Bonstelle Theatre

Rome and Detroit shows a handful of similarity in that they both went through a serious of downturns and disaster. After the wave in Roman Empire, city and its infrastructure remained but functioned far less than before and gradually began to decay. It is the same with Detroit in that the city is suffering from a high housing vacancy rate and incapability to provide public service like efficient bus routes or safe school district after the fall of automobile industry. The two cities also had a big fire that nearly took the most part of the city. In Rome, Emperor Nero set a fire to the entire city and Detroit had a Great Fire breakout in 1805 which burnt most of the houses so that people had to move for a while [1]. Yet, they both somehow cope with this difficulty and revived to some extent to support residents.

It is worth noting that Pantheon in Rome and Bonstelle Theatre in Detroit look alike a lot, forming interesting bonds between two cities [3]. Pantheon in Rome inspired the architectural design of Bonstelle Theatre and these two buildings are composed of the integration of a sphere and a cube. These two share a common point that each went through economic decline that numbed the city for a while. In terms of function and purpose, Pantheon was the place where priest used to operate religious rituals such as giving offerings to god. Bonstelle Theatre was also first built as a Jewish temple in Detroit and later turned into a theatre. Both buildings are not playing its original roles in full strength, but they hold values in their own ways. The Bonstelle Theatre also sets an exemplary case of building that can be used to promote artistic aspects of residents as mentioned in the Detroit Future City plan [2].


Work Cited

  1. Detroit Historical Society “Encyclopedia of Detroit”. (2016). Retrieved from:
  2. Detroit Future City. 2012 Detroit Future City. (2nded.). (2013). Detroit: Inland Press.
  3. Sobocinski, Melanie Grunow, Michele V. Ronnick, and Marlise Beaudoen. Dearborn, MI.: Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, The U of Michigan-Dearborn, 2005. Print.