40 years and still in the wilderness

If people aren't willing to fight the good fight, blight will spread all over the county and the value of Oakland County will be killed because people chose to ignore the problems. - Davidson, 1973

The Clinton river is still buried, Pontiac police and fire departments are gone, auto factories are closed, Pontiac Central High is shuttered, 100's of homes are boarded up, Arts Beats & Eats has moved, the Silverdome is sold, nightclubs rule the downtown district, crime is rampant and now Pontiac's entertainment plaza and best hope for re-development, the Phoenix Center, is being considered for demolition. When will the madness end? - Blog Publisher, 2013

The Pontiac Plan - Phoenix Center, 1965-1980

The  1965-80 Pontiac Plan, envisioned by Pontiac resident and University of Detroit Professor C. Don Davidson, was designed to be a concentrated development of high-rise office buildings, apartment towers and hotel facilities intertwined with commercial shopping facilities, an art museum, performance theater, an 8,000 seat sports arena, restaurants and convalescent facilities for the elderly. A park plaza on the upper level of a 3-tier parking structure(later known as the Phoenix Center was to allow for the separation of the pedestrian from the automobile with a main thoroughfare (Orchard Lake rd.) passing through the center, lower level of the structure.



Cross section rendering of the Pontiac Plan concept with a multi-level parking structure - looking west 



Perspective rendering of the Pontiac Plan,  encompassing a parking structure and plaza
currently known as the Phoenix Center

The entire Pontiac Plan was proposed to be built in three phases. Only the first phase, consisting of three office buildings, a multilevel parking structure, a senior apartment high rise and a transportation center were ever built. This first phase would eventually become known as the Pontiac Phoenix Center. The Pontiac (Silverdome) Stadium Project also was a part of the mid 60's urban renewal plan.

In 1969, the city of Pontiac adopted the Pontiac Plan as the official plan for rebuilding the vacant area of the downtown district.


The remaining phases of the Plan would never come to fruition due to, not only bureaucracy and financial restraints incurred by the early 80's recession, but primarily due to incompetence and a lack of vision from past and present city leaders.



Where are the next visionarys, the dreamers? Who among us is willing to follow a selfless path for the good of our fellow man?

The Phoenix Center as viewed from Woodward Ave. (Loop) and Orchard Lake rd., facing west

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