Special Annual Tours

Historic Ferry Street Tour (Fifth Saturday Specialty Tour) | Date/Time TBD

Departs from the corner of John R and Kirby behind the DIA, across from the Josephine Ford Sculpture Garden on the College for Creative Studies campus.

Ferry Street today is known for its beautiful historic homes: the Hecker Mansion, the Charles Lang Freer House, and the houses that make up the Inn on Ferry Street. The street originated with the Ferry Seed Company farm established in the mid-1850’s at the corner of East Ferry and Woodward to grow the seeds that were sold nationwide. Then came the prosperous residences in the mid-1880’s and the Merrill Palmer Institute in the 1920s. Learn more about the people and institutions who made Ferry Street one of Detroit’s most historic neighborhoods.

Parking: Metered and non-metered street parking is available in the immediate area. Paid parking is also available at the Park Shelton parking structure and DIA parking structure and lot. Tickets are available here.

DOCOMOMO Yamasaki in the Cultural Center | Saturday June 29, 2019 at 10am

Minoru Yamasaki, Detroit’s best-known midcentury architect, left his mark all over the city. This tour, offered once per summer to the public, explores Yamasaki’s legacy in Midtown and the Cultural Center, including stops at Wayne State University’s magnificent McGregor Conference Center and reflecting pool.

All tours take place rain or shine, and are about 2 to 2.5 hours long. Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the tour. Advance ticket purchases are available through the afternoon the Friday before the tour. If there is a date missing from the tour page, the tour for that location/date is sold out. Tickets may be refunded up to 7 days prior to the date of a tour; after that, tickets are not refundable.

Parking: Metered parking is available in the immediate area surrounding the library and there is a parking structure located at Cass and Putnam.

For any and all tours we offer, we request that groups of more than 6 purchase advance tickets. Groups of 15-20 are able to receive a group discount for Saturday 10am tours. We do offer private tours for groups of any size on any day of the week. For info on booking private tours, please email Mickey Lyons at mlyons@preservationdetroit.org. Tickets are available here.

Preservation Detroit MotorCities Downtown Auto History Tour | July 14; August 11; September 8

With its rich automotive history, Detroit offers a unique opportunity to explore in depth the stories that shaped the city. Preservation Detroit’s MotorCities Downtown Auto History Tour will guide guests on a walking history lesson, made lively by the characters that populate Detroit’s early 20th century streets. We’ll explore the sites of the birth of the automobile, from the Dodge Brother’s Greektown engine shop to Hart Plaza’s magnificent Transcending sculpture in honor of the labor industry. We’ll visit monuments to great figures in the transportation history of the Midwest and discover how the automobile shaped our city’s streets and public places. And we’ll hear the stories of the captains of industry and the everyday laborers who built the Motor City from the ground up.

The two-hour walking tour takes place on the second Sunday of every month beginning at 1 pm. The tour meets in Grand Circus Park. Tickets and more information here.

The Detroit Movie Palaces Theatre Tour | August 10, 2019

Don’t miss one of Michigan’s most unique and popular walking tours. Join us for a wonderful day of behind-the-scenes tours at Detroit’s legendary movie palaces. Past tours have included the Fox, the Gem, the Detroit Opera House, and the Michigan Theatre, among other legendary movie houses. This is one of Preservation Detroit’s most anticipated tours. The Theatre Tour sells out every year! More information and tickets are available here.


Historic Cemetery Tours | 2019 dates to be announced soon

A different cemetery on 4 different dates in October! Learn the history and stories behind the famous (and infamous) buried within Detroit’s cemeteries. Marvel at the historic architecture of the mausoleums and headstones.

  • Mt. Elliot Cemetery | Date TBD

  • Elmwood Cemetery | Date TBD

  • Woodlawn Cemetery | Date TBD

  • Mt. Olivet Cemetery | Date TBD

DOCOMOMO Day | October 12, 2019

October 12th, 2019 will be DOCOMOMO Day. The tour has not been decided yet, but we will update this space once we have more information.

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