When it comes to cultural destinations, Detroit, Michigan, is the last place on anyone’s mind. Yet, the Motor City boasts a number of world-class museums, historical sites, and architectural masterpieces. If you ever find yourself in Southeast Michigan, or if you want to explore a new part of the world, make Southfield, Michigan, your next destination. Below are six reasons to do so.
The Detroit Temple
As the largest of its kind in the world, and as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the United States, the Detroit Masonic Temple is a visually impressive and must-see structure. The temple is built from durable Indiana limestone and consists of three main areas: The “Shrine Club,” the ritualistic tower, and the auditorium. If you’re lucky, you may catch a concert or some other event at the venue.
The Park West Gallery
The Park West Gallery art is some of the finest in all of North America, if not the world. The gallery has been collecting artistic masterpieces for 50 years and has amassed a collection of works from some of history’s greatest artists as well as leading contemporary icons. The Park West Gallery professionals possess unmatched expertise on topics ranging from fine arts to framing to delivery, which they put to use to impress their most elite clientele. The gallery also hosts auctions at exciting locales such as cruise ships, high-end galleries, and boutique hotels throughout Michigan.
The Detroit Public Library
More than 150 years old, the Detroit Public Library is now listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. The library, which was originally located within the old Capital High School building, now houses a staggering number of books from both the past and present. However, though the shelves themselves are sights worth seeing, the building itself, which is nearly 100 years old, boasts architecture that is nearly as imposing as the contents within.
Henry Ford Museum
Though not entirely focused on Henry Ford himself, the Henry Ford Museum is a tribute to modern technological advancements and innovations. The number of notable exhibits is too many to count but include the Kennedy Car, Rosa Parks Bus, the original Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, Lincoln’s Chair, and a replica of the Wright Brother’s plane. You can also take a tour of the Dymaxion House, which was designed to be the lightest, most cost-effective, and durable house ever built. Though the concept is ingenious, it is the only prototype in existence.
Nashville may have country, but Detroit has soul. Between the years of 1957 and 1972, a small studio off West Grand Boulevard signed a number of music legends, including Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. Though the exterior of the building looks like nothing more than a modest Detroit home, today it tells the story of the Motown genre and the artists who gave it a name.
Henry Ford didn’t just establish his business in Detroit, he also established his home. The home, which was the couple’s (Henry and Clara Ford’s) 15th attempt at a forever home, is 31,000 square feet and is situated on 1,300 acres. Though they didn’t raise their children at Fair Lane, it is where they entertained their grandchildren and other noteworthy guests, such as Thomas Edison. In addition to numerous guestrooms, the house features a hydro-electric powerhouse and dam, indoor pool, cottages, working farm built-to-scale for small children, pony barn, skating rink, and private laboratory and garage for Henry himself. Jens Jensen is reported to have designed the beautiful landscape and gardens.
Though many brush Detroit off as a forsaken city, the truth is that it has a lot to offer. If you’re in the market for a unique cultural experience, make Southfield, Michigan, your next travel destination.