Thursday, June 4, 2015

Midtown or Cass Corridor? Jack White attempts to change the conversation

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge The view on Canfield Street, which has seen an influx of new businesses in recent years. - LEE DEVITO
  • Lee DeVito
  • The view on Canfield Street, which has seen an influx of new businesses in recent years.

On Tuesday, news came over the wire that Detroit-born rocker Jack White had teamed up with Shinola's Tom Kartsotis to purchase 441 W. Canfield, the home of Shinola's flagship store. The purchase will allow White to create a Detroit branch for his Nashville-based Third Man Records, while Shinola will continue to operate within the space.

Suspiciously absent from Third Man's press release: The word "Midtown," a name that has become synonymous with that neighborhood's recent redevelopment. Indeed, White instead refers to "the Cass Corridor," a name often more associated with the neighborhood's seedier era — and related art movement — and not often used since the rise of Midtown.

When we talked to nonprofit Midtown Detroit, Inc.'s Sue Mosey about neighborhood branding earlier this year, she explained that "Midtown" wasn't meant to replace a tarnished "Cass Corridor," but rather unite the Corridor under an umbrella that also includes neighborhoods like Art Center and Brush Park.

Yet anecdotally, we've noticed a sort of psychogeographical border develop between the concepts of "the Cass Corridor" and "Midtown": "When they build a condo, they say it happened in a place called Midtown. When there's a shooting, they say it happened in Cass Corridor!"

When asked for comment, Third Man employee (and native Detroiter) Ben Blackwell replied, "The neighborhood will always be the Cass Corridor to us." 

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation