As you saw in Part 1, Detroit has so much more to offer than what we normally see, hear or read about. It is worth exploring and make interesting discoveries along the way.
During our two-hour circuit with Show Me Detroit tours, we visited GM Ren Cen, International River Walk, River Town and Indian Village where we saw mansions that belonged to some of the city’s most famous and wealthy citizens, among them the one and only Henry Ford.
Our enthusiastic guide Kim took us next to a special area called the Heidelberg Project. At first glance, it might seem as if it is a junk yard or a place where people go and leave their belongings. However, upon closer look, it is evident that it is a unique open air art exhibition.
Created in 1986 by Tyree Guyton, this eccentric and peculiar space occupies two blocks on Heidelberg Street and displays interesting and colorful creations. As the old saying goes: “some people’s junk is some other’s treasure”. It sure requires anyone stop and truly look at it from a different angle or perspective and draw their own conclusion or interpretation.
Truth be told, that was totally unexpected and have never seen anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. I sure enjoyed it and tip my hat off to its creator who was visionary, bold and courageous to say the least. He sure did not care about what anyone else thought or let anyone stop him from creating what was in his mind. That’s truly having nerves of steel!
We needed to come back downtown but along the way we made an impromptu stop at Eastern Market because Kim mentioned that some of the attractions (besides fresh produce from local farmers or from around the region) were the awesome murals that artists painted and put back life in otherwise empty or lifeless spaces.
As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of street art and I will admit that I have a thing for murals, so I was pretty happy when we stopped and of course I had to capture a few of them on the go.
The clock was ticking, so we made our way to our final destination which in my humble opinion is one architectural gem. Built in 1928 in art deco style, the Guardian Building is located in the Detroit Financial District ad is clearly one of America’s most stunning National Historic Landmarks and I can now see why.
Nicknamed the “Cathedral of Finance” originally housed the headquarters of various and highly successful corporations from gas companies to banks to government offices. Today it is occupied by Wayne County administrative offices and a branch of Bank of America is found on the first floor.
Take a look at the lavish, opulent and exquisite details of the main lobby.
Mural of Michigan and its industries by Ezra Winter.
Sadly it was the end of our tour and we were going to go to lunch at a well-known restaurant in a historic building and spend a couple of hours at one of the world’s most important art institutes where unique and impressive art collections are found. More to come in the next installments, so stay tuned!
Now it’s your turn,
Have you ever been on a city tour with a personal guide?
If so where was it?
My sincere gratitude goes to Kim Rusinow from Show Me Detroit tours for the wealth of information, great stories and for talking so passionately about Detroit. She made it so pleasant and 2 hours just flew by. I am glad I sat at the front and listened carefully.
Until next time!
All the best,