Oct 27, 2023 - News

The historic name associated with Detroit's new riverfront path

Anna's dog

A beautiful morning walk on the new Uniroyal Promenade, with Annalise's dog Phoebe enjoying walking on a ledge. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

A new half-mile section of the riverfront opened last weekend to much excitement, finishing off a 3.5-mile walkway and connecting the east riverfront to Belle Isle.

The intrigue: The walkway — on an old polluted property that was home to a Uniroyal tire factory — has been dubbed the "Uniroyal Promenade."

  • We were curious about that choice, considering its legacy of environmental contamination there and the substantial cleanup required. The Uniroyal plant closed around 1980.

Between the lines: A Detroit Riverfront Conservancy spokesperson confirmed the $11 million promenade is named after the site's history, not based on any Uniroyal sponsorship or funding.

Of note: Michelin, which bought Uniroyal in 1990, helped pay cleanup costs alongside other companies that polluted there.

What they're saying: "The name is more of a historic reference for longtime Detroiters," says Todd Scott of the Detroit Greenways Coalition, a cycling and trails advocacy organization. "As that memory fades, I wouldn't be surprised if the name was changed to reflect a new, future use."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.

More Detroit stories