Wayne State to break ground on performing arts building

Posted on September 20, 2018

Wayne State University is breaking ground on a major project for theater, music and dance.

Campus officials and others are scheduled to gather Thursday night to mark construction of the $65 million Gateway Performance Complex and the future home of the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center.

The Performance Complex will have three theaters, production space for students and a cafe for guests who attend performances. Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre will be renovated to become a 200-seat jazz center named for Valade, a Detroit area philanthropist and granddaughter of the founder of Carhartt Clothing.

Valade has committed more than $7 million to Wayne State’s jazz program. She founded Mack Avenue Records and owns the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms.

To make way for the development, the David Mackenzie House next door to the Hilberry Theatre is being uprooted.

The full project is expected to be completed in time for the Detroit Jazz Festival in September 2022.