Construction has begun on Arts Alleys across the city

  • Work being done by City Council-approved Major Contracting

Construction has begun on five Arts Alleys being constructed across the city, thanks to funding from the $5.4 million in federal funding from President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act.

The City Council approved a contract to hire Major Construction to transform dilapidated alleys into artistic oases. The five alleys are the first phase of a neighborhood beautification project that will eventually include nine alleys.

Major has begun construction on alleys in Old Redford, Southwest Detroit, Northwest Detroit and Jefferson Chalmers to bring new surfacing, landscaping and amenities, while partnering together with local artists and residents to imbue these improvements with a sense of history.

Major Contracting is no stranger to the city or major projects. It handles comprehensive infrastructure enhancements, including concrete paving, sidewalks, curbs, driveways, water mains, sewer systems and earthwork. The company just completed the stellar Roosevelt Park in front of the renovated, celebrated Michigan Central Station.

“Major Contracting is very excited to partner with the City of Detroit and the Detroit Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship for the ACE Arts Alley Phase 1 Project,” the company said in a statement. “We express great enthusiasm for the partnership as it represents a substantial milestone on the ongoing partnership between Major Contracting and the City of Detroit.

The alleys underway in five neighborhoods are:

Manistique Alley The Manistique Alley in Jefferson Chalmers supports environmental arts projects envisioned by the Manistique Community Treehouse Center and surrounding neighbors. The alley ties together an existing solar power station, creative empowerment garden, bird watcher's garden and proposed ADA-compliant tree house structure.

Old Redford Alley The Old Redford Alley joins an anchor- Artist Village – in one of the city's busiest arts districts. The project honors long-standing work done by Detroit Blight Blusters, Sidewalk Detroit and the Platform. The district’s main anchors are Artist Village, the Old Redford Theater, the Obama Building and The Triangle.

Snowden-Hartwell Alley The Snowden-Hartwell Alley is a residential Arts Alley located between West Outer Drive and West McNichols Road near the Lodge Freeway. The alley has already received improvements including rain barrels, pollinator gardens, vegetable planters and pedestrian amenities from The Neighborhood Association, the area's block club, which has gained national attention for its environmental work.

Bagley Alley The Bagley Alley in Southwest Detroit serves several neighborhoods and community grous and is uniquely connected to the community by its location next to the Roberto Clemente Recreation Center. The alley will be a well as a gathering place for residents and visitors along the Bagley commercial corridor that includes partner Mexican Village, the city’s oldest Mexican restaurant.

Grand River Alley The Grand River Alley is located in Northwest Goldberg at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Grand River near I-96. The alley complements one of the city's most iconic art installations, the Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum. The alley provides an inviting event and festival space where visitors can view the outdoor installations.

Yellow Brick Road Alley The Yellow Brick Road Alley in Jefferson Chalmers is the 10-year dream of Detroit native Victoria Thomas and her community. After a young neighbor was killed in a tragic accident, they envisioned a safe place for kids to ride their bikes and learn African American history. The alley highlights the Phillis Wheatley library, which operates out of a neighbor’s backyard.

Burrell Trail Alley The Burrell Trail Alley is located near I-94 and Van Dyke Avenue. It builds upon work done by Alkebu-lan Village, which has championed youth development. The project honors Quartez and Cortez Burrell, two brothers and Alkebu-lan Village youth who died in a devastating house fire in 2015.

The North End Alley The North End Alley is the city’s first Agri-Arts Alley, anchored by Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in partnership with artists from the Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition. The alley complements the Oakland Avenue Farmer’s Market, North End Resource Center, Oakland Avenue Cooperative Greenhouse and Black Bottom Garden Center. It is funded in part by the Knight Foundation.

Bailey Park Alley The Bailey Park Alley is located in the historic McDougall-Hunt neighborhood. It builds upon work done by the Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation and the McDougall Hunt Neighborhood Association. Long-time resident Katrina Watkins and neighbors envision the alley as part of a new community park that will be equal parts museum, art gallery and front porch oral history.


Detroit ACE oversees the City of Detroit’s investment in the fine and performing arts, culture and history with a special focus on supporting the city’s creative workforce.   

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Arts Alleys Construction pic1


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Construction is significantly underway in the Old Redford Arts Alley behind Artist's Village.