Grand Circus Park Historic District

Grand Circus Park Historic District

name =Grand Circus Park Historic District
nrhp_type = hd

caption = Grand Circus Park in Detroit, Michigan
location= Detroit, Michigan
lat_degrees = 42
lat_minutes = 20
lat_seconds = 10
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 83
long_minutes = 3
long_seconds = 2
long_direction = W
locmapin = Michigan
area =
built =1867
architect= Multiple
architecture= Mixed (more than two styles from different periods)
added = February 28, 1983; December 07, 2000 (boundary increase)
governing_body = Private
refnum=83000894; 00001488 (boundary increase)cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2008-04-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

Grand Circus Park Historic District contains the five acre Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan that connects the theatre district with its financial center. It is bisected by Woodward Avenue, four blocks north of Campus Martius Park, and is roughly bounded by Clifford, John R. and Adams Streets. The building at 25 W. Elizabeth was added to the district in 2000.


A part of Augustus Woodward's plan to rebuild the city after the fire of 1805, The city established the park in 1850. The Detroit Opera House faces Grand Circus Park. The grounds include antique statuary and old-fashioned water fountains. Near this historic site, General George Armstrong Custer delivered a eulogy for thousands gathered to mourn the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Architect Henry Bacon designed the "Russell Alger Memorial Fountain" (1921) in Grand Circus Park. Bacon's other projects include the "Lincoln Memorial" (1915-1922) in Washington, DC. The "Russell Alger Memorial Fountain" contains a classic Roman figure symbolizing Michigan by American sculptor Daniel French who sculpted "Abraham Lincoln" inside the "Lincoln Memorial".Zacharias, Pat (September 5, 1999). [ Monuments of Detroit] Michigan History, "Detroit News". Retrieved on November 21, 2007.]

The half-moon shaped park is divided down its center by Woodward Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare. Its eastern half is anchored by the Alger Fountain and capped on its north western edge with a statue of William Cotter Maybury. Its western half is anchored by the Edison Fountain and capped on its north eastern edge with a statue of Hazen Pingree.

Among the notable buildings encircling the park are the David Broderick Tower and David Whitney Building on the south, Kales Building, former Adams Theater, and First Methodist Church on the north, and Comerica Park and Detroit Opera House on the East. The western edge of the park was formerly home to the now demolished Statler Hotel and Hotel Tuller. Because many of the buildings that surround the park are abandoned, the area has been sometimes referred to as a "skyscraper graveyard". In 1996 Camilo José Vergara in his book "American Ruins" suggested that 12 blocks around the park be turned into a ruins theme park, "I propose that as a tonic for our imagination, as a call for renewal, as a place within our national memory, a dozen city blocks of pre-Depression skyscrapers be stabilized and left standing as ruins: an American Acropolis. We could transform the nearly 100 troubled buildings into a grand national park of play and wonder". Thanks in part to the new downtown stadium and the general revival of the downtown the fortunes of these skyscrapers are brighter, as many undergoing or are planned for renovation.

Photo gallery

ee also

*Campus Martius Park
*Detroit International Riverfront



*Cite book | author=Sobocinski, Melanie Grunow | title= Detroit and Rome: building on the past | publisher=Regents of the University of Michigan| year=2005 | id=ISBN 0933691092

External links

* [ Grand Circus]

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