Private Tours with Preservation Detroit
Thank you for your interest in private tours with Preservation Detroit. As the city’s oldest preservation non-profit, we pride ourselves on the depth and historical accuracy of our tours. We also firmly believe in the power of Detroit’s stories to help historical preservation. Our guides are engaging, knowledgeable, and dedicated to showcasing the fascinating in every neighborhood, building, and person in Detroit’s rich history.
We offer several different types of private tours, from intimate tours of downtown for small groups to multiple-day itineraries for large groups in town for conferences and reunions. Please get in touch with us at least two weeks in advance in order to schedule a private tour. Most of our tours are walking tours, since we believe the best way to see the city and experience its dynamic energy is from the ground. We do offer guide services for tours booked with private transportation, however, and we also are happy to provide speakers and lecturers for private events. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Walking Tours of Detroit
Our most popular walking tours of the city embrace the vibrant neighborhoods and unique cultural highlights of each area. Each guide specializes in this area of the city, so you know you’re in expert hands. Walking tours generally take about 2 to 2-1/2 hours, but can be customized for your group’s needs. We also offer ADA accessible tours.
Cost is on a sliding scale based on the number of people Special student and senior discounts are available. We are happy to accommodate large groups and will work with you to develop a pricing structure and itinerary that works with your needs.
Long the beating heart of Detroit’s dynamic business and commercial industry, the downtown area has seen dazzling change in recent years as renovation and restoration continue to evolve the city’s buildings and streets. Highlights of the tour include the stunning Art Deco masterpiece Guardian Building, the emerging Capitol Park area, and an architectural walk down memory lane as we stroll Woodward Avenue from Grand Circus Park to the riverfront. Along the way, the tour loops past many historic houses of worship and significant sculptural and architectural works.
Since the late 19th century, Eastern Market has hosted a weekly farmer’s market-one of the oldest and largest in the country-as well as restaurants, warehouses and gathering spots. The stroll through Eastern Market brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of 100+ years of public commerce in Detroit. This tour highlights the commercial and development history of the market, with plenty of time to stop and smell the flowers (or cumquats, or butcher shops, or whatever you prefer).
Formerly known as the Cass Corridor, Midtown is perhaps the most dramatic example of Detroit’s adaptive reuse. Cultural institutions live side-by-side with architecturally significant private housing and apartment complexes in this part of the city. A tour of Midtown is a great way to catch up on the changes a modern industrial city experienced over the span of the twentieth century and beyond, and our guides discuss in depth how shifting real estate changes have impacted the area.
The Detroit Institute of Arts hosts one of the finest art collections in the world. The Detroit Public Library’s renowned architect, Cass Gilbert, designed some of the country’s greatest Italian Renaissance masterpieces. From the Maccabees Building, an Art Deco gem, to the residential oasis of Ferry Street’s historic mansions, the Cultural Center tour is a compact exploration of the city’s large-scale architectural variety.
Premium Tours of Detroit
Over the past 20 years of hosting visitors and residents of Detroit on walking tours of the city, we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge that we’re happy to share with you! Our premium tours are detailed examinations of specific aspects of Detroit’s cultural, architectural and biographical history. In many cases, your guide developed this specific tour out of a passion for the subject, and is likely a leading authority in the city on this particular subject. Please inquire for more details about the length and price of these tours, as they vary by subject matter and expert availability.
Premium Private Tours include, but are not limited to:
• Downtown via the People Mover: Transit History and Public Art in Detroit
• Downtown Parks and Public Spaces: Adaptation and Evolution
• Yamasaki and Detroit: A Midcentury Love Story
• Public Monuments of Detroit: Shaping the Narrative History of a City
• Secret Detroit: Strange, Wacky and Unknown Sites in Detroit
• Prohibition Detroit: City on a Still
• Historic Ferry Street: Or How to Save a Victorian Residential District
• Detroit’s New Center: Khan, GM, and the Automotive Influence on Detroit’s Architecture
• Downtown Detroit’s Historic Houses of Worship: Faith Communities on Old and New Detroit
• Theatre Tour: The Public Entertainment Palaces of Old Detroit
• Historic and Legendary Cemeteries of Detroit: Landscape, History, and the Movers and Shakers of the City
Custom Tours of Detroit
Have a burning desire for information about a certain person, group or spot in Detroit’s history? Want to get the insider’s tour of a place you’ve been wondering about for ages? We can help. We have highly trained researchers and guides eager to craft a custom tour to fit your group’s needs. Preservation Detroit’s archives, combined with our award-winning guides, can design a tour around your specific interests. Please direct all inquiries for custom tours to email@example.com.
How do I book a private tour?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide as much detailed information as you have (date, time, number of guests, and area of interest), and we’re happy to work with you to design the tour that is best for your group.
I’m ready to book a tour. What’s the process?
First, we’ll work closely with you to choose the perfect tour and guide for your needs. Once you’ve settled your group’s date, time, and size and scope of tour, we’ll confirm the details via email. Since we are an entirely volunteer-operated group, we ask for confirmation and payment two weeks in advance. We accept credit card payment via PayPal and, with enough time for processing, will accept personal and business checks.
What is your cancellation policy?
Refunds are allowed up to seven days prior to the date of the tour. After that, we are happy to work with you to reschedule the tour.
Is there an inclement weather policy?
We see a lot of precipitation here in Detroit, so we can’t cancel a tour in case of rain or light snow. However, if there is a snow emergency or other weather catastrophe, we will be happy to reschedule your tour.
I haven’t been to Detroit in years (or at all) but I hear great things about the city. How do I find out what to do when I’m in town?
We’re happy to inundate you with information about the exciting work we do here at Preservation Detroit. We’re also happy to provide you with a list of recommended partners that we’ve worked with over the years and that we trust to provide you with the best possible experience of all that our exciting city has to offer.
Thank you for choosing Preservation Detroit. Our award-winning tours share our rich architectural and cultural history with residents and visitors to Detroit and the Metro Area. And it’s not just beautiful buildings … you’ll see how adaptive reuse of historic architecture attracts people and jobs to our neighborhoods and advances eco-friendly urban innovation. Through the passion of our knowledgeable volunteer tour guides, you’ll feel a renewed love and interest for our city. You’ll be amazed and inspired!