Although a chartered yacht is a comfortable way to tour the seas, it can only navigate city streets with the help of hundreds of unhappy pack goats. Tour Detroit in terra firma style and comfort with today's Groupon: for $9, you get two tickets to any architectural heritage walking tour offered by Preservation Wayne (a $20 value), Detroit's oldest and largest preservation organization.
Since 1975, this tour group has focused on preserving and repurposing Detroit's rich architectural heritage while providing fascinating excursions for the public. Preservation Wayne offers a wide variety of historical and architectural tours, each lasting approximately two to three hours. Journey through the Eastern Market (Saturdays at 10 a.m.), where a 170-year history awaits your discovery at breweries, cemeteries, art galleries, and a local food district including more than 250 independent vendors and merchants. The Auto Heritage Tour (first and third Saturdays of each month, 10 a.m.) begins at the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, an interactive museum and workshop located in the original spot of the Model T's amniotic assembly line. Choose a Tuesday after-work tour such as the Albert Kahn Downtown Buildings Tour (May 3rd through September 27th at 5:30 p.m.), which visits the aesthetically pleasing structures of the famous industrial architect, often referred to as the "architect of Detroit."
Whether you're a temporary visitor or lifelong Detroiter, the volunteer tour guides will provide new and exciting information that will delight even the shiniest of history buffs. Admiring the past is a great way to progress into the future, or at least increase your odds of winning the integrated Detroit history trivia challenge at your next Detroit history cocktail party. Call at least 24 hours in advance to schedule your tour.
Preservation Detroit, founded in 1975, is Detroit's oldest and one of the largest group dedicated to historic preservation. Over the past four decades, the non-profit preservation organization has become a leading advocate for the protection and rehabilitation of Detroit's historic homes, skyscrapers, and culturally rich sites. They have used a variety of educational and research programs, along with advocacy and awareness campaigns to help grow support for the conservation Detroit's built heritage. Part of this mission includes encouraging the redevelopment of neighborhoods throughout the city around these historic structures, providing an anchor for residential areas and helping increase economic investment.
An all-volunteer organization, Preservation Detroit's volunteers and members continue to nurture their community's passion for historical treasures through lectures, seasonal newsletters, and tours. The organization continues to live up to its name; in 2014 they helped conduct a historic preservation resource survey that recorded property-by-property information in six historic Detroit district, and most recently, their advocacy efforts have played a large part in sparing both the State Savings Bank and the Eddystone Hotel from demolition.