Restoration of Hart Plaza's Dodge Fountain begins



Fences are up, and the months-long process to restore Detroit’s Dodge Fountain in Hart Plaza is underway. The Plaza’s Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain will see new life as preparations for repairs begin on Tuesday, Oct. 10. 

“Restoring the iconic fountain and revitalizing this historic space is not just about bricks and mortar; it's about preserving our heritage, honoring our past, and embracing a vibrant future,” said LaJuan Counts, executive director of the City of Detroit Construction & Demolition Department. “We are immensely proud of this opportunity, and the responsibility bestowed upon us by Mayor Duggan is both an honor and a testament to the faith in our community.”

The fountain repair kicks off the city’s highly anticipated Hart Plaza renovations. The city’s Construction & Demolition Department is leading repair and restoration efforts with the use of $6.7 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The complete Hart Plaza renovation project will utilize a total of $9 million in ARPA funds.

“(Hart Plaza) is a place that has drawn people from all over the world. But more specifically, Detroiters have used this as their touchstone here at Hart Plaza,” said Phil Talbert, president of Total Access Events. “This is where people meet. You don’t say, ‘meet me at the corner of Jefferson and Woodward’, you say meet me at the Hart Plaza fountain. Young people have played here, people have been married here, people have been engaged here.”

This evaluation and restoration process will take several months and will include removing metal panels from the fountain’s dome, repairing jets, lighting, and plumbing before reassembling the structure. Foutain repair and renovation are expected to be completed by spring 2024.

Below is a tentative timeline for repairs of the Dodge Fountain:

Exterior Renovations

  • Power Washing Pavers                                                      Early October
  • Remove and Stack Pavers                                                 Mid-October
  • Plaza Waterproofing                                                           Late October to Early December
  • Remove Fountain Panels                                                  Mid to Late November
  • Pressure Test Columns and Ring                                    Early December
  • Install Lighting in Ring                                                       Late December to Early February
  • Install Nozzles in Ring                                                         Late December to Early February
  • Reinstall Fountain Panels                                                  Early February to Mid-February
  • Remove Scaffolding                                                            Mid-February to Early March
  • Fountain Complete                                                             April 2024