If a younger age, I would be in the thick of Detroit looking at the bargains on older homes and set out to renovate one.  They can be had for almost nothing, and the city is coming back with gusto.  Would love to rely on “De-troit City” as my center.


Above is the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, where we stayed last week, built in 1924.  The downtown is full of fine architecture, but dotted with unruly vacant lots, due to Detroit’s recent history.


This fine community garden is across the street from the Westin, enlivened by saturated colors of doors and painted over windows.  This is kind of a microcosm of what is happening here now.


Behind and above the community garden rises The Guardian Building, an extraordinary statement of the Art Deco style.  The inside is a marvel.






Repetition of colors, the arches, both Roman and composite, hold the overall design together.  Everything is intellectually heroic.


How much serious fun is this building?  Wonder if this mind-set will ever loop around another time.


It was a Saturday when we visited the Guardian Building, and only two floors were available to see on a weekend.  Not a half a block away was the Penobscot Building, asserting another fine deco design.  In front of the building technicians were packing up sound and lights, and police were moving barricades from either side of the block.  A television commercial had just finished filming when we walked by.  No entry on Saturday.


I kept expecting Howard Roark to walk out these doors.  Look at the heroic faces with arrows just above the doors.  They look like hood ornaments on old cars.


1937 Pontiac Deluxe Eight Convertible hood ornament.


So.  Here is the lobby of the Pnobscot Building we could not see on a Saturday.


What a shame.

4 thoughts on “DECO DETROIT

  1. Beautifully captured; I love seeing the world through your eyes. Envious, tempted, but ready to move.

  2. This wonderful post leaves me wanting to see/hear more of Detroit and the exhibit. Thanks, Lee for sharing.

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