Sightseeing in Hamtramck


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More than 100 years ago, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was on the cutting edge of innovation?the first 12,000 Model Ts were made on its premises. But over the years, the "Birthplace of the Model T" was neglected, and in 1997, afraid that the bulldozers were lurking around the corner, ready to raze the premises, a committee was formed to investigate saving the plant. The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex purchased the New England?mill-style structure two years later, transforming it into an auto museum and National Historic Landmark. Today, the museum is one of the oldest automotive plants open to the public in the city of Detroit. The venue?s exhibits chronicle not only Ford?s rise to the forefront of the automotive industry, but also lesser known tales. Visitors can learn about other car models built there, such as the Model N, and about other automakers, such as Wayne and Brush.
461 Piquette St
Detroit,
MI
US
In 1986, artist Tyree Guyton began painting abandoned houses, arranging found objects into sculptures, and decorating abandoned cars on a two-block stretch of Heidelberg Street on the city’s east end. The Heidelberg Project, as the undertaking came to be known, is a commentary on urban decay and remains just as impactful decades after its inception.
42 Watson St
Detroit,
MI
US
As a response to the deterioration of the neighborhood where he was raised, artist Tyree Guyton conceived of this outdoor art installation in 1986. Made almost entirely of found objects, it’s a fun and whimsical wonderland that’s sure to spark conversations with kids about what art really is. Interactive art in the form of a small playground stands on the northwest corner.
3600 Heidelberg Street
Detroit,
MI
US
On November 19, 1928, the Detroit Historical Society opened the Detroit Historical Museum in a one-room suite on the 23rd floor of the Barlum Tower, earning it the nickname of highest museum in the world. These days, Detroit?s Cultural Center accommodates the museum in an 80,000-square-foot space, where interactive exhibits preserve more than 300 years of city history. Frontiers to Factories traces Detroit's transformation from French-frontier outpost to industrial city, while America's Motor City celebrates its automotive dominance with a changing display of classic vehicles and a 1903 Model T that guests can sit in. Streets of Old Detroit brings the 19th century to life with recreated cobblestone streets that wind past stores of the era such as a five-and-dime, a soda shop, and a barbershop for powdered wigs. Thanks to recent renovations, the society has expanded its chronicle of Detroit with three new permanent exhibitions. Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy covers the ways the city's industrial infrastructure adapted to demands of World War II, and The Gallery of Innovation includes videos about renowned innovators and hands-on activities involving trial and error. As The Allesee Gallery of Culture examines the city's cultural history, its Kid Rock Music Lab lets visitors create and share their own music using interactive displays. Outside, the Detroit Legends Plaza honors the city's sports, entertainment, and media legends with cemented handprints and signatures from stars such as Lily Tomlin and Martha Reeves.
5401 Woodward
Detroit,
MI
US
Standing in the shadow of Hitsville USA—the original home of Motown Records and the studio that launched the careers of Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson—Motown Museum preserves the legacy of soul’s most successful label. Immersive exhibits trace the roots and eventual impact of Motown on popular culture, demonstrating how Gordy achieved the signature sound or how James Jamerson challenged and beat the devil in a bass-playing contest. Visitors get a chance to sing into the innovative Echo Chamber—a hole cut into the ceiling that created the reverb sound synonymous with hit recordings such as "Dancing in the Street." A steady stream of photographs and other rhythm-and-blues memorabilia leads amblers into “Studio A,” which contains the original instruments and equipment used to record The Jackson Five and Gladys Knight during Motown’s Detroit era. Crowds gather around Michael Jackson’s signature glove-and-hat ensemble, which he himself donated to the museum.
2648 W Grand Blvd
Detroit,
MI
US
SemSeg's Segway experts equip urban explorers to cruise through Detroit at up to 12.5 miles per hour during self-guided tours. A brief orientation covers proper techniques for turning, stopping, and impromptu jousting. Then, motorists hop aboard scooters and travel up to 24 miles on a single charge. The long battery life allows motorists to cruise down the Riverfront, circle 14-acre Hart Plaza, and crisscross the Rivard Plaza in a single trip. Though SemSeg encourages DIY tours, their guides lead weekend tours through downtown and down the Riverwalk.
1938 Franklin Street
Detroit,
MI
US
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