Alleys of Seattle

Detroit overview

Posted in Detroit by seattlealleys on September 21, 2010

Detroit has been the most powerful experience in this research endeavor to date.  In a city devastated by social, urban, and financial situations for the last half-century, the transformation of space can have incredible impact on its existence.
The folks at the green garage, Tom and Peggy Brennan, purchased an old model T warehouse in 2008 adjacebt to Motor City Brewery with a vision to transform the incredibly blighted Midtown into a green hub. The building is to serve as an incubator for small businesses focused on green practices and technologies through a communal style office. The alley behind the business just finished construction this month and is already established its presence as a harbinger of change to the neighborhood, and perceptually the whole Midtown area.  This project really serves as a witness to the power of community members taking initiative and executing a good idea.  This alley will transform, no doubt, the block and community in many ways in the years to come.

I was also able to visit the abandoned Central Train Station and Mies’ Lafayette Park near the downtown.  The amount of ruins in the city is phenomenal and almost surreal.  Plants have begun to take the buildings back into the earth due to half a century of neglect.

I would like to thank Tom and Peggy Brennan of the Green Garage, my friend and former classmate Jessica Hartwig, and The Motor City Brewery for a fantastic lesson in American urbanism.  You can follow the Green Alley and Green Garage’s progress here


6 Responses

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  1. Jessica said, on September 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    It was good to see you and although it was a lot of driving, it was nice to actually see all of those places I’d only ever driven by. Any chance you have a link to the rest of the pictures you took on flickr or something similar? Thanks!

  2. Georgia said, on September 22, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Do you know the plant palette for the Detroit green alley?
    Amazing photographs of the train station!

  3. Jesse G said, on September 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Looks like you had some good experiences in Detroit and I was happy to meet you..Good Luck! (Motor City Brewery Rocks!)

    • seattlealleys said, on September 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm


      It was great meeting you and seeing the great work you are all doing. I can’t wait to come back in a few years and see how much transformation happens around that block! Motor City has amazing beer, I wish they were in a Seattle alley too!

      Good luck with the rest of construction, I’m headed to Austalia Saturday so check this out in the next couple weeks!

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