With a weekend in the Detroit area it was decided to spend the night in Windsor, which is just a mile away through the tunnel.
The Windsor Riverfront offers excellent views of downtown Detroit (other post) as well as the scenes on the Canadian side.
The Ambassador Bridge
A carnival was being held in the riverfront park
The Cranbrook Academy of Art was founded in the 1920s by George Booth, who asked renown Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to design the campus and buildings. Eventually the campus was expanded to include both boys and girls schools, a Science Museum as well as the Art Museum.
The Saarinen House has been restored to it’s 1930s look, and the museum offers tours, which we attended. The house itself (in my opinion) was somewhat disappointing as it did not give the ‘wow’ feeling that I often have when going into other famous homes, such as many of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of the same period. Instead it seems more ‘practical’ and commonplace, in a 1930s art deco way.
The grounds of the campus are very nice, with gardens scattered about, along with numerous sculptures and fountains. The museum was somewhat smallish, but had some interesting artifacts including the chair collection.
The Art Museum
Gardens and Fountains
The interior of the Art Museum
The Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum was designed in the 1840s by Adolph Strauch, a renown lanscape architect who’s view was to have a ‘garden cemetery’ made up of trees, lakes and shrubs.
It is the second largest (in area) cemetery in the United States, with over 700 acres, including 400 that are landscaped. As we toured in our car we passed trams leading tours, as well as numerous walkers. It clearly was different than most cemeteries with the spaciness and landscaping.
The Cincinnati Observatory is located on the aptly named Mount Lookout. As one of the oldest observatories in the country, they feature two fantastic telescopes. A visit to the Observatory is highly recommended.
The main building has a 1904 Alvan Clark & Sons 16″ refractor telescope. The docent who took us up to the telescope allowed us to open the large metal roof with amazing ease with the rope and gears. Once open we spun the telescope over so we could look into the lens.
The second building houses what is thought to be the oldest continually used telescope in the world, a 1945 wooden and metal Merz and Mahler 11″ refractor scope. While not as functional as new ones, you will not find a more beautiful telescope!
The 40th annual Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance was held at picturesque Ault Park on a hot Sunday. This show features a number of invitation only automobiles in a great setting, the gardens of the premier park in Cincinnati.
With a few days in Chicago there was time to be a tourist wandering around downtown and beyond.
Some of the highlights;
The merchandisers/retailers hall of fame. Woolworth, Penney and more.
The Chicago River
Water Taxi and the impressive Merchandise Mart
Harold Washington Library
A mix of old and new
Tourist boat going past the touristy Navy Pier
Chicago Cultural Center
Maxwell Street Market – not on Maxwell Street anymore
Chess Records – 2120 South Michigan Avenue (also a great song)
For fans of the movie The Blues Brothers – The East 95th Street Bridge – where they jump the Bluesmobile.
The University Circle neighborhood in Cleveland is the home to most of the major museums in the city, the Cultural Gardens and Case Western Reserve University.
The Cultural Gardens is a collection of 31 unique Nationality gardens, most with sculptures interspersed with the plantings. Unfortunately we only had time to visit a handful.
A residential neighborhood near Case Western Reserve University is home to Hessler Court – an amazing little street that is made out of wood. Known as Nicolson Pavement, the wood block construction was popular in the mid 1800s. Now less than 5 remain in America, and Cleveland is home to one. It is smooth and quiet.
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens roses were in full bloom.
Sculpture in front of the Botanical Gardens.
Nearby they were having stilt walking lessons.