Sunday, January 25, 2015

Detroit Architecture

Detroit has amazing architecture. Some of it is in ruins, some of it is restored and used daily.

Bill and I were in Detroit for the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show, or Auto show for short). As we left Cobo and headed to lunch, I was keen on taking photos from the car of some of the amazing buildings the Motor City has to offer.

I snapped these while we waited at stop lights.
 I cleverly snapped a picture of the name over the door.
 Again, I captured the name of the building. I'm so clever.
 This is the Guardian Building. 
It supposedly has an amazing lobby. "Supposedly" because I've not seen it and am told about it by everyone; mostly my husband every time we pass the building, or cross the county line into Detroit.
 Buhl Building (see, I did that so if you asked, I would know)
 The County Courthouse, behind the man walking, almost out of view. It is not currently in use.
 I was actually taking a picture of the red brick/stone building in the middle of this photograph but then I noticed the skyscraper behind it. Bonus!
This is the Presbyterian Church (?) See? I didn't take a photo of the sign and now I don't remember. 
It is a church for sure. Let's just stick with Presbyterian.

And this, this is downtown from the top of Cobo Hall. This is a photo from last year. It was gray, more gray and more shades of gray this year. 
 This is from the RenCen c. August 2013, when we were in Detroit for our anniversary. You cannot see the roof of Cobo Hall (I was hoping you could).
This is looking down from our room. You can see the line of traffic into the tunnel (to Canada), at the top of the photograph.

There are also many abandoned buildings that people flock to and refer to as "ruined porn". There are books and blogs full of photos of these buildings. 

Slowly, very slowly, it seems as though life is being breathed back into the city. There are sections of the city that are full of life and bursting with energy. Then you pass through blocks of unending blocks of burned out shells of buildings. Stately homes and neighborhoods, empty and lonely. A ghost town of the present. It's eerie and beautiful all at the same time. It feels like you're in another country, a country torn apart from war. 

Detroit has a lot to offer but it continues to be the ugly step-child. Architecture buffs, historians, and hard-working citizens don't know what to make of it. It's a good example of too much sprawl. Everyone moved to the suburbs and left the city to rot. A few stayed behind and stood their ground. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have Detroit. She's making a come-back. 

And while I won't ever make the mistake of taking the Grand River exit off of 696 where I called Bill when I got to 7-mile and he was heard throughout the Barnes & Noble screaming, "LOCK YOUR DOORS & TURN AROUND!!!" I will go to the Motor City any chance I get. I will go to Tigers games, the Auto show, and other events. I will go for delicious dinners, to visit friends, and to fly out of DTW. I will take pictures to share, to show you and everyone else that Detroit is not the ugly step-child, but the prodigal son. Returning to the former glory to celebrate the best thing that it's known for… 


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