Robert Rene Redmond
GOOD NEWS UPDATE:
12/2014 A collective sigh of relief swept over Cass Corridor in latter December… Per Detroit news source Bridge Michigan, Redmond Plaza is receiving a new lease on life as the non-profit Midtown Detroit, Inc. has started renovations to this sweet little plaza. Look for some updated photos sans that sexy chain link fencing soon.. Thanks to veteran reporter Bill McGraw for the link out to Cityliterate.
Little Gem in Cass Corridor
Redmond Plaza is a small community park located at the corner of Selden Street and Second in Midtown Detroit. It features a gazebo, bench seating, brickwork and mature trees. It was a favorite gathering spot for many folks in the Cass neighborhood until it was fenced off more than a year ago. Neighbors speculate Redmond Plaza was purchased by the owners of the adjacent, boarded commercial property which bears a sign Samona Building / Real Estate.
The Plaza pays homage to Robert Rene Redmond, a social worker and director of the neighborhood Senior Center. Robert worked alongside his father, Reverend Lewis Redmond [pastor of the Cass Methodist Episcopal Church] to boost the lives of residents living in Detroit’s Cass Corridor with special focus on seniors and the developmentally disabled. Their work changed lives for the better; it also set the foundation for the future social work at Cass Community Social Services.
On May 6, 1976 Robert Redmond was shot to death when trying to disarm a friend in a nearby apartment on 3rd Street. He was 24 and a doctoral student at Oakland University.
The groundbreaking of Redmond Plaza in early August 1979 drew more than 100 people. Construction of the park was paid with federal funding. Senator David Holms of MI commented, “I’m 100 percent for this park! It’s long overdue. Cass Corridor is the cosmopolitan of Detroit. It is Detroit as Detroit is”.
Cass Corridor has come a long way – it’s cleaner and slowly becoming redeveloped. Thirty –five years later, this stretch of midtown is still home to a slice of Detroit folks – the homeless, the educated, the entrepreneurial, families, seniors as well as university students – a blend that mixes well together.