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Jackson, MI

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Yesterday I took a trip to Jackson, MI to attend a family members birthday party. After the party I had some time left over, so instead of hitting the highways to zip directly home, I decided to take a look at DT Jackson and snap off some pics. I must say for a city of its size and featuring a compact DT the skyline is quite impressive. So here we go.

Approaching the DT from the SE, the imposing Consumers Energy Corporate HQ provided a grand first impression. This behemoth looks pretty state of the art so it must have been recently built. The structure to the building's right is the HQ's parking ramp vialed in a nice facade that invokes the feel of classical architecture.


This is a view of the Skyline looking west from a pedestrian bridge over the Grand River on the north side of Consumers Energy HQ. The Park like setting to the left looks to be a part of Consumers Energy's property.


The arterial road that lead me into DT doglegged to a North Westerly direction once it passed the Consumers Energy HQ. As it made the dogleg it became a one way in my favor that was four lanes wide. The road then lead me along DT's north side providing some good looking vistas. Though some of the buildings looked a bit rough around the edges.

Looking due west at some 60's/70's office hi-rises. I would assume one of them was the old Consumer's energy HQ.


This is a shot of an Art Deco style tower. Rising like a beacon above the skyline as the tallest building in the city, it can be seen from any direction.


A Train Depot like structure along the Grand River with the Art Deco tower and two other tall buildings looming in the background.


I attempted to make my way into the heart of DT. However all the roads leading in were closed to traffic to make way for a Motorcycle festival underway at the time.

Here's a shot.


So I looked else where to find some other photogenic buildings.

First up is City View Lofts an old building being converted into loft units. I took a picture of the sign featuring the rendering.


Future residence of City View Lofts will be thinking Godly thoughts thanks to a constant view of this massive Neo-Romanesque Roman Catholic church named St. Mary's Star of the Sea located directly across the street.


As I meandered through the southern flanks of DT, I came across the Jackson County Building.


I then found St. Paul's Episcopal Church. I really like this building as it reminds me of very lovely St. Mark's Episcopal Church in my home town of Grand Rapids.


This 2 story building looks to be dated back to the early 1900's. Featuring an architectural style that invokes strength and stability, this place must have been a bank at one time.


A Stony Neo-Romanesque building and its fire escape featuring elaborately sculpted rod iron balustrades.


The Main Entrance to Consumers Energy's HQ provides a grandiose send off as I leave DT and Jackson to set off back home. These section of the HQ appears to be an old building that has been refurbished and integrated into the design of the overall complex.


My conclusion of Jackson is this is a city that has the comfortable and intimate feel of a small town that boasts a skyline of a much bigger city. Surface parking lots, a few neglected buildings, and poorly maintained sidewalks make the DT a bit rough around the edges. But with allot of nice looking buildings and a compact and potentially walkable layout DT Jackson has allot of potential. Hopefully City leaders have realized that potential and have set plans into motion to take advantage of it.

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I had no idea Jackson had such an interesting downtown!

Guess I should check it out one of these days -- it's only about 20 minutes away.

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If you can get to Jackson in about 20 minutes from Ann Arbor, you're an even more aggressive driver than myself, as Lansing and Ann Arbor are almost exactly the same distance from Jackson. ;)

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