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Day Tour 2:  Cultural Center to 8 Mile


Begin your day exploring a museum or two in the Cultural Center of Detroit.  Make sure to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts with its atrium walls adorned with colorful murals reflecting the City's automotive heritage painted by renowned artist Diego Rivera.  As you head north on Woodward from the Cultural Center, you will literally travel over two historic automotive-related points of interest -- the Nation's First Modern Highway and the World's First Concrete Mile.  Also, keep an eye out for Manchester Parkway just north of the Davison Freeway (M-8) and take a quarter-mile detour to the west to see the birthplace of the moving assembly line at the Highland Park Ford Plant, a National Historic Landmark.  You'll know you're close to the New Center area when you see the art deco features and golden tower of the Fisher Building commanding the skyline.  Have a look around this mini city within a city and former headquarters of General Motors.  Jump back on Woodward and a visit the Boston-Edison and Palmer Woods neighborhoods, full of some of the most spectacular and well-preserved historic homes in the City.


Cultural Center -- National Park Service Register of Historic Places (Michigan State Historic Preservation Office)Cultural Center [C]

Vicinity of Woodward and Putnam

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There is no better place than here to explore Detroit's intellectual and artistic influences.  Development of the Cultural Center dates back to 1913 as part of the City Beautiful movement which advocated the clustering of important public buildings.  Three buildings make up the core of the Cultural Center -- the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Horace H. Rackham Education Memorial Building.  Since the establishment of these architectural monuments, the Cultural Center has expanded to include a number of other museums, galleries, theatres, and attractions, most within walking distance of one another.  In addition, the area is home to two highly regarded educational institutions, Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies.  The Cultural Center's location two miles north of downtown along Woodward Avenue makes it a convenient, must-see destination for visitors.  Your best bet is to park your car and visit each attraction on foot.  Parking is available at the public garage located at 41 Farnsworth (enter the facility between Woodward and John R).  Free on-street parking and metered on-street parking are also available.




New Center General Motors Building Cadillac Place -- downtownpartnershipNew Center [B]

Vicinity of Woodward and West Grand Boulevard

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New Center is definitely the house that Albert Kahn built!  The master designer developed two National Historic Landmarks here -- the Fisher Building and the General Motors Building.  The Fisher, perhaps the most significant structure of Kahn's career, houses shops, restaurants, art galleries, business offices and the renowned Fisher Theatre.  The General Motors Building, also known as Cadillac Place, served as GM's headquarters from 1923 to 1996 prior to relocating downtown to the Renaissance Center.  Consisting of eight wings projecting from a central spine and a five-story hipped-roof annex connected to the rear façade, the building symbolized General Motors' dominant position in the automobile industry.


palmwdsHistoric Neighborhoods [C-D]

Boston-Edison / Arden Park:  Vicinity of Woodward and Arden-Park

Palmer Woods:  Vicinity of Woodward and 7 Mile

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The Boston-Edison / Arden Park neighborhood is a forty-five-block area of large homes and mansions, the majority of which were built between 1905 and 1925.  A number of famous and influential Detroiters resided in this area including Henry Ford himself.  The Palmer Woods neighborhood is known for its elm-lined streets, large brick homes, and architecture that remains a showcase for the talents of regional and international architects of the first half of the 20th century.  Many executives from the auto industry and other prominent Detroiters built their homes in Palmer Woods, including the presidents of GM and Chrysler and former Mayor Edward Jefferies.



Tour Map

Number of Destinations:  4

Overall Tour Time:  1 day


Woodward - Cultural Center to 8 Mile



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