Detroit Memorializes Boxer with Pathway
Once calling Detroit home, famed heavyweight boxer Joe Louis—the Brown Bomber—has been memorialized by the Motor City with the renaming of a future bicycle and pedestrian path.
The project, which had been announced previously, was originally entitled the Inner Circle Greenway. It is estimated to cost the city approximately $50 million and will cover a span of 26-miles in the shape of a loop. While the project doesn’t begin construction until 2019, with an expected completion in 2022, it was selected by Mayor Mike Duggan to undergo a name change after the announcement of the Joe Louis Arena demolition scheduled to begin in approximately 18 months.
“I never necessarily thought the hockey arena was the ideal way to remember him, but when the arena went away, we had to do something that was right, something that was permanent,” said Duggan. “So, what would be the most fitting and permanent memorial?”
According to Duggan, the path was selected to recognize the boxer’s ability to connect communities within the Metro area—just as the path will do upon completion.
The Joe Louis Greenway is planned to extend from the Detroit riverfront through five neighborhoods in the cities of Highland Park, Hamtramck, Dearborn, and Ferndale. It will weave through commercial avenues, over roadways, through green areas, and behind residential homes. The 26-mile construction will be in addition to a previously completed five-mile section along the riverfront, bringing the total span of the pathway to 31 miles.
The naming ceremony took place during the last week of October on a portion of the future Greenway. It was attended by several members of Joe Louis’ family, who had flown in for the naming ceremony. In attendance was his son, Joseph Louis Barrow Jr.; his daughter, Candice Joseph; his son-in-law, George Joseph; and his granddaughter, Nia Barrow.
“His legacy still lives on, especially for my generation,” Barrow said. “In a time like this, it’s good to have a role model, and someone who can connect the community.”
News & Image Source: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20171027/news/643401/detroit-names-26-mile-path-through-city-joe-louis-greenway