With the announcement of the new race route for the 14th annual Tour de Troit, riders everywhere will be keeping their eyes peeled for an opportunity to take in even more of their beloved city.
As Michigan’s largest cycling ride, Tour de Troit has been helping support the biking infrastructure within the city, and it gives riders the chance to explore some of Detroit’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods, along with a glimpse of the city’s blooming downtown.
Interested riders can still register for both the 30-mile race and 62-mile metric race up until sell out or race day, on September 19. Check out tour-de-troit.org for a map of the course and ticket pricing information.
From major landmarks to some interesting sights few and far between, we wanted to give riders a sneak peak at what they’ll be getting themselves into this year. Check out our list below for things to keep a look out for during this year’s race, or maybe even give you reason enough to go on a Tour de Troit of your own.
1. Michigan Central Station
The Michigan Central Station, in the news as of late for obtaining some new windows, opened in 1913 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. As Detroit’s once main intercity passenger rail, it was (at the time of construction) the tallest rail station in the world.
The station remained open for business until the cessation of Amtrak services in 1988. Restoration to viability for the structure continues to be a long process. If you’re interested in exploring the space further, check out this virtual tour of what this incredible structure once was.
2. Eighth Precinct Police Station
Located in the Woodbridge Historic District, the Eighth Precinct Police Station, now owned by Phoenix Group Companies, is not only a beautiful castle-like structure, but also the second-oldest police building in the city. It was designed by Louis Kamper between the years of 1900 and 1901 for a mere cost of $46,000.
Yet 113 years later in 2013, the Grand River Station became what we now know as Castle Lofts — yes, you can in fact live within this amazing infrastructure, and people have been for the past two years. If you’re as intrigued as we are, go ahead and check out the intricate interior photos and book yourself a tour.
3. Fresh Cut Flower Farm
Fresh Cut Flower Farm is owned and run by Sarah Pappas, who has a passion for bringing all flowers growing in different corners of Detroit together. At her farm, located at the corner of Rosa Parks Blvd. and W. Forsest Ave., she puts together wildflowers found in alleyways with her own homegrown annuals, biennials, perennials, trees, shrubs and more to build beautiful flower bouquets.
She offers a weekly bouquet service, flower design and arrangement for shops, events (weddings, parties, photo shoots, etc.), wholesale, and a flower stand during Thursday evenings from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
4. Sit On It Detroit
As the brainchild of Wayne State University urban planning students Charlie Molnar and Kyle Bartell, the Sit On It Detroit benches have popped up all over the city of Detroit to provide Detroit bus stops with what we’ll call “proper” seating. The initiative is an effort to fill the void of seating at bus stops by creating benches out of reclaimed wood from abandoned houses and buildings within the city.
However the idea didn’t stop there, these benches go above and beyond your average bus seating with their built-in bookshelves, filled with books for people to read while waiting for their bus. Tour de Troit-ers will find this bench along Rosa Parks Blvd. right outside the Dick and Sandy Dalch Scout Center.
5. Boston-Edison Historic District
Containing over 900 homes, the Boston-Edison Historic District consists of many jaw-dropping homes ranging from modest two-story vernaculars to gorgeous historic mansions. Many of the homes were constructed between 1905 and 1925 and served as homes to many of Detroit’s famous icons such as Henry Ford, James Couzens, Joe Louis and more.
Today, the neighborhood district boasts the Historic Boston-Edison Association, the oldest continuous neighborhood association in Detroit as it was founded in 1921.
6. The Illuminated Mural
Though not set exactly within the Tour de Troit’s new route, it’s hard to miss the bleeding rainbow, that cascades down the wall of a nine-story building. As a 100-foot by 125-foot splatter and drip of neon paint, the mural brings hopeful contrast to the slight overgrowth and decay of Detroit’s north end.
The mural was completed by artist Katie Craig in 2009 on an old fireproof storage facility that was built in 1913. The Milwaukee Junction warehouse has recently been put up for auction starting at $550K, with potential hope for becoming some brightly colored lofts.
7. The Rainbow Underpass
Though we don’t know much about this eye-glistening piece of street art, we couldn’t help but point it out as something we absolutely love. As what seems to be an unfinished rainbow-painted underpass sitting along the streets of Rosa Parks Blvd., it certainly does the trick of bringing smiles to those within the small Northwest Goldberg community where it’s located.
8. Indian Village
Detroit’s historic Indian Village has been around for over 100 years and is quite proud to include over 350 beautiful, occupied homes. As a close-knit neighborhood, this district defines community. Residents often host monthly parties or various events and involve themselves in community clubs to celebrate the closeness of the community and the historic heritage of their neighborhood.
Each year it is estimated that nearly 30,000 visitors come through Detroit’s historical Indian Village to get a glimpse of Detroit’s past.
9. Heidelberg Project
As proclaimed on their website, the Heidelberg Project is art, energy and community. Founder and artistic director Tyree Guyton worked to develop a two-block area full of color, using disregarded objects to bring a community together over a shared value of art.
The Heidelberg Project is living proof that all those in our Detroit communities can in fact be a part of the change coming to the city, and serve as an example of how to do so. Those on the Tour de Troit will only pass by the entrance to the project, so be sure to keep an eye out for Heidelberg Street located on the west side of Mt. Elliot St. between Mack Ave. and E. Vernor Highway.
10. James Scott Memorial Fountain
The James Scott Memorial Fountain is a monument located in the center of Detroit’s beloved Belle Isle Park. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert and sculptor Herbert Adams, the fountain was completed in 1925 for a total cost of $500,000.
As one of Detroit’s wealthiest names in the early 1900s, there was much controversy over the construction of James “Jim” Scott’s memorial fountain, funded entirely by himself upon his death. Regardless, the fountain still stands as one of Belle Isle’s favored attractions.