Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Globe and its neighbors
Just east of downtown, not far from the Renaissance Center is a curious parcel of land alternately filled or emptied of history and habitation.
When Dennis Archer was mayor in the mid-1990's, this neighborhood was still host to a vibrant street scape of small manufacturers, local businesses and bars. Some of these streets are still visible, lined with the early to mid 19th century structures on Franklin and Orleans streets. That which still stands does so in spite of the seizure of the area and the razing of its buildings for casino construction that never came to this part of town.
If you get a chance, walk or ride a bike through these streets just north of the river. The Globe (middle and bottom) building is where Henry Ford learned to weld and build--a mammoth old carriage shed with a sign announcing the Globe Trading Lofts. The sign, up since 2006, is weathered, and, like the casinos that announced their arrival without showing up here, it remains to be seen what these streets and buildings will see. Last week the building was unbelievably open to peer into.
Nearby (top), a growing collection of hand built shelters assembled from scrap houses the area's pre-loft community.