THE NEW WOODWARD Q-LINE STREET RAIL
Three striking athletic figure monuments grace the Madison Avenue boulevard in front of the Detroit Athletic Club.
The club was responsible for contributing many great athletes in its history including some to the Olympics and founders of great sports franchises. It marked its 100th anniversary with the monuments by A. Thomas Schomberg (sculptor of the Rocky statue in Philadelphia). The large statuary include two runners, a football running back and a ball-player throwing a runner out at second. A fourth of a woman swimmer will appear near the club entrance.
JOE LOUIS FIST
A SPECIAL TOUR
The People Mover is suspended high above the streets.
For much of its route it weaves through buildings, over parks and along the river.
The river offers some of the most enjoyable viewing where it can seem like the water is directly below.
Several more turns take travelers through Detroit's tallest skyscrapers as well as near its oldest and most unusual buildings.
Some of the most dramatic sights are revealed late in the evening when buildings display interesting lighting schemes.
The People Mover stops directly at a number of sports and convention venues.
It doesn't matter where you start your exploration Downtown. You can start with any station. But this tour begins with Station 1. (Be sure to grab a free guide from the map holder.)
Bricktown's Historic St. Mary's Church
Or visit St. Mary's Church in Greektown/Bricktown iconic church of earlier German community. One side borders Bricktown and another side borders Greektown.
Greektown Casino and Hotel
Cadillac Center Station, Tile 
Cadillac Center Station, by Skillman Library Branch 
A DIFFICULT BEGINNING
The People Mover was already controversial before it opened. Funding was at risk and people said it was impractical or a waste of money.
Some said it would spur new business Downtown. Some said it offered a good transportation alternative. But in the end, the People Mover proved to be a good Tour Tram, if nothing else.
Its best supporters are tourists staying at hotels and convention-goers who love to ride it.
Locals rarely use it, and suburbanites park and walk through the city never realizing its potential. Most Detroiter's cannot describe its route.
How to use this Page:
This page offers a description of the People Mover elevated tram system, which operates exclusively Downtown. Refer to the Downtown Map and the orange People Mover line, numbered with stations 1-13. Grocery stores have been listed for the convenience of the long-term visitor. (This page is presented in the journal style so that the entire tour can be seen from end-to-end in one continuous layout. ENJOY THE MOTOR CITY AND HAVE A PLEASANT STAY!)
(Visitors and new transplants may need a place to buy groceries in the immediate vicinity. Several larger stores are in Midtown, Mexicantown and Lafayette Park. But the following smaller options will satisfy nearly anyone's needs for a few weeks.)
Car Rental--Downtown or Nearby
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Shuttle Service
Airport Car Rental -- Metro Airport
Coleman A. Young International Airport
Intercity Rail Service
New Transportation: New Center, Midtown and Downtown to the River
Connecting Midtown and New Center to Downtown
Probable Combined Transportation Hub near Hart Plaza and Regional Rail
STEVE'S, A DETROIT SURVIVOR
Steve Francis a fixture of Detroit's dive bar scene for many generations died recently at the age of 90.
A Brief Story of Steve's...
Steve was born in the state of Oregon, USA in 1924. But his family decided to move back to Greece. Unfortunately, they lived through the Nazi occupation of WWII. Steve returned to the states eventually settling in Detroit in the 60's where he married Sophie.
He worked as a busboy and a waiter in several top-notch restaurants saving just enough to open his own place. No sooner had Steve's become a success when Detroit's long series of downturns started. But his beer and shot joint survived the decades of turmoil little changed because of a few loyal patrons who liked his bar.
His relatives returned Steve to Greece for burial. No word on the fate of Steve's on Congress, which remains closed. ....Hope someone rescues it.
(Steve worked at the Caucus Club and the London Chop House, both big names in Detroit dining at one time. Please do not confuse this venue with Steve's Soul Food restaurant.)
There are three large casino-hotel complexes in downtown Detroit or on the immediate border. Add to those a fourth in Windsor a scant half mile from the Detroit skyline to stretch your gambling fix.
The Motor City Casino and Hotel is a bustling entertainment complex on the Lodge freeway. The main building was converted from a Wonder Bread factory. You can still see the masonry elements highlighted in the facade. The curvy roof-line and lettering are supposed to evoke the image of a vintage Detroit sports car, inspired by Chip Foose.
There are six casinos relatively close to downtown Detroit. Refer also to Firekeepers in Battle Creek (112 miles) and Hollywood in Toledo (62 miles).
Foxtown Theatre District
There are lots of "Towns" in Detroit. It seems like every subdivided area of special note has a town suffix attached in Motown.
In this case the Ilitch family has revitalized a small area within steps of Comerica Park and Ford Field called "Foxtown," in honor of Fox Theatre one of the truly magnificent jewels of downtown Detroit.
There are three theatres in a row along Woodward, including the Fox, the Fillmore and the City. But there are more nearby in Downtown and Midtown. They make up the 2nd largest combined live theatre district in the nation. (As author of this website I contend Detroit is tied with Toronto for North America's 2nd largest collection as well. Refer to the end of the Theatre Page.)
Foxtown will soon build its new headquarters next to the Fox and District Detroit will add many new attractions to the area or in neighboring south Midtown.
All can be accessed by the new Q-Line rail or the People Mover. Few patrons need to walk more than 200 yards in any direction to reach their favorite stage.
THE FABULOUS FOX
The Fox is the largest Fox theatre by square footage and 2nd largest by seating with over 5,000 seats. Interior architecture is some of the most ornate and detailed of any theatre in the world dominated by huge red columns and extensive gilding of mixed Asian and Mediterranean design themes. (Refer to the Theatre Page for more details.)
The Fillmore has beautiful interior architecture and stage, and has hosted a nationally syndicated T.V. talent show. (Refer to the Theatre Page for more details.)
FORAN'S GRAND TRUNK IRISH PUB
This venue is an old Detroit favorite and popular with kids and adults. Many world cultural traditions are featured in plays performed with every variety of puppet.
WAYNE COUNTY BUILDING
This building is near the southeast corner of Cadillac Square. Its beautiful three-horse chariots, dome and columns could appear in Rome. It's a great candidate for a fantastic boutique hotel, but it's being converted into an office building.
You may do a double take when you enter this station. Some guys in Detroit have a stiff demeanor, but this dude can read all day without budging a muscle. (Of course, he's a little out of date in his media tastes, but so are a lot of Detroiters.)
Comerica Park and Ford Field are large stadium complexes built literally side-by-side.
This combined area is so big it can be accessed by several People Mover stops within close walking distance. Stations 1-4 are as close as one block away and no further than five blocks away.
(You will see Comerica listed twice on this Page. Joe Louis Arena is also Downtown. But the new state-of-the-art hockey arena is being built in south Midtown, about three blocks from Comerica Park within the new 45-block District Detroit entertainment area.)
ALOFT DETROIT, DAVID WHITNEY BLDG.
This iconic Detroit building on Merchants Row at Grand Circus Park was recently renovated into a stunning boutique hotel called Aloft Detroit. The atrium and skylight have been beautifully restored. It's worth a stop on the People Mover just to step inside.
It's recommended you review this Page in its entirety at least once before deciding how you wish to use the People Mover and where you wish to go.
The "Z" Park garage got its name from its structural footprint Downtown. The floor plan zig-zags from one street to another in a "Z" pattern. The "Z" garage and "Belt" provide a visual feast for urban art lovers, but the garage exterior looks like a 60's contemporary reject, out of scale and out of style.
Tours √Rec Detroit Princess river boat docks here all year (bar and restaurant – five decks); excursions on river;
Athen's Gift Shop and Plaka Grille on Monroe (Greektown)
SPIRIT OF DETROIT MONUMENT
PENOBSCOT BUILDING ENTRANCE
One of three buildings by that name, the Penobscot's stepped architeicture rises to a classic skyscraper summit, a design which gave inspiration for the larger Empire State Building in New York.
MAYOR HAZEN PINGREE (1889-1897) &
GRAND CIRCUS PARK, WEST
Immediately north of the station is Grand Circus Park one of the city's oldest gathering places. The statue of seated Mayor Pingree faces the statue of arch nemesis, Mayor Maybury from the opposite side of Woodward. Long after an era has passed a bitter animus lingers frozen in bronze and time.
TRADITIONAL AND UNUSUAL
Sweetwater Tavern offers great ambience and dining experiences in unusual architecture.
CAMPUS MARTIUS PARK
This historic park was completely renovated a few years ago and has reestablished itself as Detroit's people place. It includes the Civil War era Soldiers and Sailors monument, a sand beach, a large fountain and a winter skating rink. (Refer to Page 9 for an in-depth description and photos.)
New Transit Development
Linking with other Transit Options, Downtown (to & from)
Merchants Row is a collection of 34 buildings originating from Detroit's golden era of architecture and significant for some of America's first skyscrapers. Investors have rediscovered them, and only a handful remain abandoned. With the new Q-Line rail on Woodward, re-construction has swept through Merchants Row at a feverish pace. Refer also to Page 9, Attractions, Nearby Architecture section.
This treasured gem has its own orchestra. It also has recovered its financial standing in a spectacular fashion that's every bit as dramatic as the superb operas it performs. Along with the success of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Motor City has scored with an impressive rebound.
MERIDIAN/COMPUWARE BUILDING MURALS
The artist commissioned for the mural on the right was charged with graffiti tagging several other buildings in Detroit.
One Detroit investor bought over 100 buildings Downtown and he is renovating many of them. He claims the price of an average Detroit building is about one month's rent for the same building in Manhattan.
While some structures are pretty old, a few of Detroit's golden age buildings still stand. They are remarkable for having little renovation since their construction, and in rare cases were occupied almost continuously. Just a few now are abandoned or partially occupied.
Many examples of Old Detroit are on Centre Street or on Woodward at Merchants Row. A few dinosaurs have been transformed into boutique hotels. Most are visible from the People Mover.
Several examples of Art Deco or the Chicago Style are seen Downtown but there are many other fine examples of architecture.
Refer to Page 9 in the Nearby Architecture section.
THE PEOPLE MOVER ELEVATED TRAM