Important sites in this area include:
- The abandoned Packard Plant
- Orchestra Hall
- Wayne State University
- Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Historical Museum
- New Center Area, including the Fisher Building and the old GM Building
- Motown Museum
- Motor City Casino
- Site of Tiger Stadium
- Michigan Central train station
New housing is being built on a lot of the vacant lots in the area.
No trip to Detroit would be complete without a visit to the old Packard Plant. If you're old enough to remember (or even if you're not), Packard was a popular car brand that was made in Detroit until the company went out of business in the 1950's. Since then the building has been mostly abandoned and rotting away. The city keeps proposing projects to revive it, but none of them ever made it. As I write this, someone has offered to pay about $2 million for the property, but I'm not getting my hopes up. If you want to see more of the Packard plant, go to http://www.detroiturbex.com/content/industry/packard/.
Heading up Woodward Avenue from downtown, we encounter the Cultural Center, which includes Orchestra Hall (yes, there is actually a Detroit Symphony Orchestra), and the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is one of the better art museums in the country, unless and until they sell off the collection to pay debts.
|Detroit Institute of Arts|
North of the Cultural Center is Wayne State University, one of the largest universities that you never heard of, because they don't have a big-time football team. Wayne State has about 30,000 students.
|Part of Wayne State University|
On the other hand, not all of Midtown is thriving.
|The Fisher Building|
|The old General Motors Building|
A few blocks west of the Fisher Building is the former Motown Studios, which is now the Motown Museum. You can tour the museum and see where all of the Motown songs were recorded in the 1960's and 1970's. Yes, it was originally a house.
A few blocks west of the Motown Museum is the Lee Plaza Apartments, which provide luxury accommodations at affordable rates.
Heading back towards downtown, we encounter the Motor City Casino, part of which used to be the old Wonder Bread factory.
Heading south from the casino, we arrive at the site of Tiger Stadium, where the Detroit Tigers played from 1901 to 1999. It was a dump, but it was our dump.
|Tiger Stadium in 1999|
|Inside Tiger Stadium in 1999|
|Goodbye to Tiger Stadium :-(|
|Some houses in Corktown|
|Michigan Central Station|