Sights and Scenes: Downtown Detroit

Sights and scenes from a historic central business district in the midst of a historic rise back to prominence: Detroit

The Skillman Branch of the Detroit Public Library opened as the Downtown Library in 1932.

Punch Bowl Social was a 24,000 square foot restaurant and bar with a bowling alley and arcade that opened in downtown’s Z Garage in 2014. In December 2020, the Punch Bowl Social chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wayne County Building was completed in 1902. It is the former home of Wayne County’s administrative offices.

Originally lost as Woodward Avenue was reconfigured to accommodate cars, Campus Martius Park is a 1.2-acre space that was re-established in 2004.

The epicenter of Downtown Detroit’s renaissance, the Campus Martius Park was the first-ever winner of the prestigious, international Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award.

A view of Campus Martius Park with the 10-story One Kennedy Square building in the background. Completed in 2006, the accounting firm Ernst & Young is a major tenant.

One Campus Martius is a 17 floor office building that was completed in 2003. Tenants include Meridian Health, Quicken Loans, and Microsoft.

Located on the site of a former bus transfer station, Cadillac Square Park was re-established as a park in summer 2007.

Wayne County Building

Once the epicenter of Detroit’s early 20th century Greek immigrant community, Greektown is a historic entertainment and commercial district along Monroe Avenue. Much of the district was lost to 1960s urban renewal. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, the two-block strip remains a popular destination for downtown visitors.

Greektown Casino is one of three casino resort hotels in Downtown Detroit. Located in the Greektown Historic District, the casino opened in 2000 with 100,000-square-feet of gaming space. The casino occupies a former warehouse built for the Traugott Scmidt & Sons tannery company in 1924. In 1985, it was renovated into a festival marketplace called Trapper’s Alley by Baltimore-based Cordish Embry & Associates that eventually failed. In 2009, a 30-story, 400-room hotel was added to the casino.

The cornerstone for Old St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Greektown was laid in 1884.

Grand Circus Park on an early weekday morning.

The Detroit Opera House is a 2,700-seat venue that opened on January 22, 1922.