Detroit is one of the major cities in the state of Michigan. It is known for its automobile culture, Motown music, numerous museums, historic neighborhoods, and classical architecture. The city was founded in 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. In fact, the name Detroit comes from the French word detroit which means strait, referring to the waterway between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Detroit saw its rise in fortunes as the home of the Big Three auto manufacturers – Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. It had a sharp decline at the turn of the millennium but has since worked towards regaining its old glory. Here is our pick of the top 10 tourist attractions of the city of Detroit.
- GM Renaissance Center
The GM Renaissance Center, also known as the GM RenCen, is a complex of 7 interconnected skyscrapers on the International Riverfront in Downtown Detroit. These skyscrapers have dominated the skyline of Detroit since they were built in 1977. The central tower, which rises to a height of 750 feet, is the tallest. It has 73 floors and is home to the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, one of the tallest hotels in the world. The other towers are home to several offices, shopping centers, banks, and restaurants.
- Motown Museum
This is the first headquarters of Motown, one of the most successful record companies from the 1960s and 1970s. This small building was bought in 1959 and converted into a recording studio. After the company tasted success, it was moved to Los Angeles. However, the sound of Motown is forever associated with Detroit. Motown featured some of the most popular stars over the years including the Jackson 5, Lionel Ritchie, the Supremes, and Boyz II Men, to name a few. The museum chronicles the rise of this small time record company into one of the major success stories in the world of music. The original recording studio is also a part of the tour. The museum is also known as Hitsville U.S.A. `
- Comerica Park
If you are visiting Detroit, you cannot leave out baseball. Comerica Park is the home ground of the Detroit Tigers from the Major Baseball League. It opened in 2000 with a seating capacity of over 41,000. The park is named after the Comerica Bank which was once based out of Detroit. Unlike other major baseball grounds, Comerica Park also doubles as an entertainment center. At the northeastern corner of the park is a Ferris wheel which has its dozen cars designed like baseballs. Next to it is a carousel where the rides are not on horses, but tigers.
- Pewabic Pottery
Pewabic Pottery is a ceramic studio, school, and museum that dates back to 1903. It was established by Mary Chase Perry Stratton and Horace James Caulkins. The two blended their skills on art, technology, and marketing and made this unique style of ceramic pottery and tiles extremely successful and sought after. Their uniqueness came from the iridescent glaze that covered the items. Their potteries and tiles can be found in several places of regard like the Detroit Public Library, Detroit Institute of Arts, Henry Ford Museum, and Belle Aquarium. The museum not only focuses on the rise of this style of ceramic artwork but also features creations from new artists.
- Charles H Wright Museum of African American History
The Charles H Wright Museum of African American History is the largest museum in the world which has a permanent exhibition on African-American culture. It focuses on the historical role of African-Americans in the American society over the decades. The museum was founded in 1965. However, the present facility, with a floor space of around 120,000 square feet, was opened in 1997. The museums also doubles up in its role as a retention center for culture and growth.
- Detroit Historical Museum
The Detroit Historical Museum is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the history of the city of Detroit. It was established in 1929 and is located across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts. It chronicles the growth of the city from its days with cobblestone streets to the growth of the automobile industry that made it a known name across the globe. There are many models and recreated sets coupled with fascinating stories that make this museum very interesting.
- Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne is a historic landmark in the city of Detroit. It is located in the Delray neighborhood, less than a mile south of the Ambassador Bridge. It was built in limestone in 1848. Brick additions were made in the later years. The complex also includes the original buildings meant for officers quarters, hospital, recreation building, garage, shops, guard house, commissary, and stables. Part of the complex is used as a boatyard by the US Army Corps and Engineers. The complex covers nearly 96 acres and is used for various events throughout the summer months.
- Detroit Public Library
The Detroit Public Library, together with its branches, is one of the largest library systems in the US. It was established in 1865 with a collection of 5000 books in the old Capitol High School. Presently, it has 21 branches and a collection of over 7.5 million volumes. The main building is in the Art District just across the street from Detroit Institute of Arts. This majestic building was constructed in 1921 in an Italian Renaissance style of architecture using Vermont and Italian marble. Additional wings were designed by architect Cass Gilbert, who also designed the US Supreme Court in Washington D.C. and the Minnesota State Capitol.
- Masonic Temple
The Masonic Temple of Detroit is the largest of its kind in the world. It is located about half a mile north of Detroit Downtown. The temple was built in 1922 in a Gothic Revival style of architecture. Limestone was used extensively to built this temple. It has 16 floors which rises to a height of 210 feet. Masonic Temple has 1037 rooms inside and broadly has 3 divisions – the Shrine Club, the ritualistic tower, and the auditorium with a seating capacity of over 4000. Concerts and several other events are held at this Masonic Temple.
- Historic Corktown
Corktown is the oldest existing neighborhood in the city of Detroit. It is located just west of Downtown and can be easily covered by foot. Most of the district is residential, although a few commercial properties can be seen along the busy Michigan Avenue. The neighborhood came up in the mid 19th century during the Great Irish Potato Famine. A large group of Irish immigrants moved into this area, most of them coming from County Cork of Ireland, hence the name. Hardly a block west of this neighborhood is the now-abandoned majestic Michigan Central Station.
- Eastern Market
Eastern Market is located less than a mile northeast of the Detroit Downtown. It is home to the largest open air flowerbed market in the country. The place becomes a riot of colors, especially on Saturdays, when it is visited by around 45,000 people on an average. The area is also home to about 150 food and other specialty businesses. The market came up in the mid 19th century and presently covers an area of 43 acres. With its soaring popularity, several art galleries and studios have also set up spaces near the Eastern Market.
- Henry Ford Estate
The Henry Ford Estate is the former residence of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford automobile company. Also known as Fair Lane, this estate is located in the Dearborn neighborhood, about 13 miles west of Detroit downtown. Henry Ford built this 1300 acre estate in 1915 and lived here until his death in 1947. With its hydroelectric power plant, the estate could produce its own electricity and heat! The estate also has a summer house, gatehouse, skating house, greenhouse, staff cottages, root cellar, vegetable garden, pony barn, and a man-made lake. Parts of this National Historic Landmark are open to the public as a house museum and historic landscape.
- Belle Isle
Belle Isle is an island on the River Detroit. It is connected to the US mainland by the Mc Arthur Bridge. The island has the US mainland on one side and Canada on the other. It has a land area of 982 acres, making it the largest urban island park in the US. There are a number of attractions on the island that can easily take up the better part of your day. The most prominent is the Belle Isle Conservatory which was established in 1904. Other attractions include the Belle Isle Aquarium, Belle Isle Nature Zoo, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, James Scott Memorial Fountain, Belle Isle Beach, and Belle Isle Golf Course.
- Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the most prominent art museum s in the world. It was established in 1883. With a floor space of 658,000 square feet spread over 100 galleries, it is also one of the largest art museums in the US. It is housed in a building from 1927 that is highly regarded for its architectural style. The museum attracts a footfall of over 650,000 every year, making it one of the most-visited art museums in the world. Artists featured in the museum include Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, and Paul Gauguin, to name a just a few. The collections on display span many centuries, ranging from the Ancient Egyptian Civilization to modern contemporary art.
- The Henry Ford Museum
Officially the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village and the Edison Institute, this is one of the must visit attractions of Detroit. This indoor and outdoor museum, the largest of its kind in the US, attracts over 1.6 million people every year. The museum exhibits include several interesting exhibits like the Lincoln’s chair from the Ford Theater where he was shot, Kennedy’s limousine in which he was shot, items from the bicycle shop of the Wright Brothers, and the bus which made Rosa Parks famous. There is also a sealed tube which supposedly has the last breath of Thomas Edison!
Originally posted 2017-08-22 05:58:07.