If nothing else, Detroit is a city of ingenuity.

You may have read headlines about Detroit’s resurgence as the center of new American cool. There’s certainly truth to that, but Motor City has never forgotten its history.

Whereas other rust belt cities tore down their classic architecture to make room for parking garages, Detroit left the buildings. Although much of its historic architecture fell to ruin in the late 20th century, the bones of the buildings remained.

Artists and forward-thinkers moved into the beautiful, dilapidated spaces and fixed them up. Detroiters petitioned to revitalize their old buildings. Little by little, the city put itself back on the map — and it’s nowhere near done.

Even today, business owners are taking over old spaces and repurposing buildings into something utterly modern. But there’s always a nod to heritage.

When you first started noticing pictures of Detroit on the internet a few years ago, it was likely thanks to the Heidelberg Project. Headed by artist Tyree Guyton, the project aimed to revitalize a neglected area of eastern Detroit by repainting buildings in bright polka-dotted colors and attaching found objects to the structure. The project has been ongoing for 30 years and Guyton said he plans to take it to other parts of Detroit. If you’ve got time, drop by Second Best Bar to pay homage. The neighborhood bar used to be the Heidelberg Project’s former offices.

In it’s golden age, Detroit learned to make do with small spaces, including alleyways. One of the most successful transformations has been an old alley known as The Belt. The alley has transformed into one of the city’s trendiest spaces for public art, bringing in installations and murals from internationally-recognized artists curated by the uber-cool Detroit art gallery Library Street Collective. Be sure to come thirsty, bars abound throughout The Belt. Make a stop at the newly-opened basement club Deluxx Fluxx for the hippest parties, concerts and dance nights in Detroit. The space itself is worth a visit alone as it’s an immersive art installation from art duo Faile.

Read more: https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/detroit-revitalized-buildings


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