a diverse range of music genres, from jazz and R&B to rock and hip-hop. The Fillmore Detroit boasts a unique blend of elegant historical elements and state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive entertainment experience for its guests.

Motown Museum

2648 Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard, 2648 W Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI

Motown Museum is the beating heart of Detroit’s renowned and culturally rich Motown legacy. This world-renowned tourist destination allows visitors to explore the history of this famed musical genre through fascinating exhibits and memorabilia that capture the creative eye. Here, guests can visit Berry Gordy’s original apartment and see the original recording equipment that was once part of the renowned Studio A, where some of the world’s best artists, such as The Supremes, Jackie Wilson, and Smokey Robinson, recorded their music.

Free indoor public spaces

Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI

The Detroit Institute of Arts is free to all Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County residents. With a diverse collection of art exhibits and events, over 100 galleries, and more than 65,000 works of art, residents can always find something new and exciting to experience, no matter how often they visit. This family-oriented venue is wheelchair accessible, with wheelchair rentals available.

The Fisher Building

Detroit, MI

The Fisher Building, located in Detroit, Michigan, is a historic masterpiece renowned for its architectural grandeur and cultural significance. Constructed in 1928 by architect Albert Kahn, this iconic skyscraper stands as a testament to the art deco style, showcasing intricate details, ornate craftsmanship, and a distinctive golden crown. Seeing all these stunning details, it’s no wonder this 30-story building is known as “Detroit’s Largest Art Object.” Housing a diverse array of businesses, offices, and shops, the Fisher Building stands as a symbol of Detroit's rich history and enduring vitality, offering a blend of historic charm and contemporary functionality that continues to captivate visitors and tenants alike.

Guardian Building

500 Griswold Street, Detroit, MI

Originally constructed in 1929 and deemed a historic landmark in 1989, the Guardian Building has become a gathering place for creativity, artists, and those with a keen eye for culture. This grand 40-story building features a 150-square-foot lobby, a three-story vaulted ceiling, spectacular Art-Deco architecture, and an eclectic mix of opulent materials and colors, such as Numidian red marble imported from Africa, Italian Travertine marble, mosaic and stained glass, and intricate murals. The building is free to the public and has been listed by US News as one of Detroit’s best tours.

Incredible Outdoor Spaces

Downtown Detroit is a vibrant place to rub elbows with friends, family, and neighbors. The area boasts an assortment of well-loved outdoor spaces within walking distance of many downtown Detroit homes. Residents enjoy instant access to all the shops, fine dining, and entertainment available right in the heart of Detroit. The city has undergone great renewal and renovation projects with outdoor spaces. Here are just a few of the incredible outdoor places to visit.

Campus Martius Park

800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI

USA Today has named Campus Martius Park the 2023 #1 public square in the United States. There is no question how this gorgeous green space has gotten this honor. In the summer, people flock to this serene outdoor space to enjoy the 400,000 pounds of sand that fills much of the park. A visit to this park will show residents lounging in beach chairs while soaking up the sun or enjoying the shade underneath an umbrella. The park features an on-site bar where adults can indulge in creative cocktails and a restaurant with open-air dining. In the winter, The Rink At Campus Martius Park offers public skating in an outdoor rink.

Detroit Riverwalk

Detroit, MI

The Detroit Riverwalk provides more than three miles of paved walkways along the Detroit River. A leisure stroll along the path will reveal parks, eateries, lush green areas, and plazas to stop and watch boats moving lazily along the river. The riverwalk also nestles close to several fun amenities, including a fountain and carousel. At night, the city is lit up, and the views are spectacular.

Eastern Market

Detroit, MI

The Eastern Market has been a gathering place for the community to sell and purchase wares since 1891. This longstanding community gem is set inside a vast public space with access to a multitude of vendors, restaurants, Murals in the Market, and many festivals.

Discover Detroit’s public spaces

If you are interested in purchasing real estate in downtown Detroit or would like more recommendations on public spaces to visit in the city, contact Austin Black II, a real estate specialist with the expertise and knowledge to make finding your dream home in Detroit a reality.

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