Sunday, December 13, 2015

Detroit: December 13, 2015; the public library; the Renaissance Center

Last year, I stumbled upon the Detroit's Main Branch of the Public Library.  Like some of my previous experiences in Detroit, it was this amazingly beautiful building that I hadn't read about and  went into out of curiosity, and was virtually empty when I went in.  It felt like a major discovery.

And as has started to happen, it seems like other people are discovering my secret places.  Yesterday, while I was at the Rowland Cafe in the Guardian Building, (see yesterday's post here), there seemed to be a whole bunch of tourists, possibly local, touring the Guardian Building.  I heard one woman ask this other person, "Are you local?  Have you been to the Library?  Oh! It's great! [or "magnificent" or "beautiful" or something]!"  I agree, but it felt like my secret....

Click on photos for a larger view.

Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, entrance on Woodward Ave, September 12, 2015.  
The downstairs looks mostly like a local library.  Last year, it was pretty deserted (maybe because I was in Detroit in November?) but this year, there were people using the library, people studying, etc.  If you go upstairs, near the main entrance, you come to this:

Upstairs at the Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, December 12, 2015.  You can see, beyond the door, large murals, in three panels.  There's also a temporary art exhibit in front of it.  Last year, when I visited, this room was empty.  Damn you, Detroit, for making good use of your public spaces and attracting users of it!!!

This room is dominated by three murals by Canadian, John S. Coppin, called "Man's Mobility."  The murals are oil on canvas and were glued in place in 1965.

Detroit Public Library, December 12, 2015.  Using my panorama setting on the camera, giving this weird effect, showing the mural and the wall on the right.

Another view of "Man's Nobility," showing its size.  This room was empty when I visited last year, giving me the feeling I had stumbled on a secret.  Now I have to share it.  Sigh.  December 12, 2015.

The murals are meant to show modes of transportation developed by "man."

Centre panel of "Man's Mobility," Detroit Public Library, Main Branch.  Depicted behind the man's head are some rockets, and a transcontinental airliner to the right.  December 12, 2015.

Detail of the left panel of "Man's Mobility," Detroit Public Library, Main Branch.  December 12, 2015.  Depicted are a bicycle, trolley, hot air balloon as well as an early Oldsmobile.

I'm too lazy to post a picture of the hand on the right (viewer's right) not the man's right hand.  Plus I was distracted by the ceiling outside the room containing the murals.

The ceiling outside the room housing "Man's Mobility."  Detroit Public Library, Main Branch.  December 12, 2015.

Ceiling of an arch.  Detroit Public Library, Main Branch.  December 12, 2015.
There was an addition to the Main Branch, constructed in 1963, that added another entrance.  
Entrance to the Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, Cass Ave., December 12, 2015.  The mosaic is rather pretty.  Don't you think?

Later, I fulfilled a childhood dream of staying at the Renaissance Center.  It used to the tallest hotel in the world, when I was a kid, and 8-year old Teza used to see pictures of this building and say, "One day, I'll stay there!"  If I could only go back to 8-year old Teza and say, "One day, kid, you'll be living the dream."  More on that later, but here's a pic of the Renaissance Center.

Renaissance Center, Detroit, December 12, 2015.  One of those buildings is a hotel.....
More tomorrow....








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