Posted by Ric Garrido

Here is a quick post while I sit in Denver Airport waiting to fly home to Monterey. Six days in the Detroit area and I had very little time experiencing Detroit. Most of my photos, aside from the auto show, are the four hotels I visited in Dearborn and DTW airport, some 10 to 15 miles from the downtown Detroit area.

The Henry. a Marriott Autograph Collection (2-night award stay), Courtyard Detroit Airport (second stay for one night to earn one free Category 5 hotel certificate before the January 15 end of MegaBonus), Westin Detroit Airport (two nights at the hotel Ford Motor Company put 150 bloggers into for the North America International Auto Show), and the historic Marriott Dearborn Inn (where Ford hosted us today for seminars and lunch). The Dearborn Inn hotel is actually owned by Ford and sits on land surrounded by Ford design and development buildings. The literature for the hotel says it was the first hotel in the USA world specifically built for airport travelers. More on the hotels later.

Yesterday, I was at the auto show convention center for 14 hours. I broke away for about an hour in the middle of the day to walk around. And this morning I test drove a Ford Escape from Dearborn to Detroit. I won’t tell you how much fun that was to drive in rush hour morning traffic. The best part was the sky was gorgeously clear with sunshine today in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers baseball field [click photos to enlarge]

Comerica Park opened in 2000 and is the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. The stadium replaced Tiger Stadium.

Detroit FOX Theater

Fox Theater Detroit built in 1928 was the first theater designed with a sound system for talking movies. Film pioneer William Fox built five theaters in the USA in the late 1920s in Detroit, Brooklyn, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco. The theater was restored in 1988.

The other side of Detroit is in the same neighborhood. I call this building The Heart of Detroit.

Detroit Love

Building on John R. Street in downtown.

On my test drive in Detroit I passed the museum district with the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and the building looked majestic in the morning sun. Unfortunately, I had a passenger in the car, so I did not do my normal drive-by shooting with my camera I would have likely done if alone. Drive-by shooting is a poor choice of words in reference to Detroit.

On Saturday I visited the DIA and shot this beauty.

Van Gogh at DIA

Van Gogh at Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit was gray for most of my stay and most of the photos of downtown look dreary, even in beautiful locations.

Detroit Princess

Detroit Princess on the Detroit River.

Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.

Renaissance Center GM

Renaissance Center is beautiful architecture on the riverfront. This is the global headquarters of General Motors.

Joe Louis Arena

Joe Louis Arena is the home of the Detroit Red Wings. This is where Ford launched the opening of the auto show with a press conference Monday morning January 13.

Greek Town

GreekTown, Detroit.

Many of these photos were taken from the People Mover, a two mile monorail through downtown Detroit with a 75 cents ticket price.

In one sense, Detroit looks like a place people have fled.

Abandonment

Abandonment.

Historically, this is not the first time.

The Gateway to Freedom

The Gateway to Freedom Monument to the Underground Railroad.

Detroit is America, for better or worse.

Blogger Disclosure:

Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the three- day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own.

 

Update Jan 15, 2014:

After an internet search I learned the first abandoned building on John R. Avenue, downtown Detroit is the 15-story Metropolitan Building, 1925. Also known as The Jeweler’s Building.

The abandoned factory is the Fisher Body Plant 21 built in 1919, designed by famous factory architect Albert Kahn who also designed the Ford Rouge River Complex and The Dearborn Inn for Henry Ford. On the block next to this huge abandoned factory in Detroit is the 1904 Ford Motor Company Piquette Avenue Plant listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered the birthplace of the Ford Model T automobile.

4 Responses

  1. I’m happy to see that the City of Detroit did not sell their Van Gogh to stave off bankruptcy.

  2. @ASW – not yet. An article in the Detroit Free Press today says DIA will need to contribute $100 million to Detroit to break away from city ownership.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20140116/ENT/301170015/dia-detroit-financial-crisis

  3. Glad you finally ventured out to Detroit. Too bad you didn’t have a a better time. January is often the worst time of year for Detroit. Dark, cold, snowy and miserable.

    You are actually lucky that you missed out on sub zero temps the week before. It was terrible with about a foot of snow plus lows around -20 with windchill of -40s.

    I know Detroit is probably a 180 degree difference from Monterrey. Hopefully you will come again soon!

  4. Detroit is certainly different from Monterey. I enjoyed seeing the area.

    Here at home on the California central coast in January yesterday, I ate breakfast outside in the 70 degree sun watching a pod of at least seven gray whales hanging out off the Carmel Highlands coast.

    I will be in Minneapolis in four weeks for another taste of winter.

Leave a Reply

home top