Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Belle Isle Pavilion

Belle Isle was a year-round getaway for Detroiters, thousands of whom would descend on the Pavilion on Lake Takoma, which served as a shelter and refreshment stand in warmer months and a skating pavilion in the colder ones.

Detroiters could rent skates here before hitting the frozen lake. This structure, designed by the firm Spier & Rohns, opened Jan. 1, 1893. At some point, its distinctive observation deck at the top was removed.

The structure, well-loved but well-worn, was demolished in 1950 after being replaced by the sleek and modern Flynn Memorial Pavilion, designed by J. Robert F. Swanson and built next door.