Day 3

Day 3 has come so quickly and with so much to do and see, we seem to be running out of time. As we both missed breakfast and had a lie in, we decided to venture to down town Detroit, which we had briefly driven through on the previous day. The city is in the midst of being completely overhauled, with major construction work on most of the buildings. Within a few years I can imagine Detroit will be the place to live, with all the new waterfront apartments and offices.

Our main purpose was to find the Michigan Building, which was the former Michigan Theatre constructed in 1925 which stands 13 floors in height. The Building now houses bars, restaurants, retail space, offices and a car park. The Michigan Theatre was built on the site of the small garage where Henry Ford built his first automobile (the garage was transported brick by brick to The Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. The building has also been used in several films, including 8 mile and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

We were unsure how easy it would be to gain access to the building, as we knew that we wanted to photograph the car park, but did we park the car in there and sneak some images or just turn up at the door and see how easy it was to get in. We decided to park the car up and walk to it. We tried to find a way in, but came up against several locked gates. We finally made our way to the reception and spoke to security wondering if we would be allowed in. Amazingly before we could even ask he said, "have you come to take pictures". We felt like school kids (Pleeease). Next thing the security guard called for an escort and they took us straight to where we wanted to be, "take your time" she said and left us to it. How easy was that we said, unbelievable what luck and on my birthday.

Once inside we became in awe of the architecture surrounding us and the magnificent work on the ceiling. It seemed only appropriate that they have turned part of the building into a car park knowing that it was the birth place of Ford Motors.

Later in the day Chrissy had arranged to meet up with a couple who she had met on line through a friend. They run a group on Facebook called Creepy or Abandoned places which is Urbexing around the Detroit area. We headed back to the hotel and waited for them to arrive, which wasn’t long after. We soon headed off to the first destination which was an old engine plant. We mooched around the area and made our way up to the top of the building and started taking some images.

It was soon after that everything went downhill. I placed my camera near the edge to take an image and as I placed the camera down, the leg gave way and my camera went flying over the edge in slow motion. Gutted was an understatement. I looked over and saw it on top of a building. I literally legged it down the stairs, but couldn’t see it anywhere. The camera is on a building an about 20 foot above with no safe way to get it.

At this point I was unsure of what state the camera was in. There was no easy way to get up to this point and I started to panic, think it was more the shock. Everyone helped try to build some type of staircase up, but this wasn’t working. There were ladders attached to the wall, but they had been cut off half way up to stop people climbing them.

Luckily Joe who was with us found some wooden ladders which enabled me to gain access to the area. I still had to do some climbing, which was to say the least bit scariest, but I needed to get my camera back. It took about an hour to get the camera back and surprisingly it still worked in a fashion and had even taken a picture when it hit the deck.

The image above shows the height I needed to climb up to get my camera back. The rest of the day was spent travelling around other derelict buildings and although they were interesting, my heart wasn’t in it for the rest of the day.

It was a pleasure to meet Claire and especially Joe for whom without his help my camera would still be up on the roof, we are hopefully coming back soon so will try and meet up with them again.

Thank God the day was over and back to the hotel to sleep.