Downtown Detroit Springs to Life with Lafayette Greens

Downtown Detroit Springs to Life with Lafayette Greens

Hi! My name is Lucy Wang and I’m a recent landscape architecture grad from the University of Maryland. I’m currently traveling the U.S. (and parts of Canada) by public transportation for the next several months in search of great, publicly-accessible landscape architecture sites, as well as landscape architecture firms and universities. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite finds on Land8 along the way. For more information, check out my profile.  As always, feel free to leave a comment below!

Detroit still struggles with bouncing back from the post-industrial depression, but thankfully, the downtown district has become home to one particularly bright spot of hope: Lafayette Greens. Winner of a 2012 ASLA General Design Honor Award, Lafayette Greens is an edible landscape covering nearly half an acre of a former vacant lot sited on the grounds of the historic and now-demolished Lafayette Building.

I spent only half a day in Detroit—a side trip from Ann Arbor, MI—and in my short time there, Lafayette Greens was my favorite part of the visit. This beautiful and blooming garden space was a fresh breath of life in a city plastered with vacancy and for lease signs. Designed by Beth Hagenbuch of Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture for the client Compuware Corporation, Lafayette Greens successfully follows three main concepts: to be productive, beautiful, and inspiring. Fragrant lavender, whimsical sculptures and signage, apple trees, and fresh herbs on raised beds line the gardens; all of the fresh produce is delivered to the local food bank. Offering a multitude of services, this urban garden is not only a beautiful downtown destination and community hub, but also acts as a demonstration garden to educate the community about healthy eating, horticulture, and cooking as well.


Published in Blog


  1. Looking forward to following you on your journey!  🙂

  2. interesting concept for the site graphics.

  3. Too good to not follow.

  4. Hi Lucy!  You are (or were) in my neck of the woods..I grew up between Detroit and Ann Arbor..It is sad to see how much Detroit has deteriorated and does my heart good to see some wonderful revitalization like this…Did you get to spend any time in Ann Arbor?  It is truly a great city with a great university.  Hope you are well, your U. of Maryland fellow alum, Joanne

Leave a Reply

Lost Password