Day two in Detroit started out with a drive into downtown. After I find a parking spot, I begin my adventurous photo walk. My first captures were the Greektown Casino-Hotel and Greektown Casino. At first I thought they were one in the same, but they appeared to be separate buildings. Walking outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, I photographed a weird, but pretty cool sculpture by Sergio De Giusti called “Urban Stele”. Attached to the other side of Blue Cross Blue Shield is the landmark Detroit Cornice and Slate building, which has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Next stop was St. Mary’s Church across the street and the statue of The Virgin Mary in “Mary’s Garden” in front of the Church. During a short walk through Greektown, I captured another awesome mural by Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen. Walking along Monroe Street, I photographed various restaurants and bars, including Taverna Pegasus. On the South wall of the Muccioli Studio Gallery, is an “Untitled” mural by Anna Muccioli. After that, I work my way back into downtown towards Campus Martius Park…passing the Hard Rock Café and WeWork on Woodward Avenue. Speaking of Woodward Avenue, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s company Bedrock has a full block of construction going on in an effort to help spruce up downtown.
Across the street from Under Armour and the Nike Community Store is “Hudson’s Site”, which after construction is done, will introduce a landmark mixed-use development on Woodward Avenue in the heart of downtown. A new era will emerge in the Motor City: The intersection of muscle and brains. Situated on the site of the iconic J.L. Hudson’s flagship store, the structure is designed to suit the significant legacy of its footprint. Its 800-foot tower crowned by the city’s first observation deck will make it Detroit’s tallest building with sweeping views…an asset that all residents and visitors can enjoy. And you can best believe I will definitely capture the progress as this site takes shape! Bedrock is also building the elegant Shinola Detroit hotel, and other businesses within the next block. A short walk over from Woodward Avenue, I photograph The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and Charles McGee's “Unity” mural across the street. From there, and a short drive away finds me at the MGM Grand Detroit and DTE Energy. I forgot to mention earlier, I photographed Beverly Fishman's “Rise” mural and the Detroit People Mover, an automated people mover system which operates on a single track, and encircles Downtown Detroit. Passing Cadillac Tower, I head back into Campus Martius Park to look for Detroit’s “Point of Origin” marker. For nearly two centuries, the original survey monument for the layout of the City of Detroit and the Michigan Territory lay buried beneath seven feet of earth and rubble at the intersection of Woodward Avenue and the south line of Michigan Avenue. This was indeed an important photo for me.
My last stop was The Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts. In the garden were 11 sculptures…each different and unique in their own way. It was a lot of fun photographing them all. Outside the Detroit Institute of Arts, I photographed the three sculptures out front, which were Auguste Rodin's “The Thinker” sculpture, Antoine Coysevox’ “Le Fleuve la Garonne” sculpture and Philippe Magnier's “Nymph And Eros” sculptures. There was another sculpture on the corner lawn called “Gracehoper” by Tony Smith and Alexander Calder’s “Young Woman and Her Suitors” sculpture on the other side. My last photo of the day was the Hellenic Museum of Detroit, which chronicles the struggles, triumphs and contributions of a vibrant Greek immigrant community's journey to Michigan.