Urban parks and high-quality public spaces play an important role in the revitalization of a city. These public spots, when properly established and carefully maintained, bear significant value in bringing life and color out of a district. This kind of public investment has been done in Europe centuries ago; the piazza for example. Luckily for the Americans, various cities across the United States have followed the footsteps of the Europeans and are now investing in the renewal of their downtown districts by establishing central parks. One of which, is the city of Detroit featuring its Campus Martius Park.
Campus Martius Park is Detroit’s signature landmark. It is located at the city’s main street, Woodward Avenue. The park’s central location, exactly at the heart of downtown just in front of Compuware Headquarters, prove to be a contributing factor in the efficiency of the public park in standing to its purpose – to be Detroit’s gathering place, to be a catalyst for the downtown district’s development, and to be a venue for an array of activity centers. True enough, Campus Martius Park, since its opening to the public, has quickly become an extraordinary public place where workers, residents and visitors both young and adults come together to play, enjoy, relax and celebrate the city.
More than the park’s accessibility and its ideal location, Campus Martius Park has become a hit because of its various attractions, some of which are the fountains.
Woodward Fountain serves as the centerpiece of the park. It is an outstanding fountain with a raised central plinth containing about 100 jets that shoot water 100 feet into the air while at the granite walls, water cascades down directly into the basin below. On occasions, choreographed performances are presented in which the fountain show is accompanied by light and music. Woodward fountain is active all year round.
At the western edge of the North and South sitting gardens of the park, there are the granite water walls. Visitors who are longing for a quiet escape from the daily hubbub of Woodland Avenue take pleasure from the view of lush flowers and the gentle sound of dripping water down the sculpted forms.
Aside from the water structures, the park also amuses visitors with its monuments, corner markers, gardens, light towers, lawn areas and tree canopy.
The Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument which is aligned with Woodward Avenue, sits over a 4’ 6” tall granite base on a built in seat ledge. At the base of the monument, four water tables are present in which a thin sheet of water continuously flows at the compass points.
The Corner Markers are the ones providing beacons at the entrances of the park. Even for several blocks along Woodward Avenue and Monroe St., the markers are visible with their height of 22 feet. These markers are made up from stainless steel, textured cast glass and granite. They both have a representation; Monroe Marker signifies Arts and Culture while the Woodward Marker stands for Industry and Technology.
Various plants and flowers are to be seen in the park’s gardens, lawn areas and tree canopy. There are also light towers which carry lighting and sound systems for various performances.