Detroit is in the news a lot these days, but the history and impact of the city rarely gets the spotlight.
The Detroit Shoppe, located in Somerset North in Troy, is a celebration of Detroit’s past. It’s also more than a retail shop. All proceeds from the sale of merchandise are allocated to Detroit nonprofits and cultural institutions. The Detroit Shoppe is operated by the Somerset Charitable Foundation and will run until January.
Curated in part by the Detroit Historical Museum , the exhibition includes vintage photographs, scale models of Detroit streetscapes, automobile displays, memorabilia from Kid Rock, and a Motown Records-inspired recording studio.
The idea is to shine a positive light on Detroit , for generations young and old.
“It’s a real push in Detroit to encourage the people who live here to be more positive about the positive,” said Linda McIntosh, Somerset Collection. “We thought no better time than now.”
They talked to iconic Detroit businesses and asked them to put together everything they knew about Detroit. The exhibition would start and end with the Motor City.
“The way we use the Detroit Shoppe…it’s a billboard for the city of Detroit,” said McIntosh. “You see the story of Detroit, whether it’s Better Made (Potato Chips), or the history of the automotive industry. You see the grandparents and children alike get excited about what they’re seeing in Detroit.”
The 4800-square-foot shop features a 1926 Model T; a scoreboard from Tiger Stadium; a tribute to the former downtown Hudson ‘s flagship; historic sports uniforms and other nostalgic items.
“It’s everything together in one place,” said McIntosh. “It’s very similar to the Detroit Historical Museum. Not only can you experience your past and the future in Detroit, you can package it, take it home and share it with everyone.”
Detroiters will find familiar names such as Faygo, Vernor’s, Sanders, American Coney Island, Velvet peanut butter and Germack Pistachio Co. in the exhibit.
“The response from the community has been ‘please keep it,'” said McIntosh. “We want to keep it going. There’s nothing that makes you feel better than to see a grandparent with their great-grandchildren reminiscing about Detroit .”
McIntosh added that a strong community is good for all businesses.
“We are a leader in this community and we need to continue to be,” she said. ” Detroit : it’s got soul, it’s like rock ‘n’ roll. We’re trying to help. We’re all about helping Detroit move forward. If you really want to experience what the true holiday spirit is like, spend a half hour in the show.”
The Detroit Shoppe is located on the second floor of Somerset North near Macy’s. It is open during mall hours (www.thesomersetcollection) and will operate through the conclusion of the 2011 North American International Auto Show (Jan. 23). The telephone number to The Detroit Shoppe is 248-816-5470.