What makes a city feel like home? I will give you a hint: It’s not the place you live. It’s the place you CHOOSE to live a few hours of your life. The field of urban design has a name for these places:
3rd space: Environments you willing to occupy (like café, bars, restaurant, libraries, ect…)
2nd space: Work environment
1rst space: Home environment
In short, 3rd spaces are where you choose to hangout. When it comes to third spaces, Detroit, strikes me as an enigma. The retail and commercial real-estate market in Downtown Detroit is still growing with visible vacancies down Woodward, and in the Capitol Park and Cadillac Square areas. Despite of this, there is no shortage of 3rd spaces. Detroit locals hangout in informal 3rd spaces all around Downtown. One of the most unexpected 3rd spaces is the lobby of the First National Building located on First National Building, 660 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226. The building is home to the United Way headquarters, the Roasting Plant, and Central Bar + Kitchen. The first floor lobby has one of the most beautiful interiors of any building I’ve been in downtown. The original building beams still remain and are exposed throughout the building. The marble, gold accents, and oversized wood furniture give the lobby a luxe but balanced look that feels a great to be in. I am not the only person that appreciates the feel of this interior; I’ve seen people sit on the high-top wood and acrylic tables with their laptops for hours, and in other instances, I’ve seen men sit and play a few rounds of chess. In any other city this pedestrian use of a commercial lobby would be considered loitering but in Detroit is what makes the city feel like home.