Top destinations in Detroit, USA.
This 1928 masterpiece from the man who built Detroit, Albert Kahn, has an imposing art deco exterior made from Minnesota granite and Maryland marble, and an interior to rival any Italian cathedral. From the soaring vaulted ceilings, featuring an array of intricate, hand-painted patterns, to the sparkling mosaics by Hungarian artist Géza Maróti and gleaming marble on the walls, the visual inspiration here is endless.
The Fisher Building is just a short walk from the Grand Boulevard QLINE stop.
Motown Historical Museum
In this row of modest houses Berry Gordy launched Motown Records – and the careers of Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson – with an $800 loan in 1959. Gordy and Motown split for Los Angeles in 1972, but you can still step into humble Studio A and see where the famed names recorded their first hits.
A tour takes about 1 hour, and consists mostly of looking at old photos and listening to guides’ stories. To avoid a wait, buy timed tickets in advance online. The museum recently announced a $50 million expansion, with new buildings to be added for a vast increase in exhibition space. Motown is 2 miles northwest of Midtown, about a 20-minute walk from the Grand Boulevard QLINE stop.
Produce, cheese, spice and flower vendors fill the large halls on Saturday, but you also can turn up Monday through Friday to browse the specialty shops (props to the peanut roaster) and cafes that flank the halls on Russell and Market Sts. In addition, from June through October there’s a scaled-down market on Tuesdays and a Sunday craft market with food trucks. Or arrive any day for mural gaping. Eastern Market has become an internationally renowned hot spot for street art.
Check www.muralsinthemarket.com for locations and artists.
Detroit Institute of Arts
The DIA holds one of the world’s finest art collections. The centerpiece is Diego Rivera’s mural Detroit Industry, which fills an entire room and reflects the city’s blue-collar labor history. Beyond it are Picassos, Caravaggios, suits of armor, modern African American paintings, puppets and troves more spread through 100-plus galleries.
It’s hard to believe the collection was about to be sold to pay off the city’s debt a few years ago. Luckily, donors saved the day.
Campus Martius Park
This new public space in the heart of Detroit’s downtown is the perfect spot to while away a sunny afternoon. At the center is the Michigan Soldiers & Sailors Monument: In the warmer months, there’s a sandy beach at its foot; in the winter, the space becomes the city’s most popular ice rink. There’s a stage for concerts and, in summer, a pop-up restaurant and bar.
To be continued…
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