The old post office in Saginaw, Michigan is known as the ‘Castle’ post office, with good reason. It was built at a time when the government was trying to build government buildings which reflected the history of the area in which it was built. Saginaw was founded by French Voyageurs so the post office was built in the style of a French chateau. The program didn’t last long. It was scrapped after the first building because it was too expensive. Saginaw did get a nice post office out of the deal, however.
couple of weeks ago I ventured over to the west side of MIchigan in search of something different to shoot. I found some interesting subjects and headed back home. I hadn’t had any lunch, so on the way home I decided to stop and get some food. The weather was kind of snowy and the roads were a bit of a mess so my intention was to get a quick lunch and head back on to the highway. I saw a sign for a fast food restaurant so I thought I would get off and grab a bite to eat. Normally these restaurants are right at the exit so you can get off, eat and get back on. However, when I got off at this particular exit, I found out that the restaurant was about 5 miles north of the highway. I debated for a bit about just getting back on and going to the next location, but finally decided to just put in the little extra time since I was already off the highway. On my way up the road I passed by this old church. I thought it had some interesting character so I decided after I had my lunch I would come back and take some shots.
I’ve been posting a lot of grungy, dark images the past few days and I decided it was time to do something a little more colorful. I took this shot in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2009 and its been sitting in my ‘blog possibilities’ collection for a while so I decided to trot it out. The image shows the Acme Mercantile store on Liberty Street. The store has all sorts of interesting items for sale. I took this shot on a walk I took around town focusing primarily on using my ultra-wide angle lens (7-14 Digital Zuiko 2x crop factor). The image was produced as an HDR from 5 exposures, with some additional processing.
Here’s another shot to show you that not everything in Saginaw is in a decaying state. This building is known as ‘The Castle’ and currently houses the Saginaw Castle Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of Saginaw County. The building was built originally as a U.S. Post Office. According to some information I found on the web, the post office was built in 1897 as part of a government program to make government buildings reflect the history of the town where they were built. In this case, the post office was created to look like a French chateau to reflect the fact that the city of Saginaw was established by French Voyageurs. Apparently this government program was too expensive (gee, you think) and was scrapped after the first building was completed. This building sits right behind the Hoyt Library.
Anyone who grew up in Saginaw or spent any time living in the area, is probably familiar with the neon bunny on top of the Michigan Bean elevator. The lighted bunny has been a Saginaw fixture since it was first illuminated in 1947. From what I’ve read, the elevator is no longer in operation and the sign went dark in 1985. Fortunately a preservationist named Thomas Mudd, with support from Altrusa International obtained funding to get the sign lit once again in 1997.
Yesterday’s image showed the old Pere Marquette train station on Potter Street in Saginaw, Michigan. This shot was also taken on Potter Street, but shows an interesting building across the street from the station. The train station was built in 1881 and if you look at this picture, you will see that this building was built shortly thereafter in 1892. Looks like it would have been an interesting building in it’s day. I find the arched window area to be quite interesting. What I don’t understand is the ‘Car Wash’ references. Perhaps there is (was) something around back (I didn’t wander back to look). Another interesting aspect of the building is the yellow sign on the front of the building. It might be hard to read on the web page, but it says “Saginaw Arson Watch 2007 – This house is being watched, and so are you!!” This isn’t too surprising, in 1991 the train station was significantly damaged by a fire set by an arsonist.
The image above is the old Pere Marquette train station located on Potter Street. Like many train stations in the midwest, this one is just rotting away. A few years ago there were people who were trying to find ways to restore the station, but I’m don’t know whether anyone is still trying. The station sits in one of the worst parts of Saginaw. It’s not a place that would tend to attract a lot of people and I just can’t see anyone investing money in this place unless the surrounding neighborhood was also improved. It’s a shame because the building is really quite nice.
f you have been following my blog for any length of time you should know by now that I enjoy photographing mechanical things. There is something about old, analog technology which I find fascinating. Perhaps it’s the texture of old metal, perhaps it’s the color, and sometimes it’s just the shear size of the thing. This object in this image had all of those things. This picture was taken at theHenry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The museum has a great section of large generators and steam driven machines and every time I visit there I’m drawn to that area. I don’t recall exactly what this picture is showing, I just remember really liking the way the gears looked.
Posted under Greenfield Village
One of the best things about living in Michigan is when you get a warm, indian summer day in late October. The sun is starting to hang a bit lower in the sky and the afternoon light is terrific, particularly when coupled with blue sky and red or yellow leaves on the trees. Last weekend I spent an afternoon at Greenfield Village and the day just got better as the day went on. It was getting close to closing time at the museum and I was walking toward the entrance when I passed by the quarter-size replica of Ford’s original Mack Ave. plant. Something about the light on the building, the leaves in the tree and the clouds in the sky just compelled me to take this shot. I popped on my rental 16mm fisheye and set up my tripod to capture shots for an HDR image.