Skip to main content
  1. Travel
  2. Local Getaways

Rosa Parks Transit Center design highlights tensile strength

It is appropriate that the seven tent-like canopies over the more than two acres of exterior bus access area are tensile structures. Like Rosa Parks herself, the soaring, translucent fabric allows light in where it would be dim, and holds its ground by possessing enormous inner tensile strength. The $22.5 million Rosa Parks Transit Center opened in July 2009 at the corner of Cass and Michigan Avenues in Detroit.

More Photos

A tough, flexible glass-coated fiber material was used for the fabric canopies, after research of similar structures, including Detroit's Chene Park. In 2007 the Detroit Economic Development Corp. approved a $5.5 million contract with USAShade & Fabric Structures Inc. of Costa Mesa, California to provide the materials for the spectacular exterior roof.

The three-story, sleek and angular support building was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), an international firm based in New York City with 150 offices on six continents. One of their regional corporate offices is located on Griswold in Detroit. The general contractor on the project was DeMaria Building Company with corporate headquarters on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, and a regional office in Novi.

The 25,000 square foot facility's interior is designed to include a waiting area, information booth, cashier’s office, café, retail space, automatic ticket vending, restrooms, transit police offices, transit services, and a Detroit Police Department mini station.

Owned by the City and funded by state and federal grants the center is intended to serve as a 24-hour central connection to 21 Detroit Department of Transportation bus routes, the SMART suburban bus system, Transit Windsor bus routes, and the Detroit People Mover. A taxi stand is provided to extend the reach options of this hub. The plan also incorporates provisions for the city's future light rail system to connect to the station.

Need driving directions? You can get anywhere by clicking on Google Maps.

To go back to the main page for Detroit Landmarks columns click here.

To go to the Detroit Landmarks Examiner’s Recommendations page click here.

To receive an email notice when new articles are posted, click on "Subscribe" at the top of the page and enter your email address. Easy! Please leave "Comments" about this article below.

Comments

  • Patty Davis 4 years ago

    Great looking structure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nancy Nash 4 years ago

    How appropriate for this tribute to Rosa Parks and how far we all have come since then!

  • Ed - Albuquerque Travel Photography Examiner 4 years ago

    Nice read and very interesting. I look forward to more.

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Mead
    Cool new tablet covers and folios in designs that will take you back to your school days
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Blossom Music Center
    Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd deliver double dose of hits at Blossom Music Center
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • 'Wish I Was Here'
    Zach Braff and Kate Hudson do dysfunctional-family comedy in 'Wish I Was Here'
    Camera
    18 Photos
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • LPGA golfers
    Check out the beautiful LPGA golfers competing at the 2014 International Crown
    Camera
    19 Photos