Thursday, it was 80 degrees fahrenheit. Saturday, we had flurries. Sunday was 41 degrees and slightly windy. And, at least in the morning, overcast. Not the most pleasant of aspects for cycling. Ah well. I don’t plan any of these rides with a theme in mind – but this week, it was coincidentally filled with Hendersons or Henderson-related items.
The sights soon warmed me up. Like this STF (See Through Factory – see earlier post). If you look closely under the awning, you’ll see that the owners have painted “No Copper” on the building. Copper on abandoned buildings in Motown has a shelf life roughly equal to the time it takes for someone to next me on Chatroulette.
Metal Thieves, hie thee to another landhold
On the other side of the street sits a lonely pink building. This is not the pink building in which The Band recorded its famous album, “Music from Big Pink”.
This little structure was a guard house, built to keep bad guys away from the valuable contents once kept fenced and razor wired securely within a giant lot. There’s very little left to guard these days, I’m afraid, unless you’re looking for bits of mica or quartz.
Well, at least the grass is growing
A bit further along, I ran across a boarded-up building, painted in nice, bright colors. My super fantastic camera misfired, and so I only have one shot of the building. Since you can’t see much of it, I should point out that it is boarded up, locked, barred, and fenced. Just in case you think it’s not, (and I can’t imagine why that might be) the owners have underscored the obvious by painting its status multiple times on its side. (By the way, there’s some monster graffiti on the side. I’ll snap a photo next time I go back.)
IT’S NOT OCCUPIED. GET IT?
My grandparents lived on Bewick, not far from Mack Avenue. On the corner of Hurlbut and Mack stands what is probably a reasonably typical gas station from the 1920’s. I imagine my grandfather stopped in here more than once. The Legal Eagle said he used to drive Studebakers. I think. I do remember in his last years he drove a light metallic blue Plymouth Valiant 4 door, sometimes with the parking brake on.
Check the oil for you, Dr. Henderson?
There’s a nice piece of landscaping that’s just been redone in what I had always called “Harmonie Park”. But this parklet is named “Paradise Valley”, for the historically African-American cultural center of Detroit. Here’s a link to a more thorough history of the locale. (BTW, the link mispronounces Gratiot. It’s not “Gray-sha”, people, it’s Gra-shut. So there.)
Nice new park
I’ve had a link to Wheelhouse Detroit on my blog for a while. Here’s what it looks like from the outside. Should you ever feel the urge to take a two-wheeled spin around downtown Detroit, and need the bicycle to do it, you can rent one from them. They also sell bikes and parts, lead tours around town, and they’re very very nice. Stop by and see them sometime.
You can’t rent the bike on the left, it’s mine
I wrote last week about my great-grandfather’s business, Detroit River Iron Works. Here’s a shot of the building (it’s on Atwater near Jos. Campau) that I wanted to capture before it collapses or is knocked down.
Notice the Arthur Henderson & Sons – my first two names are Arthur Henderson
Finally, I took a brief stop at Erma Henderson (no relation that I’m aware of) Park – which is on Jefferson across from Indian Village. In the middle of the park is an Armillary Sphere that features the signs of the Zodiac. Just in time for Taurus, here’s the one on the Armillary Sphere. (Actually, Taurus starts on the 20th of April and, in case you’re interested, The Sanskrit name of Taurus in Hindu Astrology is Vṛṣabha.)
I’m a Taurus, by the way
Here’s hoping for warmer weather, calm winds, and a fully functioning camera for next week.