You may have already noticed that Dan Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Services has placed six street pianos around downtown Detroit. Located at 611 Woodward, Campus Martius, One Detroit Center, and Monroe Street, each donated piano was painted by a local artist.
Program director James Millar says it is Bedrock’s second year of placing outdoor pianos around Detroit. “We didn’t want them to turn into billboards. This is an initiative to help people engage in their environment where otherwise they wouldn’t," he says. “These pianos allow people to interact. They play to all the senses.”
Millar also says that the local artist paint job propels the piano to be “multidimensional.” He describes the pianos as “aesthetic art pieces” and explains they are meant to “celebrate the local art community as well.”
The pianos are the current capstone to Bedrock’s community initiative, says Millar, but Bedrock has plenty of other interactive “building base activations,” including setting furniture out for people to eat lunch outside and putting in uniquely designed planters.
“We want to inclusively go for a better experience downtown. We want to create a vibrant urban core we are a part of.”
The pianos will be up until October. Below, enjoy a clip of an impromptu downtown piano concert:
Dennis Burck is a summer intern at