Garden Theater Block
Detroit, Michigan

Artfully balancing historic features with significant contemporary elements, Quinn Evans transformed the Garden Theater block into a cohesive urban block. Tying together original, turn-of-the-century commercial buildings and theater to a modern office building and parking deck, our design reflects the changing character of Woodward Avenue. Creative integration of the circulation systems of the buildings results in a diverse street face that is friendly to pedestrians and accommodates parking. At the forefront of the block’s historic preservation efforts stands the 1910 theater by the prolific theater designer C. Howard Crane. Hinting at the transformation within, the Victorian brick of the original exterior provides a contrasting background for the later Beaux Arts white terracotta theater entry. A new metal arched canopy echoes the original decorative canopy, welcoming patrons and adding to the vibrancy of the restored multi-venue entertainment district.

The Solution


  • American Institute of Architects, Michigan Honor Award, Building Category
  • American Institute of Architects, Detroit Building Award
  • Project of the Year, Construction Association of Michigan
“Had it gone through another hard winter; it would have been lost…At one time I was very worried that the outer façade was going to spill over into Woodward Avenue. Thanks to a lot of ingenuity from the architectural team and the structural engineers, we were able to preserve it”
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Project Team

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