Marquette, MI Joins Waterfront Revolution

The region-wide push to rehab river and lake front properties is one of the more obvious signs that Great Lakes communities are groping for a strategy to squash their Rustbelt image.

The latest example comes from Marquette, MI, where residents called for more public access, open views, and architecturally significant buildings to enhance the downtown waterfront. Marquette sits on the southern shore of Lake Superior.

“One of the interesting things we heard, people were talking a lot about preserving public access and views to the water,” consultant Geoff Ferrell said in a report in today's Mining Journal. “A whole lot of the waterfront access in the area is not public access. You can walk over there and all around, but you’re on private property.”

Marquette joins Gary, IN, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Buffalo, NY, and numerous other Great Lakes cities who are developing plans and searching for funds to replace steel plants, coal piles, and other misguided waterfront uses with inviting public parks, high end condos, and lucrative retail.