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Where are Detroit’s best free, indoor public spaces?

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A place to sit for a few minutes

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Open Threads, wherein we’ll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, and more. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: indoor public spaces.

Public parks have received a lot of attention in Detroit lately, and while the city has many to celebrate, sometimes it’s a little too cold to sit outside. Where can we take a break and have a seat indoors?

Today, we’re thinking about places to sit when people have a few extra minutes—places where you don’t have to spend any money. Maybe there’s even a bathroom nearby.

New York has maps of its many privately-owned public spaces; Detroit doesn’t have one (yet).

Hotel lobbies come to mind, as do libraries. The lobby at the David Whitney Building is not only beautiful, but there is an easy-to-access restroom, along with plenty of seating.

The design for the upcoming Shinola Hotel is meant to create a “living room for Detroit,” so we expect plenty of welcoming seating for those who need it.

Of course, the Detroit Institute of Arts (free for metro area residents) is always a good choice, as is the main branch of the public library across the street. Some downtown buildings like the Guardian Building and the Chrysler House (formerly the Dime Building) also have some seating.

Where do you go if you have 20 minutes in-between commitments? Is there a place in particular that’s good for people watching? Let us know in the comments below.