Interpretive plan for the Workers' Row House experience, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan

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Thackery, Ellen S.
Spodek, Jonathan C.
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Thesis (M.S.H.P.)
Department of Architecture
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The Workers' Row House is a three-unit row house, circa 1850, that the Greater Corktown Development Corporation acquired for use as a community museum in 2002. This document provides a starting point and a framework for the rehabilitation and programmatic work that will occur. This plan strives to answer the following questions: (1) What is the site about? (2) Who is the interpretation for? (3) How will the museum go about communicating what the site is about while meeting the needs of the audiences? Using Detroit city directories beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Detroit Sanborn fire insurance maps, and both primary and secondary sources, the past tenants of this house and their historic contexts were compiled to reveal this site's story. Themes and a storyline were developed, and interpretive objectives were extracted. The plan recommends a guided tour through two restored units, and self-guided, interactive exhibits in the third unit. It is understood that any interpretive plan evolves as the research continues.