Sign Up For Email Deals:

Detroit: Restoration & Preservation in the Motor City

Reserve Now!

Departure Dates

  • Sep 25, 2018 - Sep 29, 2018




Download Brochure

Detroit: Restoration & Preservation in the Motor City

National Trust Tours is delighted to extend this unique opportunity to experience Detroit on a tour offered with our friends at Architectural Adventures, the official travel program of the American Institute of Architects.

For most of the 20th century, Detroit was our nation’s economic dynamo, a vibrant engine of progress and experimentation. This heritage is reflected in the treasure trove of outstanding architecture and historic homes that still define the cityscape. While Detroit has struggled into the 21st century, its role as a center for architectural innovation is undiminished, with countless efforts to preserve hundreds of beautiful, at-risk buildings. With stunning early 20th-century mansions, grand Art Deco skyscrapers clad in mosaic tile, and surprising mid-century masterpieces, the Motor City has more to offer than most realize.

Study Leader
, is the Distinguished Professor of Architecture at University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, where he served as dean for 18 years. He has lectured extensively across the country and internationally on the plight of post-industrial cities and is a founding principal of Schervish Vogel Consulting Architects, PLC.

Download Tour Brochure Reserve Today!

For more information or with any questions call 888-484-8785 or email

Ship Information

Hotel Accommodations: Four nights at the Detroit Foundation Hotel, a luxury hotel inside the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters.

View Brochure »


Arrive in Detroit
Upon arrival at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), transfer independently to the Foundation Hotel, a refurbished luxury hotel inside the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters embodying Detroit’s distinct charm with a fantastic downtown location. After settling in, meet in the hotel lobby before departing on a driving tour of the city. See Minoru Yamasaki’s One Woodward Avenue and the opulent 1920s Art Deco interior of the Guardian Building. Disembark at Howard Crane’s iconic Detroit Opera House and learn how it was restored to grandeur after years of decline. Then visit Lafayette Park, Detroit’s Mid-Century Modern masterpiece featuring the largest concentration of works by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. By special arrangement, see the interior of one of Mies’ townhouses. End the day with a welcome dinner at the Parks and Rec Diner, a refurbished private space inside the 19th-century Grand Army of the Republic Building. (D)

Detroit’s Past, Present & Future
Enjoy a morning lecture by study leader Stephen Vogel, FAIA, on the history and future of Detroit. Next, the owners of a restored house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright open their home for an exclusive private visit. Drive through some of Detroit’s historic neighborhoods and stop at the Birwood Wall, a vivid testament to Detroit’s segregated past. Following a local lunch, visit the Collaborative Design Center where a leading city planner will detail new approaches to Detroit’s booming development. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the magnificently restored 1920s Fox Theatre. The rest of the evening and dinner are at leisure. (B, L)

Cranbrook & GM Technical Center
Celebrated as the “cradle of American modernism,” the Cranbrook Academy of Art maintains its role as a leading institution for 20th-century art, architecture, and design. Begin the day exploring Cranbrook’s expansive grounds, including a special visit to the Art Deco home of Eliel Saarinen. Continue exploring significant buildings designed by Tod Williams, Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo, and Steven Holl before an exceptional lunch near the Cranbrook campus. By special arrangement, take an architectural tour of the General Motors Technical Center, one of the most important works of architect Eero Saarinen and an iconic example of total design cohesion (itinerary details pending). Closed to the public, GM’s historic corporate campus was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 2014. (B, L)

Development & Preservation
Start the day with a visit to a commercial real estate firm that is integral to the city’s development. Meet with one of the firm’s executives, who will give an overview of their activities and lead a walkthrough tour of several downtown buildings. Following lunch at a downtown restaurant, visit the headquarters of Preservation Detroit, where staff members will discuss what it takes to save and restore Detroit’s irreplaceable landmarks. Begin with a stroll through Wayne State University’s campus and see Minoru Yamasaki’s Modernist masterpiece, the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015. Continue with a driving tour of other memorable locations, like the Art Deco Fisher Building and the Gilded Age mansions of Brush Park. End at the Detroit Institute of Arts, exploring the original 1927 Beaux-Arts building that was once referred to as the “temple of art” and view frescoed panels by Mexican artist Diego Rivera. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Eastern Market
Check out of the Detroit Foundation Hotel before participating in one last, truly quintessential Detroit experience: a Saturday morning visit to Eastern Market, the largest historic public market district in the United States. With 150 years of history under its belt, the Saturday Market is one of America’s most original destinations for produce, baked goods, and local art, where a broad cross section of Detroiters rub elbows each week. Meet with one of the market’s organizers to learn why Eastern Market is such a popular destination. After an independent lunch at the market, return to the hotel to collect your bags before a group transfer to the airport.(B)