Restored Roosevelt Park brings connectivity back to Detroit's Corktown and Mexican Town

Side by side, the original plans for Roosevelt Park which sits in the shadow of the Michigan Central Station look very similar to the plans used today - a sign of the intent to keep Detroit as connected as possible.

If Michigan Central is the literal and metaphorical connection to and around Detroit, then the park is the centerpiece. 

"They really are transforming this area into a mobility hub," said Jeff Klein, with the city of Detroit. "Ultimately it’s made this park a lot more accessible to all the communities. A lot more comfortable to be in and just really beautifies and anchors the surrounding neighborhoods."

That includes returning walkable routes to Mexican Town, Cork Town, and the Hubbard Richard neighborhoods.

Aided with $5 million from the American Rescue Act and another million from the city, a 13-acre park in front of the newly-rehabbed station boasts walkways, lovely landscaping, and another sign the city's old structures are becoming new again.

It's a welcome sight for many.

"I think it’s awesome. It is awesome to see things rehabbed and built around the city. It’s very encouraging and motivating," said Sharneice Howard. "I just know the train station used to be an eyesore. 

"It just looked like a vacant, abandoned building but now it's beautiful. Now you see the windows and lights and I can't wait to have an opportunity to go inside and see it," added Howard.

Another big change is that Vernor Road was rerouted around the park. 

"These were actually roads that whet through here, right? Roads that were dividing the communities, the roads divided the neighborhoods," said Crystal Perkins, with the city.