Belle Isle was recently announced as the recipient of two separate grants totaling $382K. Here's what we know about each one:
1) Bridging Fish and Fauna: A "grand staircase" once connected Belle Isle's eerie aquarium and the sunny conservatory, but the pass-through was blocked by a shark tank in the 1970s. Restoring that connection has been on the wish list for some time. Between the $57,000 MSHDA grant and matching funds from the Belle Isle Conservancy, it sounds like the 1904 building could be made whole again. See our post from January for details on what might happen.
2) Athletic Improvements: A federal grant of $325K will help upgrade the island's athletic facilities, a project first announced in February. There's only a brief AP report on this grant, but it apparently covers tennis and basketball courts, as well as improving fields for "baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and cricket."
Update: The $57,000 grant addresses both the conservatory/aquarium connection AND updating the roof of the Scarab Club. Details can be found at the Detroit News.
· Restoring the "Grand Staircase" Connecting Belle Isle's Aquarium and Conservatory [Curbed]
· Grant to improve Belle Isle, Scarab Club [Detroit News]
· $325K Upgrade for Athletic Facilities [Click on Detroit]