Dexter-Elmhurst Community Center

Dexter-Elmhurst Community Center


The Dexter-Elmhurst Community Center, located on Detroit’s west side, closed in 2018 when the city acquired it with plans to restore and upgrade it as a vital community hub. Extensive community engagement and collaborative outreach led to the development of a new program tailored to the evolving needs of the community.

A key aspect of the renovation was the transformation of the building’s main entry points using perforated metal, which also serves to screen rooftop mechanical units. This functional and aesthetic choice aligns with the ongoing cityscape improvement project along Dexter Avenue.

The building’s varying entry levels posed challenges for barrier-free access. Previously connected by non-ADA-compliant ramps, the updated circulation sequence now accommodates the new program arrangement and site development. Modifications to the floor slab and the addition of ADA-compliant ramps ensure smooth transitions between levels, granting access to all areas of the building.

The new floor plan optimizes space by arranging rooms more efficiently, allowing for the expansion of programs to cater to diverse demographic groups beyond the existing recreation offerings. These additional rooms include children’s reading rooms, a STEM room, an art room, a learning kitchen, a game room, and a larger community room to meet the broader programmatic requests of the surrounding neighborhood.

Project Details

Project Location | Detroit, Michigan
Status | Anticipated completion, 2025
Principals in Charge | Jen Maigret, AIA, Craig Borum, FAIA
PLY+ Project Team | Andrew Wolking, Yusi Zha, Collin Garnett, Yibo Jiao, Emma Powers, Caroline Stahl
General Contractor | DeAngelis Diamond