Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Things Must Come to an End - Grand Boulevard Part III

And so we pass the New Center Area and continue on Grand Boulevard.  When I started, it was North-South.  From the Packard Plant to around here, it is East-West and then from there it goes back to being North-South.  It is a total of 12 miles long.
 I'm not sure what Church this is but I like the looks of it.  I kind of wished I would have gotten out and looked at it a little more but the light was starting to wane and I wanted to finish.
 One of Detroit's nickname is Motown.    Another nickname is the Motor City.  But one of the reasons for the first name is because it was the location of the first Motown Studio.  In 1959, Berry Gordy purched the above buildings.  They were orginally a photographers studio and he converted them into a music studio.  It was open 22 hours a day.  This building stayed in operation until 1972.

Some of the top artists on the Motown label were Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Jackson Five and Marvin Gaye.  Another one of his labels produced the Temptations, the Contours and Martha and the Vandellas.  Another label yet produced the Velvettes, the Spinners, the Originals and Chris Clark.  Many other artists recorded here.

In 1985, the building became a museum.
 I'm not sure what building this is but I liked the grafitti on it.
 I also liked the looks of the building itself.  I imagine that in its day it was a fairly impressive building.
 This is the part where Grand Boulevard goes North-South again.  You can see hints of it being tree lined here.
 Another church that I didn't catch the name of.
 A couple houses that look like they are lived in.  This to me is one of the sadder aspects of this street.  You have a few nice houses but then they are surrounded by many not so nice houses.
 I'm not sure what building this is but I liked the message.
 At one time, there was probably more rail traffic coming into Detroit.  Now it seems like it is just passing through.  I think this line is run by CSX.
 A branch of the Detroit Library.  It is the Herbert Bowen branch and was built using funds from Carnegie and was built in 1912.  Mr. Bowen was an early member of the Library Commission.
 This church is called the Deliverance Center.
 At the other end of Grand Boulevard is Riverside Park.  I used to spend a fair amount of time here until they closed it down.  As you can see, it is largely deserted.  I'm not sure if there are plans to clean it up and return it to service but given the financial state of Detroit, I would say no.
 I think Riverside Park gives one of the better views of the Ambassador Bridge in the city.
 Same with the skyline.
 The J.W. Westcott delivers mail to passing freighters.  It was built by Paasch Marine of Erie, PA in 1949.  The vessel itself has it's own zip code - 48222.  You can send mail to any freighter of the Great Lakes by addressing it "Any Vessel, Marine Post Office, Detroit, MI 48222".
 The Westcott Company itself was established in 1874 by Captain J.W. Westcott.  He would pass supplies to the vessels by a rowboat.
 This was sitting across from the Westcott building.  I'm sure there is a message here but I'm not sure what.
 I guess this is one of the problems with developing along the Detroit River.  Many of the sites were factories at one time.  I think even this park was at one time.  Who knows what dangers lurk beneath the surface.
 These willows are fairly common along the Detroit River.
 Another sad picture of the park.
 A deteriorating sign.  I hope that they are able to restore this park because I like its vantage point for ships.
And we conclude our journey with the tree lined street that leads from Riverside Park.  I'm not sure if this is the beginning or end of Grand Boulevard but it does seem to be one vestige from what it originally was.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this trip as I did making it. 

1 comment:

Christopher List said...

Glad to see you get back into this kind of post. And I like the black and white pics.