Capitol Park in downtown Detroit has been a hot spot of development as of late. Building after building has undergone changes or come back to life over the last few years.

The nonprofit group that helps coordinate downtown public space development, the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) in collaboration with the City of Detroit, today announced its selection of Toronto-based urban design and landscape architecture firm, PUBLIC WORK, as the lead designer for the upcoming Capitol Park district renovation.

Designs for public comment and input will be created and made available this spring, with construction complete in time for spring of 2018.

The goal is that the park would become “a more engaging space for residents and visitors, provide park amenities for a growing base and help support new and existing businesses in the area,” according to a release.

“Our team looks forward to continuing the process with the community to create a design for Capitol Park that can dramatize the experience of place and revive this dormant space as the engaging, vibrant heart of this historic district,” said Marc Ryan and Adam Nicklin, Co-Founders and Principals, PUBLIC WORK. “We see the resurgence of Capitol Park as an opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue with the many layers of the site’s history, while projecting a bold future for this unique place. We are thrilled to be part of an initiative that will prioritize the cultivation of life in the public realm as part of the larger urban transformations taking place in Detroit.”

Capitol Park indeed has had a long history. It served as a bus turnaround for many years before those services were moved to the Rosa Parks Transit Center over on Michigan Avenue. Additionally, it is the location of Michigan’s first state capitol, was a waypoint on the underground railroad, and the resting place of Michigan’s first governor as a state and the youngest governor in American history, Stevens T. Mason.

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