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Old Posted Aug 18, 2019, 10:07 PM
robk1982 robk1982 is offline
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Flint, MI - Back to the Bricks 2019

Back to the Bricks is a weeklong celebration of classic cars in Genesee County. The culmination is the car show on Saturday in downtown Flint. The weather was perfect, the cars were awesome, and downtown Flint looked beautiful. There are still a few empty storefronts and a few too many parking lots, but it is a far cry from where it was 10 years ago.

Hope you enjoy a walk down Saginaw Street along the Bricks, along with some commentary about the history and renovations of some of these buildings!

A few blocks west of Saginaw St. is where you find the headquarters of the Durant Dort Carriage Company, and Factory One - the birthplace of General Motors. GM purchased Factory One in 2013, and it now houses modern conference space and Kettering University's Archive.

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Walking towards downtown, you can see the cluster of buildings north of the river.
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The Durant Hotel (left) was built in 1919, but closed in 1973. It was renovated and turned into luxury apartments in 2010. It's been fully occupied since. The Northbank Center was built in 1922, and I don't think it was ever vacant. The University of Michigan-Flint has owned it since 1997.
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Detroit is the Motor City. Flint is the Vehicle City. The arches along Saginaw Street were put up in 2002, and are replicas of ones that existed from 1899-1919.
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Looking south
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The first building on the right was originally the Hyatt Recency Hotel, built in 1981 along with the infamous AutoWorld Theme Park. After a few different owners, it was donated to UM-Flint in 2015 and now is used as a dorm, banquet center, and houses the University's Business School
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The building in the background is known as "The Pavillion". It was in 1985, but was a flop, and UM-Flint took ownership in 1991. It houses the University's bookstore, a few restaurants, some offices, and an outdoor ice skating rink.
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The Flint City Bucks (USL2 Soccer League) just won the national championship. They just completed their first year of playing in Flint at Atwood Stadium.
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A variety of old Michigan license plates
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The first two buildings on the right were both part of the Citizens Bank headquarters. UM-Flint purchased the North building (built in 1974) in 2015. The South Building was built in 1928, and includes the famous weather ball.
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A few buildings down is the old Genesee County Savings Bank building. It has been empty for 20 years, and is currently under renovation to become a Hilton Garden hotel.
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The Genesys Health Center was opened in 2013. Other shops along this block, Mad Hatter and J. London's, have been around through thick and thin.
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Statues of the GM founders were erected in 2013.
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New artwork on Hoffman's.
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The Genesee County Land Bank bought the building on the right and renovated it in 2003. The CRIM foundation also is headquartered there. The building on the left was renovated for lofts in 2007.
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Continuing south along Saginaw Street, you can't help but look up at the beautiful Mott Foundation Building, home to the CS Mott Foundation.
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Across the street, the buildings on the far right were renovated for restaurant space in 2013. The other building with the mural on the facade is the Metropolis Building. I've keep hoping someday it will be renovated.
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ROWE Engineerings headquarters. The renovation involved combining 3 buildings into one, and the was a major structural collapse during the project which set the project completion back 3 years. It opened in 2010.
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Next to ROWE is the new Mott Culinary Arts Institute. It just opened this year, and involved renovating the old Woolworth Building which was vacant since the 1970's!!
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Looking across the street at the newly renovated Capitol Theatre. It reopened in 2017 after being vacant for 20 years. The building on the left is the Wade Trim building, which opened in 2008.
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Directly south of the MCC Culinary Arts building is the new ELGA Credit Union. This building was a Perry Drugstore, but had also been vacant for decades.
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The Dryden Building and the Ferris Wheel Building (formerly Ferris Brothers Furs). Both recently renovated by the same owner, with the focus being on small businesses and bringing ideas to life.
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Continuing south. Paul's Pipe Shop is a fixture in Flint. The building next door was supposed to be a Biggby's Coffee, but they never finished the renovation.
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Cork on Saginaw opened in 2010
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In front of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
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Across the street is First Presbyterian Church
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Next to St. Paul's is the Masonic Temple.
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The old Peerless Mattress store - now housing the Greater Flint Arts Council.
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Across the street is the Phoenix Building, home to the YWCA, Mott-Warsh Gallery, and some other businesses.
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In front of the County Courthouse
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And lastly, in front of Flint City Hall. No cars, but there is a statue and plaque commemorating the auto workers throughout the ages.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2019, 2:38 PM
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I like to see a place that could use some love getting it.
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Old Posted Aug 19, 2019, 3:21 PM
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Old Posted Aug 19, 2019, 9:32 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Glad to see what's happening there
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2019, 11:35 PM
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Thanks for the photos! I was recently talking to someone from Illinois who works for the EPA and was recently in Flint. He had nothing but positive things to say about downtown and said he was surprised at how lively and intact it was. We brought up how Gary, Indiana and Flint have faced many similar obstacles - falling from a high of 200k to just under 100k now, the loss of industrial jobs, etc - and how Flint is miles ahead of Gary in terms of revitalization.

I think anyone who has never been to Flint would be pleasantly surprised at downtown's appearance.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 12:31 AM
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Murphy de la Sucre Murphy de la Sucre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitSky View Post
Thanks for the photos! I was recently talking to someone from Illinois who works for the EPA and was recently in Flint. He had nothing but positive things to say about downtown and said he was surprised at how lively and intact it was. We brought up how Gary, Indiana and Flint have faced many similar obstacles - falling from a high of 200k to just under 100k now, the loss of industrial jobs, etc - and how Flint is miles ahead of Gary in terms of revitalization.

I think anyone who has never been to Flint would be pleasantly surprised at downtown's appearance.
Really looking forward to the rise of Gary, really.
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2019, 10:49 PM
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Very cool! Thanks for the dose of reality that exists outside of the media.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 9:48 PM
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Thank you for the thorough tour, nice to see it looking vibrant.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 10:06 PM
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This renovation turned out very well.

BTW, appreciate all of the commentary on each photo to give people the idea of both the distant and modern history of the structures. Central Flint has come pretty far in just the last decade, quite honestly. I remember even going downtown for the first time in the early 00's being quite impressed.
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