Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 18, 2013

Friday Freebie: A Trip Through Historic Detroit

Looking south on Park Avenue toward the Hotel Charlevoix on the right, the Kales Building on the left, and the Hotel Tuller in the center in the distance. The Hotel Statler is at left. (Library of Congress photo)

Looking south on Park Avenue toward the Hotel Charlevoix (then crowned with a cornice) at right, the Kales Building on the left. The Hotel Tuller in the center in the distance and the Hotel Statler is at left. (Library of Congress photo)

While reading about a judge’s order for the demolition of the former Hotel Charlevoix, a derelict building near Detroit’s Grand Circus Park, I came across a the fascinating website HistoricDetroit.org.

Founded by photographer, writer and Detroit history fan Dan Austin, the nonprofit site is a treasure trove of images and vintage postcards that help explain why the city was once called “Paris of the Midwest.”

I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Detroit but I was astounded by some of the photos showcasing buildings—many long-gone, others altered beyond recognition—and streetscapes that make it look like a different city. I love the view above of a stretch in downtown’s Park Avenue District.

Anyone is invited to share photos and stories at HistoricDetroit.org. There’s also a store where you can buy Austin’s books, “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor Cit’s Majestic Ruins” and the recently published “Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit,” as well as “Hidden History of Detroit” by Amy Elliott Bragg.

I plan to make a return trip and spend some time in this Detroit.

Visitor Info Click:

Visit Detroit

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