On the Waterfront
Motown’s earliest history was made on its waterfront, so a tour is a fitting start to any exploration of the city. If it’s a sunny day (regardless of the season), stroll the boardwalk near Hart Plaza and watch for one of the thousands of hulking freighters that pass annually.
Once, the waterfront, with its active port, was the city’s livelihood. During the 20th century, however, Detroit turned its back on its former front door, choosing to erect faceless factories and anonymous office towers along its riverbanks instead of the more gracious green spaces popular during the previous century. Luckily, recent efforts have strived to correct the mistake: when completed, the Detroit International Riverfront (www.detroitriverfront.org) will comprise over five miles of public parks and plazas, linked by a continuous riverwalk.
For now, strollers can enjoy small stretches of the riverwalk and places like the 11-acre Hart Plaza, site of the breathtaking Horace E. Dodge Fountain, designed in the 1970s by Isamu Noguchi. It sends more than one million gallons of water per hour into the air via more than 300 streaming nozzles and jets.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel