Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Surprised By Detroit!

Fancy going to Detroit for a holiday? No, stop, don't ring up the men in white coats yet!

Detroit has the Detroit Institute of Arts; OK, it's not big, but there is reasonable quality material there. The best known work there is probably the series of large murals by Diego Rivera based on the Ford River Rouge plant.

You could also spend a pleasant morning walking around downtown Detroit admiring the architecture, if you're interested in that sort of thing. The heyday of the city was the first few decades of the twentieth century, and one place definitely worth dropping into is the Guardian Building. Here is the art-deco style entrance:

But especially, you could spend two days at the Henry Ford in Dearborn in the western suburbs. You get SMART bus 200 from downtown to the Fairlane Mall, and then bus 250 to the Henry Ford. There is the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and tours to the River Rouge plant. I suggest one day for the Museum and River Rouge, and one full day for Greenfield Village.

I spent one day there and I got to the Museum and the Village. But frankly you could spend a full, enjoyable day at the Village.

Henry Ford created Greenfield Village; he moved the homes of some famous people lock stock and barrel, piece by piece, and rebuilt, such as the homes of Harvey Firestone, the Wright Brothers, Robert Frost, and the house where he himself was born. And other buildings which interested him. He also moved and re-built Thomas Edison's New Jersey laboratory.

So don't write off Detroit for your trip across America. And, by the way, I am not being sponsored by the Tourist Board to write this!!

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