So you’d like to see some of Detroit’s architecture?  No problem.  There are lots of groups that offer architecture tours in and around Metro Detroit.  I’ll try to highlight a few of them to get you started on planning your trip.

Before that, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Most tours are offered in non-winter months (March/April to September/October) and take place regardless of the weather.
  • While some motorized tours (i.e. bus, bicycle, and Segway – yes, Segway) are available, most are walking tours.  Be prepared to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time.
  • Some tours require advance registration and are immensely popular due to their frequency.  If there’s a yearly date  for the Theater Tour, for example, you better call and reserve a spot.
  • Bring cash.  While some tours accept checks most will accept only cash and be prepared to pay before the tour starts.

These are in alphabetical order and I haven’t been paid to advertise these!

  1. Detroit Historical Society – The Detroit Historical Society sometime offers very specific tours of the city.  In particular, their Historic Houses of Worship tour is offered monthly but covers different churches each month.
  2. Detroit Tour Connections – A private company offering multiple ways to learn about the architecture and history of Detroit.
  3. Diamond Jack’s River Tours – Their boat tours offer a unique perspective of the city’s buildings along the Detroit River.
  4. Experience Detroit – The site is a collection of self-guided tour information with maps and directions to allow you to proceed at your own pace.
  5. Inside Detroit – Dedicated to educating the public about Detroit’s history, culture, and livability Inside Detroit provides tours of historical Detroit, best restaurants, and patios.
  6. Preservation Wayne – Detroit’s oldest and largest preservation organization offers the most robust tour schedule in Metro Detroit.  Tours are offered throughout the week and on weekends.
  7. Neighborhood Tours – Detroit is surrounded by many historical neighborhoods, each with their own strong historical associations.  While not all encompassing, Experience Detroit has highlighted a few of these neighborhoods.  Cityscape Detroit has a nice map of all the Detroit Neighborhoods if you’re having trouble locating one.
  8. Specific Venue Tours – Some buildings offer their own tours to the public.   Ford Field, Comerica Park, Fox Theater, and GM Renaissance Center are only a handful of the many Detroit buildings offering tours.

Have I missed any? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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