Young artsy types, many with jet-black hair and full-body tattoos, sauntered in and out of the Tangent Gallery on a recent Sunday looking for hipster bargains at a rummage sale. More than 40 vendors filled the gallery and ballroom space, many walking out with bags full of vintage treasures.
The 15-year-old gallery, carved out of a long-dead structure on Detroit’s Oakland Avenue, is in the epicenter of Milwaukee Junction. It’s a slice of the city east of Woodward, just south of East Grand Boulevard, and an adventure-seeker’s mecca. Millennials and Gen X city dwellers find cheaper rent in this land to the east of booming Midtown stores, bars and art venues.
“This is the real rebirth of the city,” says Anthony Divi, who hosts five events a year at Tangent Gallery.
The neighborhood works really well for his cultural taste – art fairs, rummage sales and performance events.
“Detroit’s next hot neighborhood is hiding in plain sight,” says long-time local reporter and Detroit enthusiast Bill McGraw of the Milwaukee Junction community in a recent Bridge Magazine story. The purchase of Chap Lofts by developer Jordan Wolf, and business executive David Biskner’s purchase of the 120-year-old Art Stove Co. building on East Milwaukee Avenue, are among the investments McGraw cites.
The neighborhood known in the 1900s for auto factories, like Ford, Dodge and Packard where pioneers created industry, is emerging as new breeding ground for Detroit vision and creative spirit.
Lead photo: Mural on the Kirlin Paint Co building on Russell and Trombly — at Milwaukee Junction