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Photo by Michelle Gerard

The 13 People Mover stations are loaded with impressive art

Take a tour of these works for just 75 cents

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While it may not be the most effective form of transportation ever built, a ride around the 13-stop Detroit People Mover is actually a great art tour.

Construction of the 2.9-mile loop around downtown began in 1983, but the push to make the stations more beautiful came in 1984, when art-in-public-place-advocate Irene Walt met the People Mover project director David McDonald. A commission was formed and when the single-track rail system was completed in July of 1987, there was art everywhere.

There's even a thorough book on the topic, Art in the Stations: The Detroit People Mover.

Here’s a closer look at the art in all 13 stations.

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Times Square Station

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The “first” stop on the official People Mover map. Named after the former Detroit Times Building, it was the also first completed station when the People Mover was built and contains the system’s headquarters.

There are two works at this station, both made of Pewabic tiles.

Grand Circus Park Station

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This stop has a bronze sculpture by J. Seward Johnson Jr. of a man reading a newspaper. Due to winning a coin toss, that paper is the Detroit News, though a copy of the Detroit Free Press sits atop his briefcase.

Broadway Station

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The “YMCA stop” has two impressive tile murals. One by Japanese artist Jun Kaneko was inspired by his study of the forms of the "dango," which means dumpling. The other, titled The Blue Nile, is by renowned local artist Charles McGee and features multi-colored stripes.

Cadillac Center Station

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This station features a striking series of Pewabic-tile arches by Diana Kulisek Pancioli that’s named, appropriately, In Honour of Mary Chase Stratton—the founder of Pewabic Pottery.

But don’t miss the bronze tablet by Italian sculptor Carlo Romanelli, which depicts the arrival of Madame de la Mothe Cadillac in Detroit in 1701.

Greektown Station

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The only work of DPM art located outside of a station is this neon sculpture by Stephen Antonakos. It is best seen at night.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Bricktown Station

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Architectural sculptor Glen Michaels chose fired porcelain for this mural called Beaubien Passage. It depicts a city in motion with linear designs reminiscent of railroad tracks.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Renaissance Center Station

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Funded by General Motors, which owns the Renaissance Center, the tile work in this design by George Woodman has over 2,625 pieces. There’s also a sculpture by Michigan artist Marshall Fredericks called Siberian Room.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Millender Center Station

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Renowned Detroit abstract artist Alvin Long Jr. created this mural, Detroit New Morning, out of Pewabic tiles.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Financial District Station

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This Joyce Kozloff mural has a bull and a bear symbolizing the Detroit Stock Exchange. The Art Deco building that inspired the mural was demolished in 1983, right when the People Mover was being constructed.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Joe Louis Arena Station

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Gerome Kamrowski created a two-part mosaic to greet Hockey fans and concert goers at Joe Louis. Called Voyage, it’s an interpretation of a 17th century astrological map.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

TCF Center Station

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A mural featuring famous antique cars, including a 1949 Chrysler, 1936 Cord, 1955 Thunderbird, 1931 Model A Ford, 1931 Chrysler, 1957 Chevrolet, and 1948 Buick.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Fort / Cass Station

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Created by Farley Tobin, this geometric tile pattern reminiscent of Islamic design was included in a 1988 American Craft Museum exhibit. There’s also a bronze sculpture by Sandra Osip that was added in 1993.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Michigan Avenue Station

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This station has 14 bronze silhouettes by Kirk Newman meant to depict fast-moving, frenetic commuters.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

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Times Square Station

The “first” stop on the official People Mover map. Named after the former Detroit Times Building, it was the also first completed station when the People Mover was built and contains the system’s headquarters.

There are two works at this station, both made of Pewabic tiles.

Grand Circus Park Station

This stop has a bronze sculpture by J. Seward Johnson Jr. of a man reading a newspaper. Due to winning a coin toss, that paper is the Detroit News, though a copy of the Detroit Free Press sits atop his briefcase.

Broadway Station

The “YMCA stop” has two impressive tile murals. One by Japanese artist Jun Kaneko was inspired by his study of the forms of the "dango," which means dumpling. The other, titled The Blue Nile, is by renowned local artist Charles McGee and features multi-colored stripes.

Cadillac Center Station

This station features a striking series of Pewabic-tile arches by Diana Kulisek Pancioli that’s named, appropriately, In Honour of Mary Chase Stratton—the founder of Pewabic Pottery.

But don’t miss the bronze tablet by Italian sculptor Carlo Romanelli, which depicts the arrival of Madame de la Mothe Cadillac in Detroit in 1701.

Greektown Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

The only work of DPM art located outside of a station is this neon sculpture by Stephen Antonakos. It is best seen at night.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Bricktown Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Architectural sculptor Glen Michaels chose fired porcelain for this mural called Beaubien Passage. It depicts a city in motion with linear designs reminiscent of railroad tracks.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Renaissance Center Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Funded by General Motors, which owns the Renaissance Center, the tile work in this design by George Woodman has over 2,625 pieces. There’s also a sculpture by Michigan artist Marshall Fredericks called Siberian Room.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Millender Center Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Renowned Detroit abstract artist Alvin Long Jr. created this mural, Detroit New Morning, out of Pewabic tiles.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Financial District Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

This Joyce Kozloff mural has a bull and a bear symbolizing the Detroit Stock Exchange. The Art Deco building that inspired the mural was demolished in 1983, right when the People Mover was being constructed.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Joe Louis Arena Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Gerome Kamrowski created a two-part mosaic to greet Hockey fans and concert goers at Joe Louis. Called Voyage, it’s an interpretation of a 17th century astrological map.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

TCF Center Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

A mural featuring famous antique cars, including a 1949 Chrysler, 1936 Cord, 1955 Thunderbird, 1931 Model A Ford, 1931 Chrysler, 1957 Chevrolet, and 1948 Buick.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Fort / Cass Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Created by Farley Tobin, this geometric tile pattern reminiscent of Islamic design was included in a 1988 American Craft Museum exhibit. There’s also a bronze sculpture by Sandra Osip that was added in 1993.

Photo by Michelle Gerard

Michigan Avenue Station

Photo by Michelle Gerard

This station has 14 bronze silhouettes by Kirk Newman meant to depict fast-moving, frenetic commuters.

Photo by Michelle Gerard