Go Detroit! Definitely!
The Edsel Ford Estate
The hum of the auto production line may be diminishing but the buzz at the tourist sites is still strong. Be surprised! Explore the Detroit’s art, architecture, history, and multiethnic heritage.
The inside story: On a Segway or on foot explore the heart of Detroit with an Insider Detroit tour. Visit the significant restored landmarks such as Fox Theater, Detroit Opera House, and the Guardian Building’s lavishly decorated interior with mosaic and Pewabic tile. See the Renaissance of Detroit with the building of Comerica Park, Cobo Center, casinos, and Renaissance Center.
More than cars: The Henry Ford Museum is not a car museum. It it’s the nation’s largest indoor-outdoor history museum that was started by Henry Ford. According to Ford, "I am collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used...." See JFK’s presidental limousine, Lincoln’s rocker from Ford’s Theater, Edison’s laboratory, and the bus made famous by Rosa Parks. His idea was to document the genius of America by showing how ordinary Americans lived and worked and what they have imagined and invented.
Step into the past: Adjacent to The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village is a collection of nearly one hundred historical buildings in a village setting. Travel through the seven historic districts by train, Model T, horse pulled omnibus or on foot. Watch costumed interpreters conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking along with potters, glass-blower, and tin makers producing articles used in the village and for sale in their give shops.
Edsel Ford Estate: Completed in 1929, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is more than the home of a prominent American family beautifully situated on Lake St. Clair. The Cotswolds-style home tells the story of a family that contributed to the cultural growth of Detroit.
Art for everyone: The Detroit Institute of Art is one of the country’s greatest art collections including frescoes by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, "Detroit Industry." The newly expansion project includes innovative ways of displaying traditional collections to appeal to audiences without a background in the arts. Street art reaches a new level with the controversial Heidelberg Project. The artscape project attempts give new energy to a deteriorating neighborhood by creating meaningful art from discards of urban life.
African-American Heritage: At the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, "And Still We Rise" exhibit takes people on a journey that begins in prehistoric Africa, through civilizations that evolved on the continent, the Middle Passage, the horrors of bondage, and for a few freedom via the Underground Railroad. Experience the Underground Railroad Living Museum in the historic First Congregational Church on Woodward Ave.
Arab-American Heritage: Arabs have been coming to the United States for hundreds of years seeking better opportunities. In Dearborn the Arab American National Museum’s permanent exhibit "Coming to America" explores the lives of those American who come from the 22 Arab countries and practice different religions, work in a variety of fields, and have a range of educational backgrounds and political affiliations.
Polish-American Heritage: Hamtramck’s The Polish Art Center is more than a place to see and purchase Polish cultural and traditional goods. The owners have dedicated on part of the store toe an educational center featuring lectures, book signings, and folk-art demonstrations including classes on making wycinanki, delicate paper cuttings. Visit Polish market and dine at one of the many Polish restaurants.
Temptation or Supreme: At Motown Historical Museum – Hitsville USA a video about the history of Motown. Many of the stylish outfits that distinguished Motown artist are on display including the jeweled white glove and black fedora hat worn by Michael Jackson. As the guide explains Motown is "about music and hope, not color." The Motown Sound is soul music with a pop influence that leaped across racial barriers. Visit Studio A where the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes, and many others made their recordings. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to sing "My Girl."
Vroom: Learn where America’s love for the automobile started. The Ford Piquette Avenue plant is well preserved and largely unchanged from its original 1904 appearance where the first 12,000 Tin Lizzies were built. Then tour the River Rouge Plant and Dearborn Truck Plant, a working automobile factory, where Ford has built cars since the Model A. Plan to be in Detroit on the third Saturday in August for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise that draws 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe.
Detroit is cars and more. Watch a major league ball game, go to the zoo, or try you luck at a casino. Dine at the elegant Seldom Blues with views of the river or munch on one of American's Coney Island Hot Dogs. Detroit: so much to do, so little time! For more information check www.visitdetroit.com.