Design options will soon be revealed for a plan that seeks to link nearly a dozen major institutions in Detroit to make the area more walkable and create a cultural campus.
The Detroit Institute of Arts and nonprofit Midtown Detroit Inc. are spearheading the project, known as "DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections," The Detroit News reported . The project seeks to redesign the area around the institute and create pedestrian spaces connecting to other nearby institutions, including Wayne State University, the main Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Historical Museum.
"We want to be a gathering place for everybody," said Salvador Salort-Pons, the institute's director.
The Detroit Institute of Arts launched the project design competition to find innovative solutions, he said.
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"We launched this design competition to solicit the best minds in public-space design, and didn't give them any limitations," Salort-Pons said.
Architects, urban designers, academics, artists, community organizers, traffic engineers and conservationists have been working on submissions. Three finalist teams will unveil their designs at the institute on Jan. 23. The winning design will be selected in the spring.
Susan Mosey, Midtown executive director, said officials hope to create a central space that organizations can share in and engage with.
"Then there will be the physical connections that would be built between that anchor space and the other institutions," she said "Whether that ends up being landscaping play, or a lighting play or a way-finder play, or a digital something, we will find out."
The project could cost between $75 million to $85 million and will be funded by foundations, grants and corporations, organizers said.