Detroit delight: An afternoon in a parking garage

In Digital, Inspiration, Mobile, Travel
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The words “delight” and “parking garage” rarely go together, but I was pleasantly surprised one sunny afternoon to find such a combination in downtown Detroit. I was there for a family visit, and my brother, Jeff, knew I was eager for a photo adventure in the city. On the advice of a friend, he decided to take me to the Library Street Collective. What we didn’t know was that the adjacent parking garage (known locally as “The Z”) would draw us in for an entire afternoon.

We discovered as we entered this public parking facility that every floor is filled with works created by artists from around the world. The prospect of looking for what would come next kept us eagerly walking up each level until we reached the top. The variety of styles and subject matter, as well as the talent on display, was incredible. The views along the way were pretty spectacular, too! The impressive 184-foot tall mural across the street was created by well-known U.S. artist Shepard Fairey.My only frustration was the fact that cars were actually parked in front of the artwork–who’d have imagined? I seriously wanted to move some of them or at least return on a Sunday when the lot might possibly be empty. It was thoroughly enjoyable, though, to see such interesting work on display in a very public setting. The trip up 10 stories and back down (new artwork to see in the adjoining garage) led us to one final discovery: an alley. Not just any alley, but one recently transformed. Known as “The Belt,” it’s been reclaimed with the addition of gorgeous murals, festive lights and benches to draw passersby in for a look.

At the end of our afternoon, we were hot, sweaty and tired. But it was so worth it! I was energized by all I saw and hope I’ll be able to return sometime to do it all again.


P.S. If you’re interested in knowing more about “The Z”, here’s a short video including some artist interviews.


  1. Tacoma has some awesome garages! Unfortunately, the city decided to paint over all the graffiti in the graffiti garages here. It bums me out, because there is nothing like an awesome mural! These are stunning!

    • Vanessa, that’s sad! I love street art and I’m always excited to find new pieces. I love that this garage had art planned into it from the beginning.

    • Kirstin, it was such a great find! It’s amazing to think of artists from many countries contributing to this effort.

  2. I would have been over the moon! And I am for these photos.
    I really think that a place like this is that much more exciting when it takes you by surprise, as it did you. And then the alley – oh heck! I’d be plotting my return!

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