Detroit — A black-and-white mural, giving a nod to the city’s automotive history with an art deco influence, now greets travelers passing the Baltimore Garage in the New Center area.
Described as a focus on “visual movement, imaginary architecture, and exotic rhythms,” the mural, entitled “Automatic Transmission,” caps off $6.5 million in renovations for the garage.
WC Bevan, an internationally renown muralist, painted the piece on the east and west walls along Second and Third avenues.
“WC is one of the most engaging and exciting artists in Detroit today, and we are honored to have his work grace one of our properties,” said Peter Cummings, executive chairman of Detroit-based real estate developer, the Platform.
“His work proves that even an old garage can be beautified and it helps advance our goal of bringing art to Detroit’s neighborhoods wherever possible.”
Bevan said he was influenced by the architecture of the New Center area, particularly art deco patterns found in nearby landmarks, such as the Fisher Building.
“This mural is an expanded thought on the automatic transmission, the actual machine and the poetic interpretation of that machine, like automatic writing,” he said.
The garage was built in 1965 for General Motors when the company was headquartered in New Center. A group headed by the Platform bought the garage in 2015 as well as the Fisher and Albert Kahn buildings.
Improvements to the garage included structural repairs and the installation of new energy-efficient lighting, cameras, access system and safety phones. Work began last fall and the 837-space garage reopened July 24.
The garage renovation is among the latest in the Platform’s investment in the New Center neighborhood. The developer has spent millions in restoring the Fisher Building, including restoration of its vaulted ceilings.
Other projects include Third and Grand, a 231-unit, mixed-use development at Third Avenue and West Grand Boulevard, as well as developments in nearby Milwaukee Junction and TechTown.