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Old July 22nd, 2012, 09:16 AM   #21
testdrive
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I was born and raised in Detroit until I was 27 and have been living out in Seattle for many years but come back once a year to visit family so I am still following the turn around that seems to have finally started. I am curious now that they have ok'd a second bridge to the consternation of the family who owns the Ambassador Bridge and who happens to be the billionaire who owns Michigan Central Railroad station, if this new bridge because of its location near the station might also be a catalyst for the buildings restoration. It just seems that someone with deep pockets like its current owner would be doing everything possible to market it in some fashion. Thoughts anyone?
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 08:05 PM   #22
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The new bridge will be farther west than Michigan Central, so economic benefits will be minor. One thing that Michigan Central does have in its favour is that owner Matty Moroun's wife has a longstanding admiration for the building.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 11:45 PM   #23
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... yes it is I.... Gistok from DYES....

Here's one of Detroit's greatest losses... the world's 2nd largest department store (after Macy's Herald Square store in NYC). The J. L. Hudson's Department store had 2.2 million square feet on 28 floors. This is the more homogenous back side of the building. Before it took up he entire city block, the building was built of 14 separate parts... mostly visible on the front side facing Woodward Ave., Detroit's main thoroughfare. This, the back side facing Farmer St., looks much nicer and the different parts matched better.

Sadly it closed in 1983, and was the worlds largest implosion in 1998 when it was demolished... again it has that "Gotham City" look to it...

image hosted on flickr



Hudson's later merged to become Dayton-Hudsons, then a name change to Target Corp. Then another addition was Marshall Fields.... and finally the department stores were spun off of Target Corp. and sold to Macy's... which all the surviving stores are now called.

But the one drawback to this flagship Hudson's store is that there was no major atrium or grand promenade area... it was just a hodge-podge of 14 buildings built together over time... nice and fanciful...yes... but not opulent.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #24
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I must say, Detroit really has something special within it. Such great architectures and high rises are very uncommon to have in a single city. Not only this, but this is also a fact that the work done in almost all of the buildings are very costly and of high class.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #25
Gistok
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Yes, since Detroit was the 3rd fastest growing city in the USA in the "Roaring 20s", they built some
huge buildings on a scale that you would otherwise only find in NYC or Chicago.

One of the largest was the 16 story GM Headquarters, built 3 miles north of Downtown. It was
designed by Detroit's famous industrial designer Albert Kahn.

Since land was so scarce downtown (with office towers and theatres going up), GM founder and
president William Durant decided to locate his new 16 story 8 wing massive headquarters in a up and
coming business center called "New Center".

Here's the main entrance side of his massive HQ... only 4 of the 8 wings were located on this side... on
Grand Blvd....

image hosted on flickr



Since it's just about impossible to get the entire complex into one view... here's a souvenir metal
paperweight of the structure, from the back side... showing all 8 wings...

image hosted on flickr


From almost any angle, the massiveness of the old GM HQ is inescapable...

image hosted on flickr


The GM HQ moved downtown into the 7 tower 73 story Renaissance Center in the late 1990s. The
State of Michigan consolidated all of their Detroit offices into the former GM HQ, now called Cadillac
Place. It is doubtful if any state in the USA has a State office tower in their largest city that is as
massive and elegant as the State of Michigan Building (although Chicago's First of Illinois Center is in a
league of its' own).

Directly across Grand Blvd. from the former GM HQ is the equally impressive 28 story Fisher Building,
built by the 7 Fisher brothers.... sparing no expense (they had to be argued out of gold plated
faucets)

image hosted on flickr


Ironically only 1/3 of the Fisher Building complex was ever completed before the Great Depression put
a stop to further construction....

image hosted on flickr


Between Downtown Detroit and New Center was Midtown. Midtown had an 8 hospital Medical Center,
a Museum District, and the University District... home of Detroit's Wayne State University. The mall on
campus is framed on the north end by the Fisher Building 1 1/2 miles distant....

image hosted on flickr

Last edited by Gistok; August 17th, 2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #26
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The Fisher Building was another design by Detroit's famous Albert Kahn, who was primarily a factory
designer, but who could design anything from a Cotswold mansion to an Art Deco office tower.

The Fisher Theatre (a Nederlander run Broadway show venue) had an Art Deco entrance that showed
the richness of all the marbles and materials used in the building.... interestingly enough such
Broadway shows such as Fiddler on the Roof and Hello Dolly had their World Premiers here before they
went on to Broadway.

image hosted on flickr


The North/South Fisher Lobby was magnificent, and had the theatre entrance on the left.

image hosted on flickr


The East/West Fisher Lobby was mainly for shopping.

image hosted on flickr


The dome where the North/South and East/West lobbies intersect is magnificent....

image hosted on flickr
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Last edited by Gistok; August 17th, 2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #27
Gistok
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Like the Cadillac Place (former GM HQ) and Fisher Building, the Argonaut Building is one of the massive
complexes in Detroit's New Center. It was used as an automotive design center, and today houses
Detroit's College for Creative Studies. This building was also designed by Albert Kahn.


image hosted on flickr

Last edited by Gistok; August 17th, 2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #28
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Detroit's Masonic Temple is the world's largest, with 1,038 rooms. It was built by George Mason from 1920-26. There are 3 theatres within the structure, a 5,000 seat Masonic Theatre, a 1,585 seat Scottish Rite Theatre, and and unfinished 800 seat theatre in the top of the tower.

The Masonic Temple was built by George T. Mason from 1920-26... and is located in Detroit's Midtown.

image hosted on flickr

Last edited by Gistok; August 17th, 2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old August 19th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #29
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Across the street from Detroit's Masonic Temple is Wayne State University's Metropolitan
Center for High Technology, which was for 40 years the World HQ for the Kresge
Corporation, another Detroit building designed by Albert Kahn...


image hosted on flickr
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Old August 19th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #30
Gistok
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Also in Detroit's midtown is the Cass Gilbert (of Woolworth Building fame) designed 1921 Detroit Main Public Library. There are matching wings (not in sight) that were set back and built in the 1960s...

image hosted on flickr


Adam Strom Exhibition Hall at the Detroit Main Public Library....

image hosted on flickr



For 2 fantastic (and copyrighted) views of the "double imperial" grand staircase ceiling...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snweb/4...n/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snweb/4...n/photostream/
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Old August 19th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #31
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So many fantastic buildings! Thanks a lot!

Along with Chicago and NYC, Detroit undoubtedly is the "King City" of Art Deco.


Is it true btw, that many Canadians flock into the city to escape enormous real estate prices over in Canada?
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Old August 19th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbse View Post
So many fantastic buildings! Thanks a lot!

Along with Chicago and NYC, Detroit undoubtedly is the "King City" of Art Deco.


Is it true btw, that many Canadians flock into the city to escape enormous real estate prices over in Canada?
Erbse, Canada, like the USA has major cities (such as NYC, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles) where the housing prices are many times the price of houses (and apartments/condos) found in other cities and smaller towns.

What we (in metro Detroit) are seeing a lot of, is people from Toronto (and elsewhere in Canada)... moving to Windsor Ontario (right across the river from Detroit). This is especially true for the health care industry, where American doctors/nurses can make many times the income of regulated (universal) health care in Canada. So they move to rather inexpensive (compared say to Toronto) places in Windsor, and cross over daily to Detroit to work in one of the MANY hospitals in metro Detroit. Midtown Detroit (between Downtown and New Center) is booming with an 8 hospital medical center... each with its' own specialty... Harper Hospital (regular), Hutzel Hospital (birthing), Children's Hospital, Karmanos (Cancer), Detroit Receiving (trauma), Veterans Administration Hospital... etc... And right next to "New Center" is Henry Ford Hospital... a very large and very well endowed (Ford money) hospital that also gets Canadian health care workers.

So my niece (a nurse) works with many Canadians who cross over daily from Canada to work here at higher wages, and return home to Windsor Canada after work. It's only 10 minutes from the Detroit Medical Center to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel (next to GM World HQ), and about 20 minutes to the Ambassador Bridge (worlds busiest freight bridge crossing, carrying $1 billion per day in truck commerce).

Of course the Canadians need work permits to work in the USA. Some Canadians also choose to live in the USA as well, and become "resident aliens".

Since 9/11 crossing between USA/Canada has become much more "unpleasant", because of the increase in rudeness and many more questions from Customs/Border Patrol people. We here in metro-Detroit often say that when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989... they moved "Checkpoint Charlie" from Berlin to the Detroit border crossings!
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Old August 19th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #33
Gistok
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Next door to Detroit's Main Public Library is Wayne State University (founded 1868), an urban 32,000 student university (with 13 colleges) that takes up about 1/4 of Midtown.

Among its' buildings are the Old Main Building....



And among the nearly 50 buildings on the university campus are 3 buildings designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the late Detroit area architect that designed the ill fated World Trade Center twin towers.

He designed the McGregor Conference Center, with a Japanese Zen pond and gardens around it....



He also designed the Wayne State University School of Education Building...



And his 3rd Building was DeRoy Auditorium....

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Old August 19th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #34
Gistok
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Also now part of Wayne State University in Detroit's Midtown is the former Maccabee's Building... now
a Wayne State Office Building. The top of the tower houses a radio station. An older station was in
that site since the 1930s, and was where the world's first broadcast of THE LONE RANGER radio
program was first aired in 1933. Like many of Detroit's great buildings and factories, this tower was
designed by Detroit's industrial architect Albert Kahn. This building sits on Detroit's main street...
Woodward Ave., and is next door to the Main Public Library (images just shown).

image hosted on flickr


Note: next to the tower is the Livingston Mansion... one of 6 surviving 19th century mansions that still
line Detroit's main street.

Here is the lobby of the Wayne State Office Building...

image hosted on flickr



Across Woodward from the Wayne State Office Building is the multi-use Rackham Building, built in 1941
in a nice Moderne style.... (State of Michigan image)

image hosted on flickr


Here's a closeup of the entrance facade....

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 20th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #35
Gistok
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In Detroit's Midtown (directly across the street from the Main Public Library, and next to the Rackham
Center) on Detroit's main street of Woodward Ave. is the Detroit Institute of Arts,, designed by Paul
Cret in 1927. It is an encyclopedic museum that is one of the 5 largest in the country. This is just
the main old wing. 10 years ago architect Michael Graves rebuilt and expanded the north and south
newer wing additions (not in this view...



Here are the understated sidewalls of the Great Hall of the Detroit Institute of Arts... with showcases
full of part of William Randolph Heart's collection of suits of armor...

image hosted on flickr


This image (copyrighted and owned by sjb4photos) shows the Pompeiian Ceiling of the Great Hall

image hosted on flickr


Beyond the Great hall lies Rivera Court.... the great series of frescoes done by Mexican muralist Diego
Rivera in 1932-33. Unlike the foolish Rockefellers, who had the Rockefeller Center Murals destroyed
soon after they were completed, Detroit's Ford family decided to leave the vast cycle of murals intact,
despite wide criticism. Today they represent the finest Mexican murals in the United States (high
praise indeed).

Here's just a sampling of the room filled with his murals...

image hosted on flickr


But in order to do them justice, you really need to see them all....
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/m...als/intro.html

The Detroit Institute of Arts courtyard known as Kresge Court is used as a cafeteria, with a skylight
roof, and 4 walls in Gothic, Romanesque, Florentine and Mannerist styles.

image hosted on flickr


Among the Detroit Institute of Art's best works (they have the 3rd largest Italian painting
collection outside of Europe).... are Pieter Breughel the Elder (only abour 40 of his works are known,
only 6 outside of Europe).... this is considered his best peasant genre scene... called "Wedding Dance"...

image hosted on flickr


And among the American landscapes... one of the finest and most monumental is "Cotopaxi" (tallest
active volcano in the world in Ecuador) by Hudson School Artist Frederic Church (he did 5 Cotopaxi
paintings most without eruptions)... and this is his largest and finest one.... (although this image does
the real thing little justice)...

image hosted on flickr


There are 5 Van Gogh's at the Detroit Institute of Art, including one of the finest of his portraits...
the "Portrait of Postman Roulin"....

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Old August 20th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #36
Gistok
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Among the gems that Detroit has between Downtown and New Center in Midtown are some of the
finest surviving mansions along Detroit's main street... Woodward Ave. The finest of these was the
1890s built Frank Hecker House.... built in a Chateauesque style....

image hosted on flickr


And right next door to this house is a Shingle Style house who's name should be familiar to anyone
who has visited the museums along the Mall in Washington DC. That would be the Charles Lang Freer
House. Freer a friend of Hecker (and a partner in his railroad Peninsular Car Co.) was an art collector.
And he designed his house around his collection of Asian art. The Freer House....

image hosted on flickr


Besides having all the rooms of the Freer Mansion as backdrop for his artwork, at the back of the
house above the attached carriage house was the crown jewel of the house... James MacNeil
Whistler's Peacock Room....

image hosted on flickr


This room was commissioned for James MacNeil Whistler for a London England millionaire who wasn't
happy with it... and it later was purchased by Freer and reinstalled in Detroit. When Freer died in
1914, he was not on good terms with Detroit's art community, and so spitefully left his entire
collection as the nucleus of what later became the Freer Gallery of Asian Art in Washington DC.

Today the Freer Mansion is used as offices and conference space by the Hudson-Webber-Skillman
Foundation of Detroit.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 03:42 AM   #37
Gistok
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Since Detroit is the oldest major city in America between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains (founded 1701 for Louis XIV of France)... old architectural styles as well as Art Deco have had a very powerful force on the city. It was spared the overabundance of "glass box" office towers that are so prevalent in many American cities (and those worldwide).

One of the newer skyscrapers, a Post Modern design called One Detroit Center does the usual historicized "Pastiche" that so many modern architects deride about Post Modern. However One Detroit Center (at 200 metres) is really not badly done, and the granite facade (not the usual glass and steel) is made of quality materials. The usual Johnson/Burgee "wedding cake" top (in a German Gothic style), hated by architects when it was built in the early 1990s, has withstood the test of time, and is well liked by Detroiters....

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 24th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #38
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amazing collection of buildings!
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Old August 24th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #39
Gistok
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This unusual space in Downtown Detroit is unique... never meant to be seen from inside... largest of its' kind in the world....

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 26th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #40
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^ What's that? Looks terrific
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