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Monday, December 31, 2012

Driving Commonwealth Street, Detroit, MI 48208


Commonwealth Street is in the Woodbridge Historical District of Detroit, MI 48208. The houses on Commonwealth are three-story Victorian, some are single-family homes, some are duplexes, while a few have been converted to apartments. On some of the corners and side streets, you'll see some two and three-story apartment buildings.

The drive starts at Commonwealth and Grand River and goes 11 blocks to Merrick where I turn around and cruise back to Grand River, so you get to see both sides of the street.

If you'd like to see another drive-by on the next street to the west, see Driving Avery Street.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Houses on Avery Street, Detroit. MI 48208

Here are some of the houses on Avery Street, Woodbridge Historical District, Detroit, MI 48208. The houses on Avery are mostly three-story Victorian - most are single-family homes and a few duplexes.




This is a follow up to my post, Driving Avery Street, which has about 8 minutes of video.










And if you haven't yet, settle back and watch some video as I do a drive-by on Avery Street. I cruise the 10 blocks from Grand River to Merrick then back to Grand River.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Detroit Alley Art in Woodbridge

Here's some art in the alley between Commonwealth Street and the businesses and houses on the west side of Trumbull in the Woodbridge Historical District, Detroit, MI 48208 - north of Grand River, between Warren Ave. and Putnam St.



If you don't have much money, you can always get some paint and add some color. It makes a difference.









Turning the corner, the next 3 pictures are from a building on Putnam St. between Commonwealth and Trumbull.




And a block north, behind the Woodbridge Pub, 5169 Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48208, you'll find the following artwork, painted in 2008 by Michigan artist, Carl Oxley III:




Friday, December 28, 2012

Driving Avery Street, Detroit, MI 48208


Avery Street is in the Woodbridge Historical District of Detroit, MI 48208. The houses on Avery are three-story Victorian - most are single-family homes and a few duplexes.

The drive starts at Avery and Grand River and goes 10 blocks to Merrick where I turn around and cruise back to Grand River, so you get to see both sides of the street.

If you'd like to see some photos, go to Houses on Avery Street.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MJ Returns

My friend took this quick video on his cell phone on Christmas Eve afternoon from inside the store where we work.

Could it be?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Driving North Rosedale Park, Detroit, MI 48223


North Rosedale Park is in Detroit, MI 48223 in the NW section of where Grand River (M-5), the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and Fenkell (5 Mile) meet.  This neighborhood is mostly middle and upper-middle-class homes owned by white collar professionals. I grew up directly east on the other side of Southfield Freeway in a lower-middle-class neighborhood.

North Rosedale Park is featured on the Experience Detroit website as part of their Historic Neighborhoods Driving Tour.

From their site:

"North Rosedale Park is our favorite of the three enclaves that make up the Grandmont / Rosedale Park community on Detroit's west side.  This neighborhood consists of close to 1700 well-built English and French Tudors, American colonials, and arts and crafts bungalows.  The neighborhood park is the only privately owned neighborhood recreation "facility" in the City of Detroit and holds a number of year-round activities including art shows, concerts, and other events.  Residents include well-known sports figures, artists, musicians, and professionals."

So... Sit back and take a leisurely drive with me through North Rosedale Park. We'll be cruising at a speed of about 10 mph.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Woodbridge Historical District, Detroit, MI 48208

I was driving Grand River from Telegraph to downtown Detroit and I stopped to take some pics of the street art that is the Grand River Creative Corridor and because of a one-way street I took a couple turns and wound up in a beautiful old neighborhood.




After a little research I found this was the Woodbridge Historical District of Detroit. You can look up the exact boundaries but for now let's just say it's inside the triangle that is Grand River (M 5) - the Edsel Ford Freeway (US 94) - and John C. Lodge Freeway (M 10) but Woodbridge doesn't include the three corners.




This neighborhood is filled with Victorian three-story homes and only a couple miles from downtown Detroit. These houses show the wear and tear you'd expect in a four-season city. There's a real, lived-in look around here... and not a ranch house in sight!





I only had time for a few quick pics but I plan to come back, spend some time, explore, and get a bunch more.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Driving some streets in 48154 Livonia, MI

I'm driving east on 5 Mile between Levan and Farmington Rd. and I turn south and drive a few streets in 48154 Livonia, MI then come back up to 5 Mile and continue to head east.

I've found a good solution to camera shake and my Sticky Pod Mini. I tie down both sides to the inside of the passenger door using paracord and a couple Nite Ize Figure 9 Smalls I just bought at REI.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Driving near Five Points in Detroit

This is the view looking out the passenger window of my car as I drive down a couple streets from Grand River to 6 Mile, west of Telegraph. I've got my Fujifilm S4500 on a Sticky Pod Mini and was able to reduce most of the camera bounce by tying off the Sticky Pod to the passenger door handle. This small neighborhood on the extreme northwest side of Detroit is still nice but south of 6 Mile, not so nice.

Music by Flying Tom.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Detroit's Cooley High School - Part 2

September 4, 1928 - June 18, 2010

Cooley High School, 15055 Hubbell, is located at the corner of Chalfonte and Hubbell, just south of Fenkell (5 Mile) in Northwest Detroit. See more of my photos and discussion at Detroit's Cooley High School - Part 1.


This is the parking lot side of Cooley. Photo taken from Chalfonte.

Cooley High School in northwest Detroit was named for Thomas M. Cooley, a former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. He was also the first chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission.


Also named after Justice Cooley: the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI and Cooley Elementary School in Waterford, MI.


Nice detail up from the door.



You can see from these photos (and these) that Cooley is one big building and by the end of this post you'll understand why this building will come down.

The back of Cooley.

No more football games at Cooley.

An out-building by the football field looking at the back of the high school.
The grass was freshly cut.

Goodbye Cooley Cardinal.

For an explanation of why Cooley couldn't (and probably shouldn't) be saved see this AllanM page on Flickr.

Here are some excerpts:

"Unfortunately, architectural significance doesn't matter much to Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager, who is essentially running the entire school district single-handedly.

"The problem with Cooley is complex. The student population, which was once over 3000, has declined to about 1000. Projected enrollment in 4-5 years is something like 600 students in a building intended to house over 3000. Our team tried to come up with some solutions that would have saved the current building, such as mothballing certain sections of the building; however, unlike many other schools, Cooley doesn't really have wings (it's more like a solid block), so you can't just mothball a wing. Keeping Cooley open would have meant decomissioning the first & second floors of the 1960s addition, decomissioning the entire third floor, decommissioning about a dozen additional classrooms, and then building a new kitchen & cafeteria to replace those that are located in the 1960s addition. The school has suffered from years of deferred maintenance (roof, boiler, windows, etc). The most recent bond issue appropriated about $12 million to Cooley for renovations, but $12 million isn't enough to bring the school up to par, and ultimately $12 million in fixes just would have milked the building for a few more years anyhow. The sad reality is that they could have built a new Cooley for the amount of money it would have cost to renovate old Cooley, and there's no reason to do either, because there aren't any students.

"Fortunately, most of the decisions are not mine to make! I worked on the program management team for the latest bond issue ($500 million worth of building improvements district-wide). We were responsible for the completion of the bridging documents, the documents which the design-builders bid on to actually complete the work. It was an eye-opening process for me, and quite stressful, but I learned a lot! We basically just evaluated Cooley, and then gave Robert Bobb our findings. He and his people called the shots, and we weren't surprised when the Cooley project died."

See more of my photos and discussion at Detroit's Cooley High School - Part 1.
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