If you drive, or walk, down Woodward Ave. from Detroit’s New Center area to downtown, you can’t help but notice the economic development along that corridor. Detroit has bottomed out. Areas formerly bereft of businesses and housing have been filled in, and hopefully that development will start spreading east and west of Woodward, Detroit’s version of Main Street. Over on the east side of town, one of America’s most blighted urban areas, there is another hopeful sign — a symbol of the city and domestic automobile industry’s decline has literally come crashing down.
The Packard plant bridge over East Grand Boulevard, target of lazy photojournalists for years, collapsed last week, perhaps due to extreme temperature swings the midwest has seen recently.
Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski said that on Thursday, Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo made the final payment of the $405,000 he bid for the sprawling, decrepit, Albert Kahn designed Packard Plant on East Grand Blvd in Detroit. Palazuelo was the third highest bidder, but when Texas doctor Jill Van Horn’s winning $6 million bid vaporized and Chicago developer Bill Hults only came up with 10% of his $2 million bid, the county accepted Palazuelo’s price. Palazuelo, who is originally from Spain, claims to have had a successful track record of redeveloping distressed properties in Lima, Peru.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Rivera Court, South Wall, “Detroit Industry” – Diego Rivera 1933
Last week we ran a post of mine about “Detroit Industry”, the murals that Diego Rivera painted for Edsel Ford in the main court of the Detroit Institute of Arts. More accurately, the post was about how a couple of artists, the Perre twins, commissioned to paint a mural in a new Detroit building, a commission inspired by Rivera’s work, claimed to know much about the artist and Detroit, but haven’t ever bothered to actually see Rivera’s Detroit masterpiece with their own eyes. That post was inspired by an article at the Detroit News by Rob Stanczak, from whence artist David Perre’s quote, “We have not seen it in person” jumped out at me. In our post, I linked to Rob Stanczak‘s article and, because I couldn’t find any photos of the Perres’ new mural that weren’t rights reserved, I used the DetNews’ video accompanying Rob Stanczak‘s article to illustrate my own. While not a formal citation per Modern Language Association guidelines, the link and DetNews video still gave our readers a couple of ways that they could access Rob Stanczak‘s work.