Exhibit Locations

STATE STREET: in front of Michigan Union STATE STREET: in front of Michigan Union STATE STREET: in front of Michigan Union SOUTH UNIVERSITY and WASHTENAW SOUTH UNIVERSITY and EAST UNIVERSITY NORTH UNIVERSITY and STATE STATE and NORTH UNIVERSITY STATE and LIBERTY STATE and HURON BROADWAY at SWIFT BROADWAY BRIDGE at entrance to Broadway Park DETROIT and CATHERINE FIFTH and DETROIT EAST HURON and NORTH FIFTH COURTHOUSE SQUARE: HURON and MAIN EAST WASHINGTON and MAIN WEST WASHINGTON and ASHLEY WEST LIBERTY and ASHLEY WEST WILLIAM and MAIN EAST LIBERTY and MAIN EAST LIBERTY and DIVISION

SITE 1. LIBERTY and DIVISION: in Liberty Plaza
Residential life of early settlers and neighborhoods where prominent families lived. SITE 2. MAIN and LIBERTY: southeast corner
The shopping experience through time: department stores, changing products, theaters. SITE 3. MAIN and WILLIAM: northwest corner
Transportation and Lighting, streetcars, the interurban, Detroit Edison, parades. SITE 4. LIBERTY and ASHLEY: northeast corner
Influence of topography, including Allen Creek, on patterns of urban growth and change. SITE 5. WASHINGTON and ASHLEY: southeast corner
German immigrants' influence on city growth and identity. SITE 6. MAIN and WASHINGTON: southeast corner
Commerce and banking in the evolution of Main Street and the town. SITE 7. MAIN and HURON:
Town life and the Courthouse square SITE 8. FIFTH AVENUE and HURON: northeast corner
City services, city hall, fire and police. SITE 9a. CATHERINE and NORTH FOURTH AVENUE: southeast corner
A supply, manufacturing, and service area between river, railroad, and town. SITE 9b. FIFTH AVENUE at DETROIT: west side
SITE 10a. BROADWAY BRIDGE at entrance to Broadway Park
Lower town, transportation, town and gown. SITE 10b. BROADWAY at SWIFT: east side at north end of bridge
Lower town, transportation, town and gown. SITE 11. STATE and HURON: northwest corner
Churches and schools in town life. SITE 12. STATE and LIBERTY: east side
Entertainment and cultural change SITE 13a. STATE and NORTH UNIVERSITY: southeast corner
Impact of the University of Michigan upon local culture and commercial and residential growth. SITE 13b. NORTH UNIVERSITY and STATE: east of southeast corner
SITE 14a,14b and 14c. STATE STREET: in front of Michigan Union
Development of the University as an educational and physical presence SITE 15. SOUTH UNIVERSITY and EAST UNIVERSITY: in plaza on north side
Academic, Social and Political side of the Relationship between university and city. SITE 16. SOUTH UNIVERSITY and WASHTENAW: northwest corner
Changing patterns of residential life:fraternities, sororities, cooperatives, apartments.

Project Donors

Our deepest appreciation to the sponsors, donors, volunteers and supporters who have made possible the installation of the Courthouse Square Exhibit.

LANDMARK GIFTS

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority
DTE Energy Distribution
Pfizer Global Research & Development, Ann Arbor Laboratory

LEADERSHIP GIFTS

James Kennedy Angell & Sarah Caswell Angell Parsons
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
Tom & Louis Borders
Carl and Isabelle Brauer
Tom Garthwaite & Marvin Carlson
First Martin Corporation
David B & Sally P Kennedy
MAV Development Company
Michigan Humanities Council
Morningside Equities Group
The Mosaic Foundation (of Rita & Peter Heydon)
National Endowment for the Humanities
O'Neal Construction Company
Lois & John Stegeman
TCF Bank

MAJOR DONORS

Project Volunteers and Supporters

The Historic Street Exhibits project has become a success only because of the thousands of hours put in by many volunteers. Each person has played an important role.

Below are listed the names of the project's volunteers. These individuals come from many segments of Ann Arbor's population, and the success of the project is largely due to the positive support received from the many who have contributed in a variety of ways.

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Ray Detter

DESIGN TEAM

Carl Luckenbach, Project Architect
Don Hammond, Graphics Designer
Norman Tyler, Chair of Design Charrette

ADVISORY BOARD

Design Process

The Street Exhibit Project was designed at a design "charrette" held in 1991. The charrette included 21 design professionals from the Ann Arbor area, including architects, planners, landscape architects and graphic designers, who volunteered for the all-day design exercise. The goal was to develop a proposal for the street exhibits by the end of the day.

The volunteer professionals offered a variety of ideas--ideas which included street banners, bronze castings, wall markers, kiosks, and transparent displays. By the end of the day, one idea had taken root with the group--the idea of a "transparent blade" set up on the sidewalk in a way that viewers could look through the transparent glass exhibit and see images of historic structures superimposed over the streetscape.

The project design had some initial constraints, which were largely satisfied in the final project. The initial constraints were as follows:

History of the Project

The Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program began at the grass roots level as an idea developed by local residents interested in the past and future of downtown. The response was positive, and the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission became the official project sponsor.

Presentations to the Downtown Development Authority, City Council and the four downtown merchant associations quickly followed. These groups endorsed the exhibit program and provided seed capital which was matched by a grant from the Michigan Council for the Humanities and contributions from local individuals, businesses, groups and foundations.

The overall design concept emerged from an intense, all-day brainstorming session attended by over twenty Ann Arbor area design professionals. Since then, a team of designers and historians has continued to develop exhibit concepts. The Historic District Commission accepted the design prototype and the first exhibit was installed at Courthouse Square in June 1999. It includes four transparent glass frames, 13 wall displays, and three bronze artifacts.

Welcome to the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit

The Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program is a series of permanent sidewalk exhibits at sixteen landmark sites throughout downtown Ann Arbor.

Each exhibit has a theme. The first exhibit, installed in 1999, illustrates the hustle and bustle of town life that once centered on Courthouse Square. Subsequent exhibits throughout the downtown showcase the city's artistic heritage and the roles of business, banking, manufacturing and education in shaping the community.

Click on “Exhibits and Map” at left to see the sixteen sites and their themes. Click on a site number on the map to view all the images and text currently installed at that site.

This DVD, narrated by Ann Arbor historian Wystan Stevens, traces the evolution of the project from a grassroots-level initiative to a community-wide enterprise generously funded and supported by Ann Arbor citizens, local government, and corporations. The film includes an overview of the various design and installation processes involved and a list of donors and sponsors.

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