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New Center


New Center is located approximately three miles (4.8 km) north of downtown along Woodward Avenue.  This "city within a city" offers two National Historic Landmarks as well as a number of shops, restaurants, art galleries, the renowned Fisher Theatre, and the Motown Historical Museum. Developed in the 1920s, New Center was designed to create a business hub that would offer convenient access to both Downtown resources and outlying factories.  Some historians believe that the New Center may be the original "edge city", a sub-center remote from but related to an urban core.  New Center continues to experience steady growth, including several recent condominium and loft developments.  Spend a fun-filled day in Detroit's unofficial second downtown!



Fisher Building

3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit



This National Historic Landmark is an architectural gem and entertainment destination all-in-one.  Built in 1928 in art-deco style (see photo above) and featuring a "golden tower," the Fisher Building is an icon of the Detroit skyline.  It was designed by master architect Albert Kahn and is perhaps his most significant achievement.  In addition to a number of  restaurants, shops, and galleries, the Fisher Building houses the highly regarded Fisher Theatre.  This 2,089-seat theatre hosts a variety of Broadway performances and has held world premieres of Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweet Charity and Golden Boy.


https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSpr-vQ-jEhop4ee6EVbWrnuq0C_4P-aaGybc2DzURviFNm2bQFCadillac Place (General Motors Building)

3044 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit


Cadillac Place, also known as the General Motors Building, is the New Center area's second National Historic Landmark.  The building served as GM's headquarters from 1923 to 1996 prior to relocating downtown to the Renaissance Center.  Like the Fisher Building, Cadillac Place was designed by Albert Kahn.  Consisting of eight wings projecting from a central spine and a five-story hipped-roof annex connected to the rear façade, the building symbolized GM's dominant position in the automobile industry.  The building is now occupied by State of Michigan government offices.



Motown Historical Museum

2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit



In 1959, upstart Detroit songwriter and record producer Berry Gordy Jr. purchased a humble two story home, moving his family into one half and setting up a studio in the other.  He christened it "Hitsville U.S.A." and from this building grew Motown from a startup business to what became by the mid-70s the largest independent record company in the world.  The Motown Historical Museum includes models of eight houses on West Grand Boulevard acquired by the company to house its growing operations until it moved its offices to a high-rise in downtown Detroit in 1968.  Among the many displays, visitors are treated to a tour of the studio where Motown greats such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and the Jackson Five actually recorded their hits.  The Motown Historical Museum is located on West Grand Boulevard just west of the New Center area across the M-10 Lodge Freeway.


Related Tours & Links



Historic Sites

Music Heritage

National Register of Historic Places

New Center Website


Woodward Avenue

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