Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Campus Martius park to become reality on November 19

It's been a long time coming, but it doesn't make the announcement of the unveiling of Campus Martius' 1.6 acre ice rink/green space development any less exciting. Although there has been a whirlwind of building and residential development in Detroit in the last two years, nearly all of the new projects have been new buildings or renovated spaces; there has yet to be a major land area beautification that has been completed. That is, until now. In just a few short weeks, the city of Detroit will unveil a new land area in Campus Martius that is designed to be the focal point of the area. Located across the street from Compuware, the park is a 1.6 acre development of land that, in the winter months, will be used as an ice-skating pond the size of the one in Rockefeller Center. In the remainder of the year, the park will contain lush green spaces for city-goers of all ages to enjoy concerts and outdoor events, or simply a day at the park.

The plans for the park, spearheaded by former mayor Dennis Archer and funded by the Detroit 300 Conservancy - led by Edsel B. Ford II - began in 2000 with the vision to create a park surrounded by retail stores, restaurants, and businesses. The area of Campus Martius has long been a significant one in Detroit, with its constant draw of citizens that made it the center of social activity and business opportunities.

Geographically located within the blocks of Kern, Hudson, Crowley, Monroe, and Kennedy Square, Campus Martius park is sure to be another outstanding edition to the "new" downtown Detroit. For more information on the history of Campus Martius, as well as some great photos of the area during the late 1800 and early 1900s, see this article from The Detroit News' Rearview Mirror collection, a set of articles on various historic places and figures in metro Detroit.