Corktown welcomed an estimated 1200 visitors this weekend to the 2015 home and garden tour. Tour attendees had the opportunity to get inside a wide variety of homes and businesses during the annual event celebrating Detroit's oldest neighborhood. Homes on the tour represent several distinct types of architecture. Corktown's earliest dwellings, Federal-style row houses gently give way to to decades-newer Victorian, Gothic and Queen Anne homes, showing the neighborhood's evolution.
The grand old neighborhood, bounded by the Lodge Freeway, Bagley and Porter streets, I-75 and Rosa Parks Boulevard, has experienced a revival in the last decade, with new residents rehabilitating, remodeling and reinventing this corner of Detroit. Today, old row houses are beginning to share space with new and innovative modes of housing. One highlight of the tour, a mixed-use building designed by Corktown architect Steve Flum, repurposes an a steel shipping containers as a framework. The builder, Three Squared Inc., plans to constrict additional container houses in North Corktown and Midtown.
Key among the fifteen stops on the tour was Workers' Row House, a tenement built in 1849. The nonprofit Corktown Experience owns the structure, and plans on making it into a welcome center and museum that remains true to the building's working-class roots. Another tradition, a Sunday baseball game, pitted the Plymouth Red Rovers against the Corktown Shamrocks. The teams played in a lot that once held Tiger Stadium, with Motor City Casino and other far more modern landmarks as a backdrop for the old-time ball game. - Rebecca Golden