Capitol Park, Detroit

Capitol Park is a triangular-shaped public park bounded by Shelby Street, Griswold Street, and State Street in Downtown Detroit. The space is the result of the partially executed Augustus Woodward 1805 city plan that created a series of triangular public spaces that also included Harmonie Park and Library Park.  Capitol Park is within a historic district that also includes seventeen surrounding buildings for a block in each direction - including the Farwell Building, the Griswold Building, the David Stott Building, and the Detroit Savings Bank BuildingThese buildings were built primarily during the first three decades of the 20th century and were designed by several famous architects, including Albert Kahn and Gordon W. Lloyd.  The surrounding architecture represents a wide range of styles, from Victorian to Beaux-Arts to Art Deco. The buildings demonstrate the transformation of Detroit from a prospering 19th-century commercial center to a modern city.

Capitol Park is one of the great public spaces not only in Detroit but in the United States.  Its intimate scale, streetscape design, trees, and active edges on all sides (with beautifully crafted buildings) make it an outstanding place for people to enjoy city life.  Additionally, Griswold Street on its eastern edge provides a gradually deflected vista that sets up unique and inviting views that entice the pedestrian to continue their journey.

Some history and facts of this place:

Early governmental, educational and commercial activity in the city of Detroit was centered around Capitol Park and its surrounding area. The first state capitol, first city high school, and a monument recognizing Michigan’s first Governor, Stevens T. Mason’s final resting place have prominently occupied the park.

 

For more information about the history of Capitol Park, click here.