Carr Center finds temporary home on Woodward

Candice Williams

A displaced nonprofit arts group focused on African-American culture has found a temporary home on Woodward Avenue.

Bedrock is leasing to the Carr Center 4,600 square feet of first-floor space at 1505 Woodward, said Gabrielle Poshadlo, a spokeswoman for Bedrock, Dan Gilbert’s commercial real estate firm.

“The Carr Center came to us looking for space downtown after their lease was not renewed in Harmonie Park,” Poshadlo said. “Happily, we had a space available that could accommodate their current needs.”

The nonprofit is in the process of moving in, Poshadlo added.

“They are welcome to remain in the space indefinitely until a permanent tenant signs on for that space,” she said. “We are talking to them about more permanent options.”

Carr Center President Oliver Ragsdale said the new space will open in time to host the Trinity International Film Festival’s final event next weekend.

“We are excited,” he said. “It will be an anchor open and available to us every day.”

The location on Woodward will serve as gallery space, Ragsdale said. It’s one of seven locations the center uses. Others are: Hannan House, First Congregational Church, Garden Theater, Ste. Anne de Detroit, Plymouth Educational Center all in Detroit and Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills.

The goal is to one day house all of the center’s programming under one roof again, Ragsdale said.

The Carr Center moved from its previous space at 311 E. Grand River after the Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority voted last year to move forward with a development plan for the city-owned building that includes a boutique hotel. The hotel is just one of several projects planned in a multimillion redevelopment of the Harmonie Park/Paradise Valley area.

The Carr Center first moved into the 122-year-old building in 2009 and invested about a half-million dollars in renovations, according to nonprofit officials. In recent years, the center struggled to pay rent.

The center has hosted a variety of events including art exhibits, poetry readings, top jazz artists and cultural receptions.

The building the nonprofit will now occupy is an eight-story, Albert Kahn-designed building.

Most recently the first floor housed a retrospective exhibition of local artist Charles McGee’s work in celebration of his “Unity” mural on the 28Grand building, around the corner. It was the largest mural the artist, in his 90’s, had ever done, Poshadlo said.

Other tenants in the building are International Bancard and Rocket Fiber.

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