Time to Demolish Former Courthouse Parking Lot?

February 10, 2015 78 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

After being closed to the public since 2012 for structural problems, a portion of Liberty Street finally fell into the river. As we ponder why, how much it will cost to repair, and where the money to repair will come from, perhaps it's time to consider another alternative. Partially or completely removing the aging and decaying blighted bridge to better utilize the portion of the river under it.

What Other Cities Have Done

What good is a river running through downtown if you can't get in or interact with it? Let's assume complete or partial demolition of the former county courthouse parking deck, Liberty Street and Coastline Drive bridges. What could we possibly do with a reconfigured riverfront space? Here are a few examples of popular interactive waterfront uses in other cities.

Paddle Boats

Baltimore Inner Harbor

Floating Outdoor Bars & Cafes

Baltimore Inner Harbor

Pedestrian Bridges

Baltimore Inner Harbor

Wetland Restoration

Milliken State Park - Former cargo terminal converted into wetlands demonstration area which shows how wetlands act as nature's water filtration system on downtown Detroit riverfront

Fishing Charters and River Tours

Bayside Marketplace - Downtown Miami

Public Fishing

Jacksonville's Stockton Park

Interactive Waterfront Plaza

Detroit International Waterfront

Waterfront Park

Charleston, SC


Toronto Waterfront

Local Seafood Market

San Francisco

Editorial by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

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