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Cass Corridor

Coordinates: 42°21′48″N 83°04′13″W / 42.36333°N 83.07028°W / 42.36333; -83.07028
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Cass Corridor, Detroit
Cass Corridor
Corner of Cass and Ferry, showing the Verona Apartments.
Corner of Cass and Ferry, showing the Verona Apartments.
Coordinates: 42°21′48″N 83°04′13″W / 42.36333°N 83.07028°W / 42.36333; -83.07028
Country United States of America
State Michigan
County Wayne
City Detroit
 • Total0.9 km2 (0.36 sq mi)
 • Land0.9 km2 (0.36 sq mi)
 • Water0 km2 (0.0 sq mi)
 • Total1,707
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern Standard Time (North America))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight Time (North America))

The Cass Corridor is a neighborhood on the west end of Midtown Detroit. It includes the Cass Park Historic District, the Cass-Davenport Historic District and Old Chinatown. The corridor's main street, Cass Avenue, runs parallel with M-1 (Woodward Avenue), a main Detroit artery running north toward New Center. Though Cass runs from Congress Street, ending a few miles farther north at West Grand Boulevard, the Cass Corridor generally is defined as between Interstate 75 (I-75) at its southern end and Interstate 94 (I-94) to the north, and stretches from Woodward to the east and to the west: John C. Lodge (M-10 service drive) north of Temple, and Grand River Avenue south of Temple.


Third Man Records opened November 27, 2015, at the corner of Canfield and Cass [1]

Significant landmarks of the area include the Detroit Masonic Temple (the world's largest building of its kind),[2] Cass Technical High School, and the Metropolitan Center for High Technology are all located along Cass. Little Caesars Arena, the home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and the NBA's Detroit Pistons, is on the west side of Woodward Avenue near Interstate 75.

In the 1970s, the Cass Corridor was a poor neighborhood known for drugs, prostitution and sex crimes against children. The area was of significance in the Oakland County Child Killer case.[3][4]

Creem, which billed itself as "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine," had its headquarters in the area. The student population contributes to the bohemian atmosphere in Cass Corridor. The artistic community has produced a number of significant artists, including Sixto Rodriguez, Negative Approach and The White Stripes, who played their first show at the Gold Dollar.[5] Cass Corridor is also the location of the annual Dally in the Alley arts festival.[6]

Since the 2000s, Joel Landy, president of the Cass Avenue Development construction company, has renovated and remodeled several buildings in the Cass Corridor.[7] Landy was also featured in the television series American Pickers[8] (season 3 episode "Motor City", September 19, 2011). Since 1997, Avalon International Breads has been located in the Cass Corridor.[9] In 2015, Jack White of the band The White Stripes, opened a retail store for his record label, Third Man Records at the corner of Canfield and Cass.[10]

From 2009, Dr. Alesia Montgomery of Michigan State University conducted a five-year study visualizing a reinvented Detroit as a green city, with a particular emphasis on the Cass Corridor.[11][12]

Cass Corridor Movement (1960–1980s)


In the 1960s through the 1980s, the Cass Corridor became an area of cultural significance, and is often referred to as the Cass Corridor Movement, or the Cass Corridor Group.[13][14] Artists began renting cheap studio space in the Cass Corridor, which was near Detroit's Cultural Center Historic District. The Willis Gallery was instrumental in the local artists meeting each other.[13] The curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts from 1968 until 1971, Sam Wagstaff, was influenced the formation of the movement.[13]

In 1980, a keystone exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kick Out the Jams: Detroit’s Cass Corridor, 1963–1977, was organized by curators Mary Jane Jacob and Jay Belloli and featured 22 artists.[13]

Artists associated with or influenced by the Cass Corridor artist movement include Nancy Mitchnick,[13] Al Loving,[13] Robert Sestok,[13] Brenda Goodman,[13] Greggi Murphy,[13] Gary Grimshaw, Tyree Guyton, Charles McGee, Ann Mikolowski, Jim Pallas, Ellen Phelan, Gilda Snowden, Robert Wilbert, Kathy Clifford, and Theo Wujcik.[15]

See also



  1. ^ Third Man Records - Detroit Storefront
  2. ^ "Masonic Temple Of Detroit- History". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  3. ^ "On the Trail of the Oakland County Child Killer". August 20, 2018. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  4. ^ "Oakland county child killer -- case-background". Archived from the original on 2019-06-02. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Denise (March 1, 2004). The White Stripes: Sweethearts of the Blues. Backbeat Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-87930-805-6.
  6. ^ "Dally in the Alley Website". Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  7. ^ This old house savior, Adam Stanfel, Metro Times, June 5, 2002 (retrieved February 12, 2012)
  8. ^ Cass Ave.'s Joel Landy picked for "American Pickers", Nancy Kaffer, Crain's Detroit Business, April 5, 2011 (retrieved February 12, 2012)
  9. ^ Collins, Lisa M. (September 4, 2002). "On a roll". Metro Times. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "Detroit Storefront". Third Man Records. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  11. ^ http://clas.wayne.edu/Multimedia/Anthropology/files/WGposter.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ "Alesia Montgomery".
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sharp, Sarah Rose (2022-01-25). "The Cass Corridor Movement's Salvation Through Salvage". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  14. ^ Sharp, Sarah Rose (April 21, 2017). "Detroit's famed Cass Corridor art movement spotlighted at Simone DeSousa". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  15. ^ Mikolowski, Ken (2009). Gonzalez, Lisa Baylis; Schemske, Sandra (eds.). "Time and Place: of Detroit's Cass Corridor from the Wayne State University Collection. Exhibition Catalogue, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, April 24–June 26, 2009" (PDF). Detroit, MI: College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts. Wayne State University. One of the advantages of living in post-riot Detroit was the wide availability of big, cheap space. Artists quickly found buildings for studios all along the Cass Corridor. Visiting those studios in the Vernor's building or Common Ground or a bit later, the Forsythe building, you would come across the artists making their art with found objects from the streets of Detroit.