On Wednesday, October 27, 2010, at 1:00 pm, the remains of Governor Mason were re-interred at Capitol Park in a ceremony with remarks by Senator Carl Levin, State Senator Jason Allen, former State Representative Steve Bieda, and historians Kerry Chartkoff, Donald Faber, and David Janssen.
Come to the Park on Thursday, October 25, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., for an event commemorating the birthday of Stevens T. Mason, including salutations at Mason's grave with Amy Elliott Bragg, author of "Hidden History of Detroit," champagne toast at Sky Bar, and discussions with Don Faber, author of "Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics," and Jack Dempsey, author of "Michigan and the Civil War: A Great and Bloody Sacrifice."
The triangle plot of land was an artifact of Augustus Woodward's 1805 plan for the city of Detroit, set aside for a government building. It was the site of the territorial capitol, which became the State capitol upon Michigan's entry into the Union in 1837. When Lansing became the capital city, the building was converted to a public school and remained so until consumed by fire in the 1890's. It was then converted to a park.
In 1905, the remains of Michigan's first governor, Stevens T. Mason, were brought home and interred in the park. Two years later, a magnificent bronze statue was erected by the Michigan Legislature over the grave. In 1955, Capitol Park was redesigned for use as a public transport center, with a comfort station and four bus loading shelters. The gravesite was relocated from the northern end to the southeastern end of the park. The buildings surrounding the Park were erected primarily during the first three decades of the 20th century for commercial and business purposes. Several famous architects, including Albert Kahn and Gordon Lloyd, contributed buildings in a range of styles, from Victorian to Beaux-Arts to Art Deco. The buildings demonstrate the transformation of Detroit from a prospering nineteenth century commercial center to a modern city.
The opening of the Rosa Parks Transit Center at Michigan and Cass in July 2009 marked the end of Capitol Park's use as a transportation center. A $1.1 million renovation project started in September 2009 by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. The heritage aspects of the Park are the responsibility of the Michigan Historical Commission.