Historic Belle Isle Shelter Renovated, Pedicab And Carriage Service To Start

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Belle Isle’s historic bus stop shelter at the southeast corner of Inselruhe and Loiter Way has been renovated, just in time for summer. It will serve as a stop for Pedicabs and horse-drawn-carriages on the island.

The Department of Natural Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Detroit Training Institute of Technology and its students worked together to give the shelter some much-needed TLC.

The Detroit Training Institute of Technology is a trades school that combines training with hands-on learning experiences. The institute’s students have been hard at work on the shelter since May 11.

“We are humbled that our students were asked to participate in the reconstruction of this historic bus shelter,” said David Ricca, Detroit Training Institute of Technology instructor and project lead. “The students will soon be entering into the construction industry, and this project gives them essential, real-life experiences that will prepare them for excellence in their future careers.”

While the renovation team will try to keep as many of the original parts as possible, they were unable to salvage the roof. The shelter’s old roof was deemed a public safety hazard, so it was demolished in early May by DNR park rangers. The rebuilt roof will use new materials, but will be historically accurate.

The shelter’s original poles and concrete are in good condition and will remain part of the structure.

“The early-20th century shelter is a contributing factor to Belle Isle’s recognition as a national historic district,” said Lisa Gamero, DNR cultural stewardship specialist. “Belle Isle is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It’s important to maintain the historical integrity of this shelter and the many other historic structures on the island.”

This summer, Detroiters will be able to take both Pedicab and horse-and-carriage rides from downtown Detroit to Belle Isle Park. The newly-renovated shelter will serve as one of the stops.

If you’d prefer to bike around the island, bicycle rentals are available on Belle Isle at the Flynn Pavilion, located near the intersection of Picnic Way and Loiter Way.

This shelter’s renovation may seem like a small matter, but it helps enhance Belle Isle and offer visitors more opportunities to explore the island.

“We are very grateful to Detroit Training Institute of Technology staff and students for their thoughtful planning and hard work on this project,” said Karis Floyd, DNR manager at Belle Isle Park and Milliken State Park and Harbor. “Partnerships like this continue to make the revitalization of Belle Isle Park a resounding success.”

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