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Allan

Sunny day in Flint, MI (part I)

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It was 45 degrees outside & sunny last Monday...a great opportunity to go downtown to take photos. Hopefully Netscape is cooperating...the photo host has been acting strange lately. You all might have to hit refresh a few times.

St Paul's Episcopal Church

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Paterson Building

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Street Scene. I swear the last time I was downtown that open space on the right had a building in it.

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A view of the open space.

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Building Detail

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Dryden Building

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Looking down Saginaw Street

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Detail on some of the buildings

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Dryden Bulding...again. It was supposed to be converted into lofts that were to be completed in the fall of 2003. I guess it didn't happen :(.

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The Capitol Theater is supposedly awaiting restoration.

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Late 19th century & early 20th century details lie beneath the 1960s "improvements" on these buildings.

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The black steel arch seen in the photo is a recreation of what was in place downtown from 1899 through 1918. There are 150 light bulbs on each arch, the same number as were on the originals. They were reconstructed as part of the downtown streetscape plan in November.

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Long abandoned & forgotten stores line the streets of downtown Flint.

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The Metropolis Building seems to have escaped the 60s facade "improvements," but the original facade is in very poor condition.

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The entrance to Flint's second tallest building, the Mott Foundation Building.

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The Republic Bank Building....home to yet another one of the loft conversion projects that has been talked about for years, but has never happened.

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This is about as dense & urban as Flint gets :(.

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From left to right: the 352 Building, the old Citizens Bank Building, the new Citizens Bank Building, and the Riverfront Character Inn.

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Looking back the other way. My house is 15 miles down the road.

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Old Meets Newer

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Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

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Nice shots! These pics look a lot clearer than the ones you took last year. Did you get a new camera or something?

About the open space - there never was a building there (in recent years, at least). There was just a fake facade covering it up. I noticed a crack in it one day while walking past it this Summer and something didn't look right. So I walked around to the alley and saw that there was just grass there! Apparently it had to be destroyed or removed for the streetscape improvements. It would be nice if an actual building was built in its place, but who knows how long it'll be until that happens...

(It's the little blue "building" from your last tour)

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Thanks. I'm glad you liked them. :)

The pics are a lot clearer....the funny thing is that last year I used my dad's old 3.3 mega pixel camera, & this time I used my own 3.2 mega pixel camera. I think the clarity issue is only because I chose to put these into 3 reasonably sized threads instead of 2 gigantic ones, so I was able to make the pics larger. Also I did not compress the JPEG files as much this time as I did before. And it helps that now I actually know how to use all the features on the camera. LOL.

So that was just a fake facade there before. Interesting. Are any of the other buildings down there just facades?

I was reading an article about Genesee Towers the other day, and it said that they expect the downtown revitalization to be complete in 5 to 10 years. At the pace they're moving right now though, it will take a lot longer. What's the deal with all these proposed lofts (Dryden Bldg, Ferris Fur Bldg, Republic Bank Bldg, Durant Hotel)? Can't they just build them already?!! In an article about downtown printed two years ago, a downtown redevelopment spokesman said that he was confident that construction on the Republic Bank Building lofts would start within 18 months. It's been 24 already....they were supposed to be finished this year & they haven't even began construction yet! What gives? Development in this town moves at a snail's pace...everything takes so long to actually happen. It might be 5 years before we actually see construction on any of these loft projects :(.

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That's the only building I know of that was just a fake facade. I hope they at least put a new fake facade there for the time being. It looks pretty bad with the big gap and unfinished walls of the other buildings.

I haven't heard much about the lofts lately except for that article about the Republic Bank last week. Apparently the way they were gonna draw the lines, the lofts would've been way too small for most people's tastes so I guess they're redesigning them (they must've thought this was Manhattan lol). I wish I could've made it on one of those downtown tours last Summer. They let everyone see all the development taking place up close. I heard those tours will start back once the weather gets better, so I have to make sure not to miss out next time.

The Manhattan Lofts project, which really isn't in the core of downtown, is the only one that seems to be progressing well. They will cost $150,000 each, but I'm not sure how large they are. I'm guessing the rest of the lofts downtown weren't planned as well as they could've been, because 2 years ago people were supposedly constantly calling about the new lofts around downtown.

By the way, if you get bored with the Flint Journal news, you should check out The Uncommon Sense and East Village Magazine

Sometimes they have development news that doesn't get covered in the paper. The Uncommon Sense has a pretty interesting article about Uptown Reinvestment and how they might be preventing some businesses from opening downtown.

Edit: I had the wrong URL for East Village

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Yea, they need to put a new fake facde there...the hole looks really bad. Or even better, a new building. Yeah, I know I'm dreaming, but it's a nice thought.

I really wanted to make it to one of those downtown tours too, but they seem to like having those during the day so that I cannot attend. LOL. I heard that they will be offered again in the next few months, so hopefully I can make it to one of those. I saw the article in the paper last week (or was it 2 weeks ago?) about the Republic Bank Building. I wish it would've started by now, but there still seems to be a lot of interest in it, so it will happen eventually. We both know how slow the wheels turn around here though...it could be some time before any work is done. Hopefully they can get the new plans finalized & begin construction later this summer.

I did hear the sounds of men working inside the old Hughes & Hacher Building. There was work lights on too. I'm not sure exactly what they're doing in there though.

And BTW, thanks for the links :).

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I did hear the sounds of men working inside the old Hughes & Hacher Building. There was work lights on too. I'm not sure exactly what they're doing in there though.

Cool! I saw some coming soon signs in a couple building a few months ago, but they disappeared about a week later. I think one was a bakery and the other a deli. It also looks like some work is being done at the former health food store on the corner across from the Mott Foundation building (I think). Also, the owner of the Metropolis said he's plans on really fixing the place up. I wish him luck since he's has the only business that brings people downtown at night on weekends.

No problem about the links. There used to be a site at www.downtownflint.com with links to a lot of the "urban pioneer"-like businesses downtown. A few of them had message boards, and it was good to see young people from all over Genesee County supporting their downtown. That's what really showed me downtown's potential.

Let me know if you find any other good links. :)

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I would like to see more of Flint. Its very interesting, because back during the early 20th century it was about the same size as Jacksonville. Jax had the same kind of build and feel as Flint before urban renewal & the new glass skyscrapers of the 80's & 90's.

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I really wish more people would support downtown. It will not be revitalized until the people support the area.

As far as the Republic Bank Loft project goes, I pulled the following quote from this article.

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WOW wonderful shots allan is real nice to see the arches back up and welcome people to downtown flint

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