It is just befitting for the former headquarters of Motown Records Corporation to be a repository of this famous label. Motown Museum is an integral part of Detroit's cultural landscape and the country's musical legacy. Chronicling the most reputed African-American record labels in the nation where musical legends such as The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Temptations, Funk Brothers and Gladys Knight became stars, it is a true ode to music that inspired generations of music lovers.
Few cities have anything as splendid as this nearly 1000 acre (404.68 hectares) island park. Accessible by the MacArthur Bridge, Belle Isle has been a favorite place for relaxation and recreation, plus it's a great spot to watch the ore freighters gliding down the river. Around the island, there is a beach, a conservatory, formal gardens, an old lighthouse, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, lagoons, picnic areas, and much more. The Scott Fountain, with its imposing gargoyles, provides a great evening light show. Entry to the park itself is free, however there is a fee for vehicles entering the park.
A fascinating feature of the Cultural Center is the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Opened in 1921 and expanded in 1963, the library is made of white Vermont marble. Designed by Cass Gilbert, architect of the US Supreme Court building, the building is in Italian Renaissance style. Murals and stained glass add to the grand effect. The main part of the library has a wide range of books and documents. It also houses special collections, including the Ernie Harwell Collection, E.Azalia Hackley Collection and the Burton Historical Collection, a wealth of local history and genealogical information.
Resting along the banks of Detroit River, Fort Wayne is the only remaining fort out of the many that once stood along the river. Fort Wayne is an 82-acre (33.18 hectares) site that includes the fort, barracks, a garrison, a huge parade ground, and a restored commander's house. Having aged spectacularly over decades and decades, the fort has been enlisted on to the National Register of Historic Places. Having played an integral role as an instruction camp during the course of the Civil War, this star-shaped fortification has braved many ravages of time, yet standing strong as an important landmark of Michigan. Whispering secrets of its storied past, this historic fort lends stirring insights into the country's long-standing maritime history. The premises are also home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum.
For those seeking hustle and unlimited fun, Greektown is the place to be. What once was one block of nearly identical Greek restaurants has expanded into an exciting district filled with restaurants, clubs, shops and even the Greektown Casino. The increasingly upscale but still affordable Greek eateries and bakeries, with their succulent baklava and other pastries, still provide the anchor for a diverse area.
Originally a town, Walkerville today is regarded as Windsor's heritage precinct that was incorporated into the city. Credited to Hiram Walker, the town was planned to be a model town. One of the earliest establishments here was a distillery and as time passed on, the automotive industry followed. Today, the neighborhood is lined with shops, eateries and pathways that provide a relaxing atmosphere.
The Guardian Building, constructed in 1929, is one of the most recognizable landmark buildings in the Detroit skyline. Bestowed as a United States Historic Landmark, this stunning piece of architecture towers more than 490 feet (149 meter) over Detroit's heart. The opulent Art Deco structure has 36 floors with interiors that are actually just as impressive as the façade. It's home to many financial firms and hence it has rightly earned the epithet 'Cathedral of Finance'. Irrespective of how busy one's schedule is, locals as well as tourists find time to step-in and admire the colorful beauty of this architectural marvel.
One of the oldest structures of its kind in the city, Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument graces the famous Woodward Avenue of Detroit. Completed in 1867 by architect Randolph Rogers, this structure pays homage to the fallen heroes of the Civil War. Towering 60 feet (18.2 meter) from the ground, this majestic structure epitomizes freedom and celebrates America. The octagonal pillars depict eagles with their wings stretched out, along with infantry and artillery on two pillars and cavalry and the Marines on others. At the top of the structure is a queen basking in victory, she represents the pride of Michigan.
It is hard to miss the Penobscot Building while you are in the Detroit Financial District. Established in 1927, the building was one of the top ten tallest buildings in the world after completion. Designed by architect Wirt C. Rowland, the building structure reflects the Art Deco architectural style. Today, the building is home to several commercial organisations and offices. It is one of the most significant buildings in the city and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Detroit came to the fore as the headquarters of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but the White Flight and Oil Crisis of the 1970s dealt the 'Motor City' a harsh blow, one that left it paralyzed for decades on end. It has now undergone a renewal. Empty lots have been transformed into urban farms and abandoned buildings now house museums and cultural centers. A fresh wave of ingenuity is the driving force behind the city's revitalization, spurred by an influx of youth. The flourishing street art makes for a colorful backdrop to the rebirth of the city, and architectural monuments like the Guardian Building have been restored. The Woodward Avenue theater district hosts a refreshing milieu of classics and premiers, the beautifully restored Fox Theater its crown jewel. The stadium at Comerica Park is the home of the Detroit Tigers, while the Lions play at the Ford Field nearby. Places of interest include the Motown Museum that celebrates the soundtrack of the city's heyday, while the vast Henry Ford Museum is a testament to the very pioneering spirit that now feeds the city's new lease on life. The city's culinary scene is on the rise as well with innovative chefs and local distilleries leading the way. With its many parks, museums and theaters, Detroit is roaring back to life.
Located at the intersection of the Cadillac Square and Bates Street is an artistic tribute to John J. Bagley, Michigan's 16th governor. A product of architect Henry Hobson Richardson's imagination, this beautiful fountain was brought to life in 1887. It was modeled after the Ciborium located inside Venice's St. Mark’s Basilica, and it rises 21 feet (6.4 meter) above the ground. The basin of the fountain has a width of 7 feet (3.1 meter) which is filled with water pouring through four lion heads. Bragville granite is used in the construction of the structure and its pink hue adds a unique charm to the fountain.
Located at the very center of Campus Martius Park, in Downtown Detroit, is the Point of Origin medallion. The story goes that way back in 1805, when Judge Woodward was commissioned to plan the city after the great fire, he started the survey from this very spot. A medallion marking this momentous new beginning was installed here, where it still represents Detroit's indomitable spirit.