A new public space, gallery, bed and breakfast, skatepark, and sculpture garden will be housed across 2.5 acres and a 110-year-old church in East Village. Anchored by The Shepherd, the project will create a new cultural district on Detroit's east side.

The church sits on Parkview street, a couple blocks up from East Jefferson and a few blocks from Pewabic Pottery.

Led by Anthony & JJ Curis of the Library Collective, the project includes:

  • The adaptive reuse of the church, which will have two galleries, a library, classrooms, and workshop space;
  • A boutique bed & breakfast in the church rectory, which will also be home to the headquarters of the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation;
  • A skatepark supported by Tony Hawk, Alec Beck, and artist McArthur Binion;
  • A sculpture garden dedicated to celebrated Detroit artist Charles McGee;
  • A public greenspace with a former alley-turned-walkway called The Nave;  a cafe will go in a former parking garage;
  • Two nearby homes that will be adapted into commercial space; BridgeHouse will have a two-story deck with performance space overlooking the area.

“We are delighted to share the exciting plans for the East Village on a new creative hub that will become an important part of the fabric of our city," said Rochelle Riley, director of the City of Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship. "By working closely with the local community, this new project will be an accessible and creative arts center that we can all be proud of in Detroit. We look forward to unveiling the larger plans for the cultural district in the coming months.” 

The NaveRendering by OSD

Peterson Rich Office is leading the redesign of the church, OSD is designing the green space, and Undecorated is redeveloping BridgeHouse.

The Legacy Park will have three large-scale sculptures from Charles McGee, which he finished before his death earlier this year. This project is funded through Dan and Jennifer Gilbert and the Curises, with support from East Jefferson Inc., and will be transferred to the city when it's completed in 2022.

The church will have an ADA lift for accessibility, a performance and music space, and the confessionals will be repurposed into listening booths for guests to access information about artists of color who have had an impact on Michigan.

“Art is essential in starting important conversations and changing opinions. My work with Black Art Library has been dedicated to promoting arts education on Black art and visual culture, ensuring that this is accessible to all communities and filling gaps that our institutions have left. I am thrilled to partner with Anthony and JJ and curate the East Village Art Library, which will create substantial change in Detroit, offering greater resources and making art more accessible to local communities,” said Asmaa Walton, curator of the East Village Art Library and founder of Black Art Library.

The redevelopment is expected to be completed in spring 2023.