Sunday, May 4, 2014

Walking Part of the Riverwalk

The Detroit River Walk has been an idea that was kicking around for a long time.  Part of it came to fruition with the creation of Rivard Plaza in 2007.
 I'm not exactly sure where the River Walk begins and ends, but my beginning started at William G. Milliken State Park.  Phase One of the park started with the construction of the Harbor and Lighthouse around 2004.  At that time it was known as the Tri-Centennial State Park because it was dedicated to the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Detroit.  It was a brown-field redevelopment.  Phase Two was completed in 2009 and it was re-named in honor of the former Governor of Michigan.  It is actually a pretty nice little park and is a potential glimpse into the future of Belle Isle.
 Part of the park has been converted back into wetlands in order to show what the Detroit River once looked like.  The Department of Natural Resources hopes that it will become a spot for migratory birds to use at some point.  I think that might be more likely for Belle Isle as I've seen cranes and other birds there.
 It wouldn't be the River Walk without the nice views of the River.  This is a shot looking over towards Windsor and the Ambassador Bridge.  In total, the plan is for the River Walk to be 5.5 miles stretching from the MacArthur Bridge to the Ambassador Bridge.  I think there are still gaps in that though.
 The Outdoor Adventure Center used to be the Dry Dock Engine Works at one time.  This is where Henry Ford worked as an apprentice before he would go on to find Ford Motor Company.  The DNR is planning to make a discovery center and adventure center out of it.  It sounds pretty cool in concept.
 They still left part of the existing structure with it.  Before it was abandoned, it was known as the Globe Trading Company.
 One of the activities is some sort of flying simulator.  This is a Cessna Skymaster.
 Looking down from the building towards the Renaissance Center.  One of these days, I will walk that to get the rest of the River Walk.
 The Department of Natural Resources Seal.  It still shows the original name of the
 The Tri-Centennial Light is a replica of the Tawas Point Light.  It was constructed in 2004 but I don't think it's actually an aid to navigation.
 The State Harbor looks pretty impressive.
 As I was walking by, I noticed this Lotus parked.  I had to get a picture of it.
 Chene Park is an outdoor concert venue.  It holds 6,000 people.
 I'm not sure what this building was originally used for.  Based on the name, I assume they used to build cranes here.
 I think this used to be offices for a shipbuilding company.
 An old slip.
 A bar in the Atwater District.
 This building used to be the Parke-Davis Laboratory before they were moved away.
 This building was built in 1902 and designed by Donaldson and Meir.  It served as the headquarters for Parke-Davis.
 The UAW headquarters.
 Looking towards the east, you get a pretty good view of the MacArthur Bridge.  The River Walk continues on, but this is as far as I went.
 Looking back towards the Ren Cen.
 This building used to be the Laboratories.
 Another view of that.
 Back to the Iron Works.
 Another view of the harbor.
 The land occupied by Milliken State Park used to have shipbuilding as well.  This is a statue dedicated to that.
 And the slip being depicted in the statue.
 One more view of the harbor and park.
 An overall view of Milliken State Park.
Another statute in the park.

The River Walk is one of the things that shows the potential for turning around Detroit I think but like so many things in the City it has a long way to go.

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