After three years of work, Detroit’s first and only community-generated, artist-fabricated bus shelters are popping up at the intersection of Plymouth and Evergreen in Detroit’s Cody Rouge community this Spring. When complete, the Cody Rouge/Franklin Park BUS Shelter Project will consist of three creative bus shelters in the shape of the letters B, U, and S, spelling out the word BUS when viewed together. Each will provide shelter for 3 – 5 riders and include cover, seating, an exterior planter with natural greenery, and an exterior bench. These shelters will provide protection from the harsh Michigan weather and security for travelers as well as relief and comfort as they go about their day. Beyond this, these structures stand as true works of art, beautifying and adding interest to the local streetscape.
This project was born as an initiative of the College for Creative Studies’ community+public arts: DETROIT (CPAD) program in partnership with the Franklin Park Association in response to community calls for shelter, seating, neighborhood beautification and engagement at this busy neighborhood public transportation corridor. Once completed, the project will be gifted to the City of Detroit and the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) from the Franklin Park community.
The result of numerous community meetings, this project emerged as an expression of the local values, practical needs, and artistic expression of the surrounding community. After viewing the work of many artists, the community selected Detroit artist and industrial designer Kef Parker to realize this shared vision. With the support of the Detroit Department of Transportation, architects, and engineers, Kef refined the community vision and began crafting these stylish functional sculptures which double as shelter and art.
Initial sponsorship was secured through CPAD with the support of the Kresge Foundation, The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. Phase II sponsorship will include funding from the Franklin Park Community and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces, Community Places program. Parker has been on-site putting the finishing touches on the U and the S structures but the B structure will still require significant materials and funding.
On April 26th the Franklin Park community went live with a Patronicity crowd funding site (Patronicity.com/BUS) to raise the funds needed to complete and install the B and “Get US on the BUS.” When the community succeeds in achieving its goal of $11,750, raised before June 25th, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will match this amount and double the community’s efforts through a grant from the Public Spaces, Community Places program. Contributions to this campaign will help provide safety, protection, and accessibility for the commuters and families of the Cody Rouge community.