Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Something New

I added another section to my blog tonight.  At the lower right hand corner is a section that lists ships by shipping company.  If you like this idea please post in the comments section and I will add more like it in the future.

After three years, I realize my blog is bit unwieldy.

And The Fisher Building....

So my next building is the Fisher Building.  It is probably one of the more distinct buldings in Detroit and since it is set away from the main downtown area, it stands out.  With the GM Building and a few other buildings it is considered as New Center part of Detroit.  So called because it was going to be a hub connecting the downtown area of Detroit to the auto factories in the outlying parts of Detroit.  Some people consider it to be the original edge city (a sub-center remote from but related to the main core).
 The building was designed by Joseph Nathaniel French of Albert Kahn associates and was constructed in 1929.  Originally it was going to be a complex of three buildings with two 30 story buildings flanking a 60 story building but the Great Depression put a damper on that.
 It was named after the Fisher family of Fisher Body Fame after they sold Fisher Body to GM and used the money from that to finance the building.
 The building is considered to be of the Art Deco style.
 The top was orignally covered with golden tiles but those were removed during World War II for fear of being a beacon for enemy bombers. 
 This is a shot of some of the detail on one of the buildings to the side.
 The antenna on top is used by the WJR which operates at 760 on the radio dial.    It is designated as a clear channel which means it is the only station that operates at that frequency east of the Mississippi.  It was cool when it broadcast the Michigan games because I could hear them all the way in Maryland.
 The building is constructed of limestone, granite and several types of marble.  It is considered Detroit's largest art piece.
 From 1965 to 1976, it housed a fine art gallery that dealt with some of the more respected artists of the 20th Century.
 It is also the home to the Fisher Theater which is one of Detroit's oldest venues.   I love the details on the outside of the building.  I think this makes it one of Detroit's cooler buildings.
 A very ornate front entrance.
 The main building is 30 stories tall and stands at 444 feet with the antenna.
 Looking at the arch of the front entrance.
 Details on the ceiling on the inside.
 Looking down the main hallway. 
 Looking down one of the side hallways.  There are a few shops here.
 Looking outside from the main hallway.  This is definately a beautiful building.
Looking up through a tree at an oblique angle.

I'm glad that Detroit has quite a few buildings that are well maintained like this one but in a way it is sad because they contrast to the buildings that are not so well maintained.  But of course, people wouldn't believe this building is in Detroit because their impression is that every building is decayed and the streets are full of potholes.  Oh well.

The Cadillac Place

The first building I took pictures of was the Cadillac Place.  It is across the corner from the Fisher Building.
 This building came to fruition after the founder of GM, William Durant finally acquiesed to the Board of Directors and build a Headquarters in Detroit.  Groundbreaking for the building began in 1919 and the first occupants moved into the Cass Avenue wing in 1920.
 Construction was completed in 1923.  The building was originally going to be named after Durant but after his ouster in 1921, it was named the General Motors building.
 It's not often that I go into the buildings I take pictures of but I saw that this one was still open and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  The building is as ornate on the inside as the outside.
 This was a chandelier hanging in the lobby.
 I really liked this clock.  It makes you think back to the days when GM had lots of money.
 The top of the arch of the entrance.
 One of the sculptures on the outside. 
 The main entrance.  The building is a neo-classical style and was designed by Albert Kahn (a name you see frequently on this blog).
 One of the friezes to the side of the building.
 Looking at the side of the arch.
 In 1998, the building was transferred to the State of Michigan as GM moved its headquarters to the Renaissance Building.  In 2002, renovation began on the building and it was renamed the Cadillac Place after the founder of Detroit.  Albert Kahn's company was in charge of the renovations.
 This picture was taken in one of the windows of the Fisher building.  I love reflections.
 Another shot from the Fisher Building.
 I tried to get a shot of the whole complex but unfortunately, I couldn't get the right angle for it.
This was probably about the closest I could get.

The Continuity Tower

I was hoping to take a picture of a ship tonight as there was on the tracker but it headed further downriver. Since I was heading to Detroit anyway I decided to stop by the Fisher Building since it's been a while since I've taken a picture of it. It was a pretty nice day today but a little on the windy side and I almost thought there would be a Michigan hat blowing down Grand Boulevard for a while. Luckily it didn't.
I'm not really sure I like this picture because the background for it is too busy.  But at any rate, it is a sculpture called "Continuity Tower" by Robert Sestok.
It was built in 1990 out of steel found in Detroit.  The artist is from Detroit and studied at the College for Creative Studies.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Random Shots Around Belle Isle

Just some shots from around Belle Isle.
 I kind of liked the look of the Belle Isle Conservatory, especially with the snow on the trees.
 A picture of one of the ice floes going down the Detroit River.
 This ice was piling up against the river wall in front of the Dossin Museum.
 I really liked the way the snow was sticking to the trees.
 I think I like this one a little better especially with the snow sticking to the trunks.
 The ice tree with a little more ice than last time.  Unfortunately, it doesn't stand out against a grey sky.
 Another snow covered tree.
And a few more trees.

Some Geese

As I was taking a picture of the ship, some geese flew over.  As I can't resist things that fly....
 They were almost straight overhead for this shot.
You can almost see them forming the V.

The Manistee Again....

The sad part about boatwatching during the winter is that you are likely only to have one ship at a time.  Generally the Lakes are pretty frozen over and the shipping companies use that as their opportunity to do maintenence.  Also the Locks are closed for pretty much the same reason as the shipping season tends to take a toll on them.

I do have to admit that when you do see a ship at this time of year, it is a treat because you have the ice in the foreground and sometimes the ship trying to break through the ice.  It makes for a fairly dramatic picture.  It is even more dramatic if the ship is covered with ice.
 At any rate, this is only the second time that the Manistee has appeared on this blog.  And the first time didn't really count because I only got a picture of her backside.
 Of all the ships that sail the Lakes, I think I like the classic freighter look the best.  And I'm glad that this company is trying to maintain a fleet of those.
 A shot where the lens is pulled back a bit so that you can see the ice on the Detroit River.  It's amazing that it keeps it's odd blue color.
 A closeup of the pilothouse.  You can see a little ice on the bow and around the Manistee name on the front.
 I tried to get a little closer shot but I didn't want to get too close.
 Another shot as she plows through the river.
 My favorite shot, where she is almost straight on.  Unfortunately, this isn't the best spot for that shot.
 A closeup of the pilothouse.
 A little more straight on shot.
 As she passed by, the snow started to pick up.  You can almost see it going straight back.
 And one of the interesting phenomena where you get a little bit of sun with your snow.
 As she moves a little further down the river.
One more shot before she slipped behind the Dossin pilothouse.