“Renaissance City,” one of Detroit’s many nicknames, is easily justified. Art is just about everywhere in the city: from the world-renowned Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), to the reclaimed abandoned lots that have been transformed into community-friendly art spaces, the most notable being the Heidelberg Project. The city also boasts two contemporary art museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Detroit (MOCAD) and the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID). Galleries and artists’ markets have a strong presence as well, specifically in Detroit’s Cultural District in the Midtown area. Recently, there has been a strong influx of artists moving to the Motor City from all over the country, drawn to the low cost of studio space and the supportive atmosphere.
The rich array of architecture in Detroit, particularly in its downtown riverfront area, has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as being among the finest in the country. Skyscrapers in Neoclassical, Art Deco, and Neo-Renaissance styles, which arose in the first half of the twentieth century, feature ornate detailing and lush interiors; the three-story lobby in Detroit’s Fisher Building, for example, was constructed using forty different types of marble. Also notable are the city’s many historic neighborhoods and churches. (Molly Schoen)