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Eridony

August 2nd Visit

51 posts in this topic

On Saturday I returned to Ann Arbor since the weather was nice and I didn't have enough time to see much the week before. I took many pictures. I won't post them all here but needless to say if you still use dial-up you should probably leave this thread now! Comments are very welcome and will help breakup all these picture posts.

I traveled to Ann Arbor by taking US-23 South and then M-14. Last week I took the downtown exit so this time I took the one a mile before and drove through some local streets until I ended up in an area that included University Hospital and whatever these buildings are:

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The Gander Dancer restaurant was also in this area:

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I parked my car to take those last two pictures so I kept walking into a neighborhood that the signs called the old 4th ward historic district. I then ended up in the Kerrytown district, which I had never even heard of. The first place I saw was a restaurant with a line around the building:

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The the Kerrytown Market & Shops:

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The Ann Arbors Farmers Market right next door:

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I'll post more later

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^ My neighborhood! Glad you found Kerrytown.

It's nice having the market close (which you might have seen on the ground floor). I'll be preparing meals on whim this year so getting meat and fish just by riding over there on my bike will be convenient.

Keep posting pictures! BTW, the park you posted in your first image is brand new. It used to be weeds and swamp. The medical buildings behind it are overflow from the med campus. I think they are eventually going to expand into that area. If you cross the bridge, that area is called Lowertown. A Lansing based developer is constructing a very large mixed use urban development over there on what used to be ugly strip malls.

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^ My neighborhood! Glad you found Kerrytown.

It's nice having the market close (which you might have seen on the ground floor). I'll be preparing meals on whim this year so getting meat and fish just by riding over there on my bike will be convenient.

Keep posting pictures! BTW, the park you posted in your first image is brand new. It used to be weeds and swamp. The medical buildings behind it are overflow from the med campus. I think they are eventually going to expand into that area. If you cross the bridge, that area is called Lowertown. A Lansing based developer is constructing a very large mixed use urban development over there on what used to be ugly strip malls.

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A few more:

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Urban Renewal City Hall?:

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Hands-on Museum:

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Washtenaw County Annex:

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Land Title Building:

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some facade work going on:

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More to come later. I'm just getting started.

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Wow, I've seen people walk their cats, but now miniature horses! LOL, that's interesting.

I've never been sure what city Hall replaced.

Here's a photo of old city Hall, but I believe the building that sits there now is City Centre Plaza, which is that 8-9 story brownish colored brick building diagonally-across from the current city Hall

whitneybuilding2.jpg

From the "What/Where were these buildings thread

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Here's a photo of old city Hall, but I believe the building that sits there now is City Centre Plaza, which is that 8-9 story brownish colored brick building diagonally-across from the current city Hall

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These are my two favorite buildings in Ann Arbor. I think you should come here every weekend Eridony and that way we can get new pics more often. Either that or we need to find someone who is as good at photography and likes it as much as you who lives here. Great work.

Officially, State and Liberty are part of the downtown and included in the DDA and everything else that comes with being a part of downtown. However, I consider them to be two distinct areas and I am pretty sure most people make the distinction. I think it has to do with the fact that most of the students/residents who live close walk most places making the distinction between the two areas larger. Where as someone who lives in Pittsfield Township saying they are going downtown might mean either State or Main because they are only a few blocks apart. Can't say I talk to too many people who live out there so maybe they make the distinction too. With the developments on Division and Washington and eventually a development on the old Y site (hopefully), that distinction may get hazy though.

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No one is going to want to load this thread after I'm done posting all my pictures :)

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One of my personal favorites:

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411 Lofts:

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They are starting brick work on the building:

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On the side of Tio's:

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The Ann Arbor News is owned by the same owners of the Muskegon Chronicle and Jackson Citizen-Patriot and all three newspaper buildings have a similar look to them:

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Well I was going to wait longer between posts but since I'm not even halfway through my photos yet and it's already been 6 days since I took them I guess I'll add some more.

I ate lunch at the Arbor Brewing Company, which was awesome! I buy their beer here in GR, but they had kinds in their brewpub they don't sell here.

I took a few pictures without my flash on so I didn't piss off the employees.

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The Super Snapper V.S.B. was very good

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I don't normally go around taking pictures of bathrooms but this one had an interesting paint job:

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Taking the stairs up 8 levels isn't so easy when you are full of food and beer:

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But the view was worth it:

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Washington Square Building:

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Rooftop Garden:

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Still plenty left to come.

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Don't worry about posting all these! Keep them coming! You do have an audience, there's just a lot of lurkers in the Ann Arbor section. But we highly value these photo threads.

You are correct on the City Center building. That is what replaced city hall. That's where I go pay all my $6 parking fines. It has always been kind of a joke in AA. Alot of students don't like to pay for parking if they leave their car in a lot all day. The fines are cheaper than paying $1/hour for a full day.

BTW, on your next visit, feel free to go into all those buildings. They are public structures for everyone to enjoy. You'll find yourself taking tons of photos inside the Rackham building. If you find somebody that works, there, they'll unlock the rooftop balcony for you to photograph. You can also go up into the bell tower. Some of the classrooms are unlocked, offering nice vantage points for getting photos. Around noon, you can get up where the bells are and walk around, or get inside of them if you dare!

Treasure Mart is pretty cool. I like all of their historic postcards.

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Don't worry, I'm not giving up on posting my pictures. I just don't want to flood this thread with a couple hundred pictures all at once.

BTW, on your next visit, feel free to go into all those buildings. They are public structures for everyone to enjoy. You'll find yourself taking tons of photos inside the Rackham building. If you find somebody that works, there, they'll unlock the rooftop balcony for you to photograph. You can also go up into the bell tower. Some of the classrooms are unlocked, offering nice vantage points for getting photos. Around noon, you can get up where the bells are and walk around, or get inside of them if you dare!

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Michigan Stadium, or I think football fans call it "The Big House"

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I see you guys have a fresh surface lot downtown. I saw an old photo that had the YMCA there. How long ago did the YMCA move and did anything use the building after?

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This time I went in, it was kind of a let down though:

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It's nice to see entire blocks pretty much intact without surface lots dotting the landscape:

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Gotham City:

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I think this shot shows Ann Arbors density well:

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More great pics, I enjoy going to the Ann Arbor forum and having something new almost daily and having it be more photos is great. I agree with Wolverine, some rainy day come on down and explore the indoors too.

Here are a few answers to some of your questions, which is really all I can bring to the conversation:

Braun Court:

Found a little bit more about it. The houses were built between 1917-18 by Samuel Braun. That area was part of a large African American neighborhood that flourished during the great migration. The houses along Braun Court were saved from demolition through a community grass root campaign against a proposed urban renewal project of the area during the 50s/60s. The homes were turned into mostly restaurants by Peter Allen in the 1980s.

For pics and the story:AADL photo tour

arborwiki entry

New parking lot/library:

We could write a book about these projects. The old Y moved in 2005 and the city bought the property. The plan was to have a developer come in and build a high rise that would allow for mixed income (the city mandated that the development keep low income housing that the Y provided) and redevelopment of the transit center. A development contract was signed. Nothing happened and eventually the city rescinded the contract because the developer failed to do anything. With nothing now planned the city tore down the Y and built the parking lot which is in the picture. Meanwhile, the DDA planned a new underground parking garage next to the library and the library wants a new building. I think right now the architects are working on a proposal for a redeveloped library building.

The library building is an amalgam of the original building and two additions. Ugly though it is, I feel that is way better than city hall. I might have to take that back though because it looks really bad in your picture from the parking garage. Finally, the step building on Liberty in the picture by the library is the post office/federal building.

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The pictures are great! Thank you for taking them and posting. Please continue!

Did you happen to see the new North Quad under construction from the north side? They are doing a nice job saving a piece of the old high school (later the Frieze Building) and incorporating it into the building.

The stair-stepped building you asked about is the Federal Building, I believe. Post office and federal court, IIRC. It's just north of the Blake Transit Center, which is just north of the parking lot that replaced the old YMCA. You can see the new YMCA off to the northwest from your shots atop the Parking Garage.

Did you get a shot of the Liberty Lofts? It's a nice reclaimed factory (last owned by Eaton), just west of downtown.

If you wander further west into the Old West Side, you might enjoy taking some shots of the Argus Buildings, now owned by UofM. (Corner of 4th and William). Some folks like taking a shot of the identical houses on Mulholland Street. (North off Liberty, just east of 7th Street.) Jefferson Market (on Jefferson, between 4th and 5th) is another classic shot.

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He actually caught Liberty lofts in the photo above "gotham city" The lofts are pricey, but it's by far one of the top quality lofts renovations in the area. I got the opportunity to see the model, and it was awesome.

In your photo titled "gotham city" you can see the new YMCA (red brick / green roof). A MUCH better replacement for the old one.

Here's the story. The existing one was a crap. It had to be the ugliest building in the city, so I never mourned its demolition. The building that was supposed to replace it was substantial. There were actually two proposals. Both of them were around 20 stories. There's still the potential of another project happening there, and you can see a rendering of it up on one of the local architect's websites. I forgot the firm's name.

For the time being, I'm not all upset with the surface lot due to its location, but I'm happy to see the ones in the background will disappear for underground parking that will support a new building, and restore the street grid. I keep hearing ideas of a convention center thrown around.

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Nice to come back to this thread and see not one, but three comments. I appreciate all the information as well. Especially the info about Braun Court.

Foobar: I did make it to the north side of the North Quad. I saw the facade but didn't know it was originally from a high school. I only saw that is said "Public Library" above the entrance.

I saw both Liberty Lofts and the YMCA, but I didn't walk past them. I only saw them from the corner of their respective blocks. I didn't realize the Y moved so recently. I figured the old one had been sitting empty for a long time.

Time more more pictures.

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Maybe it's time i invest in some Old Glory Robot Insurance:

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From the street level the Gotham City sign looked like it said "Goth City"

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The Blind Pig building has an interesting iron door on it:

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This was as close as I got to Liberty Lofts:

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Can you tell the sun is getting low in the sky?

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So, you probably know this, but just in case ... the Robot Repair shop is one of a chain of non-profits that offer reading instruction to kids. Each one has a fantastical storefront to draw kids in.

The shot of the Obama campaign headquarters is interesting. Just a week or two ago it had a fake extension, filling up the rest of the old furniture store parking lot, built as part of a movie set for the movie "Youth in Revolt."

You can see the set construction in progress here:

http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2008/07...nn_arbor_t.html

You can see the completed set here (scroll down a bit):

http://www.photoblog.com/Bloggingchick/2008/07/28/

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Wow! These are some great photos, Eridony! You've managed to capture Ann Arbor in ways I haven't even seen it, and I've lived here for a very long time Great job! :good:

A few random observations:

Zingerman's: very tasty sandwiches, but pricey, and a little over-hyped IMO.

Greek Orthodox Church: I'm pretty sure it's being demolished for a high rise? Wolverine might be able to confirm this.

City Hall: I just like to pretend that building doesn't exist lol.

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Thanks for the comments guys! I think with that last post I'm a little more than halfway through my visit (I'm posting chronologically for the most part) but I've probably posted two-thirds of the good pictures because at this point in my trip the sun is getting lower in the sky and photographing buildings while I'm facing the sun doesn't normally lead to good pictures.

Foobar: I half knew about the robot repair shop. I didn't believe it was actually robot supply and repair and if it was I would like to know how they turn a profit with such a business. On the door below the main sign there is a small sign that says "Also home of 826 Michigan" which I figured had to be the real tenant. I was too lazy to look up what 826 Michigan was but I figured it must be some kind of community organization. So there are other shops out there with interesting displays like this? What do the other look like? Is that just an Ann Arbor thing or is it throughout southeast Michigan?

I had no idea a movie was being filmed there over the summer. I didn't see anything that looked like it was part of a movie set. Thanks for the links to the photos.

No Funk: I saw the sign for the building that is supposed to be built at the Greek Orthodox Church site. I also saw a picture of the church in the Ann Arbor photo thread that was taken last year and the church seems to be in the same condition now as it was in that picture. I also walk all the way around the church and saw nothing to indicate demolition was going on inside the building. Therefore that's why I called the picture "demolition by neglect"

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't care for the City Hall. I don't care if it was designed by a famous architect because to me it still screams "Urban Renewal: Pro Car, Anti Human" but besides a few obvious buildings like that and the library it looked like Ann Arbor came through the Urban Renewal era relatively intact.

Continuing the photo tour.

I'm told this build was once the Allmendinger Organ and Piano Factory:

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Can anyone tell me what this sign is about?

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Another nice old gas station with a new use:

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I've never even heard of Grizzly Peak Brewing Company:

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Just another 411 shot I took on my way back toward U of M:

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A really nice church I wish I would have photographed in better light:

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Also, maybe one of you Ann Arbor experts can tell me what the Wesley Foundation is

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Harris Hall:

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The only sign I saw for this building was for the current tenants of Hobbs & Black. What was it originally?

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I don't know what Hobbs & Black does but with a building this cool I hope they are an architectural firm:

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I don't know what Hobbs & Black does but with a building this cool I hope they are an architectural firm:

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It used to be a church. The inside is impressive with what they did.

Live, or PJ's live is a nightclub. They share the building with Goodnight Gracie's (in the basement) which is more jazz oriented. Live attracts a wide demographic by switching up genres of music and live performances throughout the week. I started going there this past year more often, and really like it.

Grizzly Peak is a chain of brewpubs operating under different names throughout the state of Michigan. Their flagship restaurant was a 4 story brick microbrewery and restaurant in Frankenmuth costing $40

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826 Michigan is part of a national organization, 826 National.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/826_National

My favorite of the locations is the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, which had a nice write-up in the New York Times a few months back. San Francisco has a pirate supply store, Seattle has the Greenwood Space Travel Supply store. The Chicago store sells spy stuff. LA has the Ecco Park Time Travel Mart.

I believe the idea is to get kids "in the door" with the cool store, and then lead them back to the activity area where they can work on their reading and writing, inspired to be creative.

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Andrew: I thought it looked like a church too but I wasn't sure because I didn't see any clear signs it was (like a cross or a cornerstone with the name of it) but someone commented on my Flickr photo today saying it was built as a Unitarian church in 1882 and remained that way until 1946 when it became Grace Bible Church. He didn't say how long ago it ceased being used as a church.

Wolverine: Thanks for filling me in.

Have you been to Grizzly Peak? I liked Arbor Brewing Company a lot so I was surprised to see another brewpub a block away, but maybe Grizzly Peak is more upscale or something?

Foobar: Thanks for the link. I obviously had never heard of 826 National. Does anyone know how Ann Arbor was chosen for a location. The the list of locations it seems Ann Arbor is by far the smallest city with one.

You attribute the store themes to getting children in the door but they also look interesting to people like me. I mean do you know how hard it is to find a good pirate supply retailer? And eBay has some policy against selling functional cannons because it violates some interstate commerce law or something :P

Anyway, here is another installment of pictures. Most are of the North Quad project.

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Not a great shot with the traffic signals, but I liked that the picture shows the separation between the buildings.

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The North Side with the preserved facade:

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Not a great shot for seeing detail but it shows how this will have a major presence on Huron Street:

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I stuck my hand through the gate of the construction fence to get a rather poor quality shot of the east side:

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Then a couple more shots of the Rackham Building:

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I was confused by the "Public Library" on the facade they saved for North Quad, so I did some online digging.

Here's a good summary of links:

http://arborwiki.org/city/Frieze_Building

This article in particular has a lot of information.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dfulmer/frieze/index.htm

This site says that after the first high school burned down, the building was rebuilt as the high school and library. I think they mean public library sharing the building with the high school.

http:[email protected]/...57594157696002/

This site has a picture:

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/frieze.frame/home

As does this site, which calls it the Carnegie Library:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/annarbor/1249...57594157696002/

PS Grizzly Peak and Arbor Brewing both have good beer. IMHO, Grizzly Peak has much better food.

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