Design is all about making the ordinary extraordinary. Project Midnight intends to transform the underpass on Vernor Highway (between 17th and Newark st.) into a safe and usable pedestrian passthrough.
The underpass near Michigan Central station is a significant connector between the major throughways of Vernor Hwy and Michigan Ave. This underpass is also a major passthrough between the neighborhoods of Mexicantown and Corktown. This plan involves transforming the Vernor Highway underpass into a pedestrian friendly passthrough between two major communities.
1.) This project includes strategic design using solar powered LED lights to help further define pedestrian pathways while also creating safe pedestrian pathways when walking or biking in low light.
2.) The walls of the underpass will be adorned innovative street art inspired by the geometric patterns of Underground Railroad Quilts. Detroit plays an incredibly important and pivotal role as the American terminus in the Underground Railroad. This project seeks to honor the heritage of both “quilt code”and contemporary graffiti in an Afrofuturistic homage to Detroit. I’ve named this project “Midnight” because Detroit was given the code name of “midnight” in the Underground Railroad and this project intends to literally lighten and enlighten with its presence. Ultimately this project is a means to provide a more inclusive forms of transportation while cultivating and connecting community.
3.) The eastern section of the underpass, which is currently closed off by a rectangular cement barrier, will be opened up and used to create a wide bike/pedestrian lane. Additionally, the boarded up windows along the eastern wall will be filled with framed vertical gardens.