Project Description

The 3rd Precinct Police Station was built in 1959 and was located at 2801 West Vernor Highway between 20th Street and 21st Street in Southwest Detroit.  The station was to replace the aging 3rd Precinct Police Station, that was located down the street at Gratiot Ave and Hunt Street.  The 7th Precinct Police Station (Mack and Gratiot) and the new 3rd Precinct were both built and the officers were divided up between the two stations.  The 3rd Precinct Police Station was a small, two-story, light-brick structure with a modern design with light reddish-orange cornice and trim.  The interior of the 3rd Precinct Police Station featured a lobby, offices, jail cells, a gymnasium, and a basement shooting range.  The 3rd Precinct Police Station did not last very long and was in danger of closing less than twenty-five years after opening.  The 3rd Precinct Police Station was able to hold on, but eventually was closed when the Detroit Police Department downsized due to budget cuts.

In 2005, the 3rd Precinct Police Station closed when the Detroit Police Department had to lay off police officers and close several of the police precincts.  The 3rd Precinct Police Station was sealed up and boarded shut.  The 3rd Precinct Police Station didn’t suffer from the amount of damage from scrappers as some of the other less fortunate abandoned buildings in Detroit.  This was in large part due to the fact that the art gallery, 555, purchased the building in 2011 and began work to renovate the former police station.

In 2012, 555 re-opened the former 3rd Precinct Police Station as an art gallery.  The gallery has managed to do quite well and is a perfect example of repurposing one of Detroit’s many abandoned buildings.

As of 2015, the 555 continues to operate the art gallery out of the former 3rd Precinct Police Station.