Exploring Detroit, Part II: Life and Rebirth in the Motor City
In Part I of this three-part series of photos from my trip to Detroit earlier this summer, I focused on what I think most people today envision when they think of Detroit: a city abandoned.
Today, I’d like to show you some more of the livelier parts of the Motor City that I had the opportunity to explore, including several places like the Shinola factory (above) and the Grand Army of the Republic Building (below), which many Detroiters I spoke with view as prime examples of Detroit’s burgeoning rebirth.
The Grand Army of the Republic Building (above) was originally built in 1899 as a place for veterans of the Civil War Union Army to meet and host events. After years of abandonment and disrepair, however, the building was recently purchased and is in the midsts of renovations. Currently, the top two floors are completed, in-use as an office space. And the ground floor will soon be home to two new restaurants.
Below you’ll see just one of Detroit’s MANY urban farms. Called Lafayette Greens, this farm is completely organic, though not officially as they don’t want to spend money they could use elsewhere on certification. Sitting right in the middle of busy Downtown Detroit (right across from the hotel I was staying in as a matter of fact), it acts just as much as a public park as it does a farm.
Urban farming, in general, is widely seen as the answer to a few of Detroit’s biggest problems: namely, how to best utilize the city’s abandoned spaces. As well as how to create more jobs for lower-skilled workers. Not to mention, being able to produce more locally grown food at lower costs and with less environmental impact than trucking food into the city would offer.
Above is one the few remaining abandoned skyscrapers of Downtown Detroit, called the Book Tower, it was originally built in 1916 and stands 38-stories high.
OF COURSE, I had to stop by the Detroit Institute of Arts and see the Diego Rivera mural!
Stay tuned for Part III exploring Detroit street art and graffiti!