New Streetscape Activations Along Detroit’s East Riverfront

Planters, flowers and trees, benches, lighting, and public artwork will be placed along Atwater, Chene and Jos Campau streets to enhance the streetscape.

Detroit RiverFront
Detroit RiverFront

Library Street Collective unveiled plans for a series of beautification projects aimed at enhancing the vibrancy and walkability of Detroit Riverfront and its streetscape.

Design of Riverfront Art display

City of Detroit

In collaboration with the City of Detroit, the improvements underway include the strategic placement of planters, flowers and trees, benches, and lighting. Public artwork, curated by Library Street Collective, will be placed along Atwater, Chene and Jos Campau streets to enhance iconic and established institutions such as the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre and Atwater Brewery.

A few, new, planned streetscape activations along Detroit's East Riverfront were announced today by the City of Detroit.
Projected Artwork

Streetscape and Artwork Deployment Includes:

  • New Event Lawn: The parking lot adjacent to Atwater Brewery will be reconfigured as an event lawn complete with custom planters and foliage. Festoon lights will be placed across Jos Campau Street and the lot will be lined with boxed planters to provide a sense of community and ambiance.
  • New Boardwalk: Bedrock will construct a boardwalk complete with benches and festoons along the frontage of Atwater — connecting Valade Park to the Jos Campau. The addition of RGB lighting on the existing trees will create a livelier and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood setting.
  • New Up-Lighting: All Bedrock-owned buildings will feature new façade up-lighting. This will increase ambient light levels and enhance the feeling of warmth and community.

Public Art installations Include:

Local Detroit artists will contribute murals and installations throughout the Riverfront, reflective of the broader community and as a way to enhance well-established establishments such as the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater. These art installations will further beautify the streetscape, act as conversation starters and further offer one-of-a-kind experiences for both residents and visitors alike.

“As a riverfront destination for 35 years, we welcome the continued beautification and neighborhood enhancements for all to experience and enjoy. The melding of the legacy of the synergy of great artists across genres is exciting and is certain to create an inspiring place to work and live,” said Shahida Mausi, president and CEO of The Right Productions.

Specifically, Bedrock and Library Street Collective will engage with:

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  • The Gilda Snowden Estate to create a custom mural in memory of Snowden’s legacy in the city of Detroit. The mural will extend across the entire southwestern facing of the 5-story Atwater Brewery Parking Lot structure.
  • Local Detroit artist Patrick Ethen to design and install a beautiful and mesmerizing light installation, and Ellen Rutt to paint a 200’ street mural along Atwater Street between Chene and Jos Campau.
  • Darius Barber to install a series of illuminated structures embedded with images based on iconic musicians with ties to Motown and Detroit. Historic photos will serve as inspiration and portrait will be created to honor the music legend, Aretha Franklin.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my talents, especially in this aspect,” said Darius Barber, a participating artist in the streetscape activations. “I find music to be extremely inspirational — it’s a wonderful connector. The language and the practice of instrumentation and vocalization helped build my artistic identity. As we know, Detroit helped shape the world’s musical identity, so to paint these portraits of legendary musicians is an honor.”

The Riverfront art instillations are expected to start in early October and be completed in phases through the spring of 2023.

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