Many ways to view this spectacular American city
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The Detroit Skyline – there are so many different ways to view places in the city where tall structures rise to create a unique urban landscape. If you find the right location, you can go back in time to the late 1920’s, when Detroit was a showplace for new skyscrapers.
Today I am sharing some of my favorite skyline photos – in black and white. I am always looking for new ways to view the city and share images of this place once known as the “Paris of the Midwest.”
This view along the Detroit River shows the Renaissance Center, built in the late 1970’s, and the Ambassador Bridge, which connects the U.S. and Canada. This is one of the few instances where Canada is south of the United States.
This image looking south towards the Detroit River includes the Wayne County Building in the foreground (left, the Water Board Building (center), and the Renaissance Center and Caesars Windsor in the background.
This image of Madison Street at night features the Detroit Athletic Club in the foreground, the Gem Theater to the right, Music Hall to the far right, and Ford Field in the background.
In the foreground are several buildings lining Woodward Avenue. The tallest structure is the Book Tower, a 36-story addition to the Book Building. The Book Tower was constructed in 1926, and both the structures were designed by Louis Kamper.
The Wurlitzer Building is one of my favorite buildings downtown, and I am thrilled it is being brought back to life as a hotel. Constructed in 1926, this 14-story skyscraper near Grand Circus Park was once home to the Wurlitzer Company. Wurlitzer built the organs in the Fox Theater, Fisher Theater, State (Fillmore) Theater, and many other movie theaters and churches.
This view through a fisheye lens down Woodward Avenue shows a corridor in transition. The new M-1 rail is going to continue the revitalization. Woodward storefronts that were once empty are now filling up with new businesses and restaurants.
This view of downtown was taken from Poletown.
Another view of the Woodward Corridor, where elements of the past and present come together.
This view taken near the Packard Plant shows the New Center skyline, about 3 miles north of downtown. The Fisher Building is center right.
The downtown People Mover snakes its way through the downtown area near Grand Circus Park. The Wurlitzer Building is far right and the Detroit Opera House Parking Structure is far left.
This image was captured during the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival. Hart Plaza is bustling with activity, children are playing in the Horace Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain, and modern and historic skyscrapers fill the background.
This view of downtown was captured from the Masonic Temple Building.
This view of the Foxtown area shows the construction of the new Red Wings hockey arena in the background, Central United Methodist Church and Cheli’s Chili Bar in the foreground, and the fabulous Fox Theater in the Center.
This view of the Woodward Avenue shows the People Mover, the Book Tower, and the former site of Hudson’s (lower left).
This view of the Grand Circus Park area shows Woodward Avenue (right). The star in this shot is the R. H. Fyfe’s Shoe Store Building on Woodward in the foreground. Designed by Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls and built in 1919, Detroit’s soaring home for shoes followed the Gothic influences of Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building in New York.
To learn more, I recommend reading AIADetroit, The American Institute of Architect’s Guide to Detroit Architecture, by Eric J. Hill, FAIA and John Gallagher and following Dan Austin’s www.historicdetroit.org.
Rod Arroyo, Photographer
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Black and White Photographs of the Detroit Skyline