As much as we admire the beauty of nature, there’s something absolutely fascinating about exploring breathtaking attractions that are entirely human-designed. After all, marveling at these creations reminds us of our own amazing capabilities and challenges us to expand our creative limits. When you’re in the mood for some true inspiration, check out these 11 human-made wonders in Detroit.
1. Ambassador Bridge
Constructed in the late 1920s, this one-of-a-kind Detroit icon marks our city’s connection to Canada. You’ve likely driven across this blue wonder dozens of times in your life, but have you ever stopped to truly admire its design? There’s something undeniably symbolic and inspiring about crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Ontario.
2. Belle Isle Conservatory
You’ll feel as if you’ve entered a real-life fairy tale when you explore the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, which has drawn in visitors since its opening in 1904. This uniquely designed greenhouse and botanical garden houses countless tropical flowers and plants, but its lovely structure is just as appealing as the natural beauty it contains.
3. The Renaissance Center
Since its construction in the mid-1970s, the Ren Cen has gained a reputation as a true Detroit icon. After all, it’s tough to imagine a time when this compound didn’t shape the city’s skyline, and many of our favorite attractions sit within the Ren Cen itself. Whether you’re staying the night or gazing out upon downtown Detroit from an elevated restaurant, you’ll be stunned.
4. Fox Theatre
If you’ve been lucky enough to see a concert or performance inside this opulent theatre, you understand just how stunning it is. With a capacity of just over 5,000 people and a long-standing history as one of Detroit’s most wonderful venues, there’s so much to love about the Fox. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a different time as you gaze at the intricate design that surrounds you.
5. Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
Since its dedication in 1930, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has impressed generations of Detroiters and out-of-town visitors alike. Let’s face it: there’s something inherently impressive and exciting about driving through an underwater tunnel in pursuit of an international border, and our tunnel doesn’t disappoint.
6. Comerica Park
While many of us still long for the "good old days" of Tiger Stadium, we still have plenty of love for Comerica Park. This sprawling baseball stadium, which serves as a home for our beloved Detroit Tigers, first opened in 2000 and has seen all sorts of ups and downs throughout the years. No matter what the score, though, we can’t get enough of the skyline view afforded by Comerica Park’s central locale.
7. The Spirit of Detroit
It’s nearly impossible to visit this iconic statue without feeling a bit choked up about Detroit’s resilient storyline. After all, this piece of public art by Marshall Fredericks has graced our city since 1958 and has served as a constant source of pride for Detroiters of various ages.
8. Detroit Institute of Arts
You don’t have to be an art enthusiast to be amazed by the beauty of the DIA. Detroit’s gorgeous art museum holds some of the most fascinating works in the world, from historical paintings to modern sculptures. One glimpse at the DIA’s Diego Rivera mural and you’ll be completely in love with this unforgettable Detroit destination.
9. Detroit Riverfront
While the Detroit River itself can be attributed to Mother Nature, the humans of Detroit have worked tirelessly to create a peaceful and fun atmosphere along the riverfront. From the designation of Milliken State Park to the many eateries and sitting areas that dot the shoreline, there’s so much to do here - whether you’re stopping to snap a photo or simply heading out for a stroll.
10. The Guardian Building
You could spend hours gazing at the architecture and design of the Guardian Building and never truly grasp it all. Situated at 500 Griswold St. in downtown Detroit, this marvelous skyscraper combines Mayan Revival and Art Deco styles like you’ve never seen them before. Whether you work in the building or are simply passing through to admire its beauty, you’ll be deeply impressed.
11. Michigan Central Station
Yes, we realize that this once-bustling train station has spent far too many years abandoned - but its recent purchase by Ford has given Detroiters a newfound hope for its future. Despite its troubled past, the station itself was once a shining example of modern architecture, towering far into the sky and representing Detroit’s prowess as a transportation hub. We’re excited to see it instilled with new life.
Alright, Detroiters: we’ve offered up some of our favorite human-created wonders here in the Motor City. Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite non-natural locales with us in the comment section below!