Not too long ago, I joined Ford on an adventure in Motor City. For Day 1 of my journey, check out my last post. Our second day in Detroit was just as jam-packed with activities and excitement.
Now, one thing you may not know about Detroit is the fact that is it has tons of rich architecture. During our trip, we were actually lucky enough to be staying at one of the most notable architectural heritage sites in Detroit, the David Whitney Building. When entering the Whitney Building, the off white neo-Renaissance skyscraper has a four-story atrium lobby constructed with wall-to-wall marble. Walking out of my room in the morning to this magnificent view was just breathtaking.
As we toured down Woodward avenue, (which is the world’s first paved road!) it was easy to see how much the roaring 20s influenced Detroit’s building designs. From the art deco inspiration to the extravagant details on every structure, living in Detroit at that time must have felt like you were living in the Great Gatsby.
Another standout of the tour was the Guardian Building. This colorful building has depictions of Native Americans along the wall, which was inspired by post war patriotism.
Our next stop was to Dearborn, Michigan to visit Ford Motor Company’s headquarters to see how innovative technology is changing the way they operate. 3D printing is something Ford truly believes is the future of the automotive industry and for that reason invested in a large Stratasys Infinite Build 3D printer.
Currently, Ford is testing this latest innovation on creating parts for prototypes, but soon they will be using them in racing vehicles and possibly in production cars! The main reasoning behind their research is to create fuel efficient vehicles that are lighter in weight and more cost efficient. I also found it intriguing that Ford is also using 3D printing to create customized parts for customers. Can you image designing your own vehicle like you would a suit?!
My personal highlight at Ford had to be taking a look at the secret design lab for the Ford GT. Chris Svensson, Design Director at Ford, and his team spent close to two years in a secret room on the Ford grounds creating a vehicle that could compare with the world’s best. Listening to the various thought process that went into making the GT not only look sleek, but also perform well, was truly fascinating.
The last stop on our trip was to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. As I perused the halls of the museum and the various vintage automobiles, I came across a couple of iconic items that I am truly honored I got to witnessed with my own eyes. First up was the presidential vehicle that John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated back in November of 1963. JFK has been such an iconic figure and inspiration for myself personally and seeing the very vehicle where he took his last breath was something I will never forget.
I also had the privilege to see the bus that Rosa Parks was arrested on back in 1955 and was truly honored to sit in the same seat she did all those years ago. I find it outrageous that it has been 62 years since the incident and that we still face these racial issues in our society today. Lastly, I also got to view the chair that President Abraham Lincoln was shot in back 1865.
Overall, I had a wonderful time in Detroit and it was was truly amazing to experience a city that has such rich history combined with loads of potential. Thanks again to Ford Motor Company for taking me on this adventure!