In my travels across America, I planned to visit Detroit, the largest city in Michigan. With all the tough times and bad press it has faced in recent years, I was bracing for the worst. Detroit has been known as Motor City, signifying the importance it played in American automobile manufacturing, and it is famous for the Motown sound, but those iconic labels are both from yesteryear. These days it is struggling to keep its fleeing population and crumbling buildings from casting a dark shadow. But there are some beautiful sides to Detroit, as there are in any town. Sometimes, even the smallest detail can show how elegant a place might have been years ago. I photographed this detail in a crevice of a building downtown.
I continued to tour Detroit and found that there was still so much of the elegant, classical Gilded Age architecture and art in place that it was easy to see why Detroit was once thought of as the Paris of the West. There is an underbelly of this city that has fallen on hard times, but it has kept much of its historic architecture, art museums and prominent neighborhoods restored and magnificent. This famous painting entitled “Man’s Mobility,” by John S. Coppin, is displayed in the Detroit Public Library, which was designed by noted architect, Cass Gilbert.
There are many sides to Detroit. A city worth a visit with an open mind and some time to spare.