Detroit’s Pride Glows at Night
What jarred me immediately as I walked around Detroit was how quiet the city was. Rows of street meters stood lonely with no cars parked aside them; the wide streets, built for the hometown auto industry, were empty; sidewalks were bereft of pedestrians unless you were near Comerica Field for a Tiger’s game. Detroit has had its struggles but its glorious shoulders still stand tall. And beautiful shoulders they are; while many of its downtown skyscrapers are shuttered, their art deco influences shine. Others boast Beaux-Arts facades, and the neoclassical wonders like the Detroit Athletic Club exude power and might when Detroit’s industry built America. Some, like the Fox Theater, are booked with events and house companies’ headquarters. Many of Detroit’s downtown buildings are undergoing renovation or have been purchased with such an intent. For all of its problems, Detroit is a living museum of American architecture. Now if only the public and private sectors to cooperate and get the city . . . living the way it did when my grandparents and their extended families lived there. But for now, just get past the boarded up windows and enjoy downtown Detroit’s fantastic architecture. And take a break at Campus Martius Park and think about how the city was and what it could become. A good collection of Detroit architecture that was lost is on Forgotten Detroit.