Canfield Social Yard, Detroit

1744 West Canfield is a 4,900 square foot vacant lot located in the Woodbridge neighborhood just off the junction of Rosa Parks Blvd., a primary cross street in the neighborhood and the western boundary of the district. Woodbridge is home to a diverse cross section of people that span all ages, races, and backgrounds. Despite this exciting culture, the neighborhood lacks a centrally-located community gathering space. The Canfield Social Yard seeks to raise awareness of the west Woodbridge area and foster a culture of neighborhood and civic engagement. The primary objective of the Yard is to give the community a place for gathering, networking, organizing, and fundraising. It will provide a platform for entertainment and educational events that support existing community efforts and encourage new projects.

The Canfield Social Yard will feature a small stage, a large projection screen, a projection booth, teaching space, multipurpose seating, a food serving area, space for outdoor art installations and bike parking. The Yard will host evening movies, performances, potlucks, community celebrations, and family-friendly public gatherings.

Managed by a committee of neighborhood residents, the Canfield Social Yard will serve as a physical manifestation of the energy and diversity of the neighborhood. We have talked to a wide cross section of the project’s immediate neighbors and a considerable number of Woodbridge residents. The concept for the space is the direct result of frequent and wide-ranging conversations about the needs of the neighborhood and visions for the space. Residents from nearby blocks of Avery, Commonwealth, and Trumbull, the three main streets of the community, have generously offered their suggestions, critiques, and thoughts. Our proposed program is a direct reaction to the consensus design vision of neighborhood residents. Likewise, our design proposal is the result of iterations of input and feedback from a growing core group of neighbors.

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