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New Capitol Park design includes tree canopy, nod to history [updated]

Update: This story was originally published September 12 and the DDP has been reading your comments. Please find a statement addressing them at the end of the article.

The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and Toronto-based urban design and architecture firm PUBLIC WORK revealed almost final renderings to the public, in one of the last steps toward redesigning Capitol Park. The new design has some green space, large trees, and historical elements.

Courtesy of DDP

The natural features will include a variety of trees meant to be smaller to larger going toward the river. The park will also have minimal green space and river gardens. Much of the feedback from the community meeting stated that people would like more green space and more fountains.

Courtesy of DDP

The history of the park will also be a major feature. The park is the site of Michigan’s first capitol building and the burial place of Michigan’s first governor, Stevens T. Mason, who drafted Michigan’s constitution. Capitol Park was also home to Finney Barn, one of the final stops along the Underground Railroad. A communal table at the park will have the State’s constitution inscribed, and the Mason statue could move to the ground level so people can interact with it.

The park will also have space for food and beverage kiosks and food trucks.

The need for a new park stems from the increase in residential and retail in the area. Over the past few years, many of the buildings which once stood vacant have been renovated. The renderings also feature a new, modern 11-story building, but from what we’ve heard, that may be a long way off.

The design will be presented to the Historical District Committee at their September 13 meeting. Those interested in submitting…

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