Preservation Detroit, founded in 1975, is Detroit's oldest group dedicated to historic preservation. Over the past three decades, the architectural preservation organization has become a leading advocate for the protection and rehabilitation of Detroit's historic abodes, skyscrapers, and culturally rich sites. They have used a variety of educational and research programs, along with advocacy and awareness campaigns to help grow support for the conservation Detroit's built heritage. Part of this mission includes encouraging the redevelopment of neighborhoods throughout the city around these historic structures, providing an anchor for residential areas and helping increase economic investment.
An all-volunteer organization, Preservation Detroit's staff continues to nurture their community's passion for historical treasures through lectures, seasonal newsletters, and tours. The organization continues to live up to its name; it recently helped conduct a historic preservation resource survey that recorded property-by-property information in six historic Detroit districts.
Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Charles Wright is proof that one person can make a big difference. In the 1960s, Dr. Wright was consumed by a vision: to create a center for the development and preservation of African American culture and history. He drew 30 other Detroit citizens to his cause, and together they established the International Afro-American Museum, which was renamed in honor of Dr. Wright in 1998. Today, the museum remains a place to explore the history of African Americans, from their origins in Africa to their struggle to overcome slavery and discrimination in America.
Eye Catcher:Ring of Genealogy, a 37-foot tile mural surrounded by the names of prominent African Americans
Maccabees at Midtown's spacious dining room?with its wood accents, pendant chandeliers wrapped in bronze-colored filigree, and Art Deco?style ceiling?looks like something from the 1920s or '30s. But its bistro food is decidedly modern. Housemade chicken fingers made from all-natural chicken dip into wasabi ranch, Kobe beef burgers support applewood-smoked bacon and garlic aioli, lobster meat joins bacon in the BLT, and certified-Angus new york strip steaks arrive alongside pesto mashed potatoes. The eatery also embraces brunch, a tradition that became popular in the 1930s, along with using a black-and-white filter on every photograph.
During Race & Seek, an extra phone battery in your pocket could easily be worth thousands of dollars. The urban scavenger hunt sends teams of 2?10 out into city streets in search of 14 clues, which they must capture via photo or video with their smart phones. The first-prize winners haul in some serious bounty: $500 and free entry into the Grand Championship, where $5,000 waits at the finish line.
But a slew of physical and mental challenges stand in the way of that money. Harder and harder clues come in via text and email, and as participants decipher them, they must navigate the city largely on foot?no cars, bikes, taxis, or griffins are allowed?with the aid of GPS and a city map.
Offering unique "backseat" tours of Detroit, tour guide and Michigan native Joseph C. Krause hops into tourists' cars where he guides them through the streets and sights of the city. Often taking roads less traveled, his tours take visitors on an insider's route through the ever-evolving metropolis where he sheds light on little-known facts. Tour routes are entirely customizable, Krause is a wealth of knowledge on any trip, which can last anywhere from a few hours up to an entire day.
Regardless of which tour you crawl along with, you'll be traveling under the flapping jaw and friendly wings of a veteran Inside Detroit guide. Along the way, your guide will help arrange personal time with each bar's staff and pull a few strings designed to shower you in a few complimentary surprises (complimentary surprises vary by tour and do not involve pulling shiny pennies from behind your ear). Fill your cranial cup with local Detroit history and culture while enjoying each brew house's distinct lineup of taps and tipplers. While you're at it, strike up a conversation with fellow tour goers, who may be presumed to have at least four common interests—bars, tours, stuff that is "pretty neat," and conversation.