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Marquette Commons, Marquette Lower Harbor, and Lakeshore Boulevard, Presque Isle Park

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1849–present. Bounded by S. 3rd and W. Spring sts., and W. Baraga Ave., and along Lakeshore Blvd to Presque Isle Park

After the elevated train trestle and its concrete piers were removed in 1999–2000, the former Wisconsin Central Railroad corridor that led to the ore dock was converted to a downtown park. The twelve-thousand-square-foot concrete plaza of the Marquette Commons serves in winter as a groomed, refrigerated ice plaza with a skating rink and warming house and in summer as a farmers' market and events venue, and is linked to a bike and pedestrian trail and cross-country ski trails.

The city acquired the land at the Marquette Lower Harbor in 1977, and the area was made into a waterfront park (Ellwood Mattson Lower Harbor Park). The plan by Beckett and Raeder upgraded public recreation opportunities, created public green space, extended the bike path, and provided for development. One such development is the adaptive reuse of the former Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad foundry at 101 E. Lakeshore Boulevard for condominiums, commercial and retail space, and parking to the plans of Barry Polzin in 2005.

Lakeshore Boulevard leads past the Marquette Maritime Museum (formerly the Water Works, 1889–1891, Demetrius Frederick Charlton; 300 N. Lakeshore Boulevard) to Peter White Drive that circumnavigates Presque Isle Park, the rocky wilderness landscape on Lake Superior. City officials heeded the advice of Frederick Law Olmsted, who visited the park site while planning the grounds for the John Longyear House (see MQ13), and did nothing at all to disturb its wild natural character.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Marquette Commons, Marquette Lower Harbor, and Lakeshore Boulevard, Presque Isle Park", [Marquette, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 506-506.

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