Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

jztank

Belle Isle Getting Some Attention

Recommended Posts


I just saw the Scott Fountain on ABC during the Finals and it looked like it was placed there from some old European town. It looked so beautiful, and beautifully lit up. It made Belle Isle look really nice.

The last time I went to Belle Isle, all it really needed was some sprucing up. No type of overhaul. Except for the aquarium, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw the Scott Fountain on ABC during the Finals and it looked like it was placed there from some old European town. It looked so beautiful, and beautifully lit up. It made Belle Isle look really nice.

The last time I went to Belle Isle, all it really needed was some sprucing up. No type of overhaul. Except for the aquarium, of course.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would love to see the stables renovated, or any other of those ideas the paper presented. I love the idea of those old society women's luncheon's, I also support whatever they're willing and want to do. Canoe rentals, ice skating, sledding (was there ever sledding?) or any kind of return of what was once common place on the island would make my year. I do however wish the article had been more specific about their plans.

WS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The funny thing about the Scott Fountain is that it was built to honor a man very few people actually liked. At one time James Scott had a home that was adjacent to McMillan's grocery store at Fort & Woodward. Scott had a falling out with his neighbors, and proceeded to attach a large carving of a hog to the side of his house that faced the store.

Later in life, Scott wanted to purchase some land from a neighbor so that he could add it to his property at Park & Peterboro. The neighbor refused, so Scott spent $20,000 to build a house that had a grand facade on Peterboro, but was attached to a large, windowless wall to keep sunlight from reaching the neighbor's house. Scott's home still exists today in ruin. The last I heard, Joel Landy was trying to convince the city to let him restore the home, since they wanted to tear it down. Anyway, when Scott died in March of 1910, his will stipulated that a fountain should be constructed on Belle Isle with money from his $500,000 estate. However, the catch was that the fountain had to be accompanied by a life-sized statue of James Scott. Cass Gilbert, the New York architect who designed the Detroit Public Library, won the design contest for the fountain. The fountain was dedicated in 1925.

The Belle Isle horse stable was designed in 1860 by Detroit architect John Schaffer. The stable started life off as the vegetable shed for the city's central market, which was located in Cadillac Square. The building served as a vegetable shed until city council decided to close central market in 1892. In 1893 the city's Parks & Boulevards Commission received permission to move the structure to Belle Isle so that it could serve as a vehicle and horse shelter. In 1894 the building was moved. Later on the sides were bricked in, clerestory windows were added on the roof, and a washroom and office were added. The building served as a riding stable until 1963. The building was then used to keep the horses for the Detroit Mounted Police, and after that, the building was used as storage. In the early 1970s the building was considered for demolition. The building's fate remained in limbo until 2003, when the building was dismantled and the parts were put into storage. The building is supposed to be reassembled at Greenfield Village, although I've also heard that it is supposed to be reassembled at Eastern Market.

I would like to see the maintenance complex saved. It currently sits abandoned. It was designed by Albert Kahn in the early 1900s and served as home to the Detroit Zoo until the current zoo opened in Royal Oak in 1928.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.