Member-Only Tours

ESD Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Scroll down to see them all.

AUCH Construction New Headquarters Tour

Friday, September 30, 2022
11 – 11:30 a.m. Arrive and Check-In
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tour
Optional lunch after

2020 ESD Construction & Design Awardee

ESD Members are invited to a private, behind-the-scenes tour of AUCH Construction’s new headquarters. AUCH teamed up with designer HED to create their new 20,000 square foot headquarters on the edge of downtown Pontiac. Built on a long vacant brownfield, the design of the new headquarters reflects the company’s environmental consciousness, team approach, and continued commitment to the Pontiac community they have called home for over three decades.

The new building is used as an educational tool for students, a meeting place for local professional groups, and serves as an active location for construction-related groups.

During design and construction, AUCH employed Pontiac residents as apprentices, led building tours, and has hosted presentations to groups from various colleges, universities, and professional groups since opening.

Founded in Detroit in 1908, AUCH Construction is one of southeast Michigan’s leading construction management firms.

COST:

$25 for ESD members. Non-members can join ESD for $99 and attend the tour for free.

NOTE: AUCH has secured space at the Filmore 13 Brewery for lunch after the tour. The brewery it is a quick 6-minute walk from the AUCH Headquarters, alternatively there is street parking near the restaurant. Lunch is optional and not included in the registration fee.

TO REGISTER:

Click on the button at right. For more information, please contact Elana Shelef at 248-353-0735, ext. 119 or eshelef@esd.org.

Belle Isle Aquarium Renovation Tour 

Thursday, October 6, 2022
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Arrive and Check-In
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Tour

The Belle Isle Aquarium was designed by famed Detroit architect, Albert Kahn, and opened on August 18, 1904. It is the oldest aquarium in the country and has served the Detroit community as a beloved attraction for generations. In 2005, the city of Detroit announced that the Aquarium was to be closed due to lean economic times for the city. The building remained closed to the public until the Belle Isle Conservancy reopened it on September 15, 2012.

The closure of the aquarium in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity to significantly renovate the facility. Over 16 months, the Belle Isle Conservancy invested $1.2M in improvements to the aquarium.

ESD members are invited to check out the new and improved aquarium which was reopened to the public in July 2021. Hear from the aquarium’s curator, Dr. Paul Shuert, who also served as project manager for the renovation.

The improvements include enhancing the quality of the visitor experience, upgrading exhibits, stabilizing critical life support systems, and modernizing behind the scenes infrastructure. Visitors can expect to see the following updates on the tour:

  • To start with, the lobby has been restored. Water leaks had damaged the plaster, and the repairs required stripping layers of built-up paint, revealing gold leaf and woodwork that had been covered up. Restorers analyzed pain samples to re-create the entryway’s original 1904 design.
  • Several new animals have been added to the aquarium, including axolotls, critically endangered Mexican salamanders that are like the mud puppies found on Belle Isle.
  • Garden eels were another addition. The eels, which poke up vertically from the sand, are part of the aquarium’s brand-new saltwater section.
  • Existing animals have also benefited from the renovations. Tanks underwent thorough inspections and got upgraded filtration systems and enhanced landscaping, as well as repairs like new glass.

And the latest addition, a new eight-legged resident. A new octopus tank, the only one in Michigan, was unveiled in August 2022.   

COST:

$25 for ESD members. Non-members can join ESD for $99 and attend the tour for free.

Special Note: You will need a Recreation Passport for entry to Belle Isle. The Recreation Passport ($12 for Michigan vehicles) is required for vehicle entry to all 103 Michigan state parks, including Belle Isle. If you do not have a Recreation Passport, you may purchase one upon arrival at the entrance booth to Belle Isle. Cash or credit cards are accepted.

TO REGISTER:

Click on the button at right. For more information, please contact Elana Shelef at 248-353-0735, ext. 119 or eshelef@esd.org.

LIFT Facility Tour: A National Showcase for Smarter Manufacturing

Friday, October 28, 2022
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Arrive and Check-In
1:00 p.m. Tour

LIFT is driving American manufacturing into the future. LIFT helps organizations move emerging materials and processing technologies from advanced concepts to commercialization so they can be adopted by industry faster.

ESD members are invited to tour LIFT’s advanced manufacturing High-Bay and collaboration facility. A 100,000 square foot building in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood showcases the future of manufacturing. From a high-bay floor with cutting edge smarter manufacturing technologies to the LIFT Learning Lab, which is educating the next generation of advanced manufacturers, LIFT is continuing Detroit’s innovation legacy in the heart of American Manufacturing.

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a public-private partnership between government, industry, and academia, connecting needs, ideas, and people. Connecting organizations to move the needle and drive American manufacturing into the future.

COST:

$25 for ESD members. Non-members can join ESD for $99 and attend the tour for free.

TO REGISTER:

Click on the button at right. For more information, please contact Elana Shelef at 248-353-0735, ext. 119 or eshelef@esd.org.