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Detroit Photo of the Day


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I have well over 1000 Detroit photos that need to be posted here, but I have no time, so enjoy the new Detroit Photo of the Day thread! Feel free to add your own pics. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Grand Army of the Republic, or G.A.R. Building was built at the corner of Grand River and Cass between 1898 and 1900. The building served as a meeting place for the G.A.R., a Civil War veteran's group, until the 1930s. The building then served various purposes, until it finally closed in 1982. The building's development rights are owned by the Ilitch Holdings Company, while the building itself is still owned by the city.


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Saturday, October 23. 2004

The 16-story Kean Apartments on East Jefferson Avenue were designed by Charles Noble and completed in 1931. Designed by the same architect who designed the now vacant Lee Plaza on Grand Boulevard, the buildings share very similar architectural characteristics and details.


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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The entrance to the newly opened Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor on Detroit's east riverfront. Located in a gritty industrial area known as Rivertown, the park is part of an effort to clean up the area and make the riverfront accessible to all city residents.


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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Woodward Avenue looking south, towards the river. The Woodward streetscape project is drawing to a close, as crews are installing the pavers on the sidewalks. The lofts at Merchants Row recently moved in their first tenant, and several leases have been signed for the retail space on the ground floor. Down the street, the renovation of 1001 Woodward continues as crews demolish several existing buildings for a new 10 story parking structure with ground floor retail.


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Friday, October 29, 2004

The Kales Building's renovation into apartments is drawing to a close. Designed by Albert Kahn in 1914, the building originally housed the corporate headquarters of the Kresge Company, forerunner to the modern-day Kmart Company. After moving to their new headquarters on Cass Park in the 1930s, the name of the building was changed to the Kales Building. The building managed to hang on until 1986, when the last tenant moved out after the utilities were disrupted. The building sat vacant for nearly 20 years, until the current redevelopment came along. Kales Building Apartments


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BTW, for those of you who are wondering, H & H is now dead.  The next victim are the two little buildings next to the Freud.  I guess I better get down there and take some pics of the Freud while there's still time.


Better hurry, there is little left of it (Freud Bldg) and the steel frame is about to come crumbling down this afternoon!!!

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Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Ransom Gills House is located at the corner of John R and Alfred in the Brush Park neighborhood, just north of downtown. Although it is severely decayed, it is rumored to have been purchased by a developer who is planning to restore it.


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My wife and I are considering a move to Detroit from Pittsburgh. We will be in Detroit next week to scout it out, looking at various neighborhoods and getting a feel for the city. We're looking to buy a house in Detroit, though everyone tells us to bail on that idea and live in Livonia, Canton, Plymouth or Dearborn. Can anyone recommend neighborhoods with a sense of history, architecture that is relatively safe in Metro Detroit?

Any help would be appreciated.

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If you are interested in moving to the city, chances are that you won't find what you're looking for in Livonia, Canton, or Plymouth. All of those cities were once small towns that have been completely overrun by sprawl. What city will you be working in? That will help narrow the search down a bit, since you probably don't want to commute two hours to work or something like that. Traffic in Detroit can get pretty bad.

If you plan on living in the suburbs, I would suggest an inner ring suburb, such as Dearborn or Royal Oak. Both of these are streetcar suburbs with thriving downtown areas.

Royal Oak is a trendy city, with many restaurants and boutique shops in its downtown. The downtown is experiencing a rebirth, and several midrise condo towers are planned The older neighborhoods are very well kept up. Look in the older neighborhoods aound main street & Woodward Avenue. I think you'll like what you see. Also, Royal Oak is entrally located, so you would be able to get pretty much anywhere in Metro Detroit in about 20-30 minutes. I'm not sure what the home prices in the city are like, but it's definately worth checking out.

Dearborn is experiencing a rebirth of its own. It is another streetcar suburb. Its revitalization is not quite as far along as Royal Oak's. Dearborn is the center of Middle Eastern culture in Michigan, and has quite a few great restaurants. Dearborn is probably more affordable than Royal Oak.

Don't rule out Detroit either. The city has its bad areas, but keep in mind that the city is huge - 139 square miles. There are plenty of nice, safe areas worth looking at. If you want a more urban environment, I'd check out Lafayette Park (just east of I-375), and Midtown (the area bounded by I-75, M-10, and I-94).

A friend of mine moved into the Lafayette Towers in Lafayette Park this summer and loves it. Her apartment has a great view, is in a safe area, and is close to downtown. I know that rents are very affordable. I am assuming that you are looking to buy though, and I am familar enough with that area to tell you what's available.

Midtown is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The neighborhood is a land of contrasts. The northern end of the neighborhood is further along in its revitalization, but the southern end is coming along quite well. The housing options in midtown range from single family homes, to townhouses, to condos, to highrise apartments. Additionally, the neighborhood is full of cultural activities, with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Science Center, Detroit Historical Museum, and more. It is an easy walk to downtown, the Fox Theater, and the Stadium District. The Brush Park area of midtown is an area of 1880s and 1890s victorian mansions, some of which have been beautifully restored, others that are in the process of being restored, and others that have fallen into complete disrepair. It is a rough neghborhood, but it is quickly changing. Crosswinds plans to build a total of 800 townhomes in the Brush Park area. I believe that just over 100 of them are done. So the area will be completely changed within the next few years.

For nice, old, single family homes, I would look into Boston-Edison (Boston, Chicago, Longfellow, and Edison Streets, between Woodward Avenue and Linwood Street). This is a historic district where many prominent Detroiters once lived. Henry Ford and Berry Gordy both lived in the neighborhood. There are plenty of options, with everything from gigantic mansions to modest single family homes. I have only explored the area east of the Lodge freeway (M-10), but from what I've seen, the neighborhood is diverse and the people seem to be quite friendly.

I highly recommend Indian Village, another historic district off of Jefferson Avenue. The neighborhood is bound by Mack Avenue on the North, Jefferson Avenue on the South, Seminole Street on the West, and Burns Street on the East. The neighborhood has many beautifully maintained homes. I'm not sure what the prices are like, but I can tell you that it is more expensive than the Boston-Edison neighborhood.

Other neighborhoods you might want to check out include:

- University District (Bounded by McNichols, 7 Mile, Fairway, & Livernois)

- Sherwood Forest (Bounded by Livernois, 7 Mile, Pembroke, Parkside/Renfew)

The Older neighborhoods are in the area bounded by Grand Avenue, which encircles downtown, and north in the areas near Woodward Avenue.

Check out Tony Hiller's http://www.detroitcity.8k.com/ for photographs of many of the areas in the city. For a list of neighborhoods, check out http://www.cityscapedetroit.org/detroit_neighborhoods.html. I will try to post some photos I have taken of Indian Village, Boston Edison, and Brush Park later today or tonight. I hope this helps. Best of Luck to you!

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