God and Automobiles

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This is the memorable and ironic view that greets every motorist traveling south on I-75 towards downtown. Thousands of these motorists are surely suburban GM workers on their way to work every day, and the irony of this chance alignment is hopefully not lost on them. In the background, the Renaissance Center, Detroit's tallest building and GM World Headquarters. In the foreground, St. Josaphat, a 105-year old still-functioning relic from Detroit's heyday. Detroit is the Motor City, but the sins committed here cannot be forgotten or forgiven--from the hundreds of murders every year to the construction of a freeway system that divided and destroyed vibrant and working neighborhoods. Hopefully this image will one day have different associations.

For me, it is a powerful view that is quintessentially Detroit. I'm sure it's been photographed hundreds of times, but the balance and contrast between Detroit's largest and most infamous glass skyscraper, a struggling community church, and the freeway that cut a swath across the city and acted as a runway for white flighters provides me with endless fascination. I hope you will find it equally stimulating.

#7 in explore with 13,300+ views. Thanks everyone!

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  1. Su ._. 90 months ago | reply

    nossa que lindo!!! :0

  2. ***Achilles*** [deleted] 89 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Nation Of Domination. (We Rule The Universe), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  3. Tony Carlos Br 88 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Flickr Hive Mind, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Search tag ... Detroit

  4. tyeve 85 months ago | reply



    If you accept this invitation please award other images in the group pool.

  5. scottdunn 85 months ago | reply

    Nice line up.

  6. farlane 84 months ago | reply

    Hey Geoff - featuring this on The Cutting Room Floor on Michigan in Pictures along with Colleen Hill's great feature on you from Generation Y Michigan.

    Thanks for adding to the Absolute Michigan pool!

  7. joeldinda 84 months ago | reply

    Terrific photo, and a powerful commentary. Thanks.

  8. Michael Lavander 82 months ago | reply

    Wow, sweet image. Great light on the buildings.

  9. Trovarsi 80 months ago | reply

    I have planned to take this photo hundreds of times and never made it happen...you did a great job putting meaning to the already powerful image. Great capture and commentary.

  10. Not-the-average-Joe 79 months ago | reply

    Best illustration for Motor Town.

  11. Michael Greenlee 75 months ago | reply

    I've been wanting to line up this very shot. Glad I'm not the only one who sees it this way.

  12. 1stMate 74 months ago | reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this pic! AND ALL YOUR WORK! ~Jeannine!

  13. PlagueX1 74 months ago | reply

    Stunning. Actually makes Detroit look real good.

  14. Emotioned.com 68 months ago | reply

    We are working on a monthly travel and adventure sport competition, all winning entries will be published in an online magazine. Judge panel will selected from Flickr.

    There are 3 parts of the competition, 2 parts are currently under development:

    A Flick group called : www.flickr.com/groups/emotioned/

  15. Yannick Rival [deleted] 56 months ago | reply

    Brilliant photo, be sure to check out my stream :) .

  16. dlwarden 44 months ago | reply

    Love the picture, and the comment you added. I've had the same thoughts but your words were much more eloquently written.

  17. Cat Man! 30 months ago | reply

    Faved in your photostream.

  18. DoItHerself Diva 7 months ago | reply

    St Josaphat is the church that started My love affair with Church Architecture..I especially love that as Your heading Southbound on I-75,Into the Downtown District,St Josaphat is on Your right-hand side with all of It's massive steeples.But if You look to the left,of the freeway,There is a smaller Church that is similar & looks like it's little Sister (I don't know the smaller church's name or denomination)
    I also know that St Josaphat was/is trying to raise funds to "save The Steeples".From what I was told when I was solicited funds,The Church is falling apart.I am not sure why The Catholic Archdiocese doesn't repair it. I believe it's on the historic registry or something.I am not Catholic,So I'm not 100% sure,of historical significance.I just know that as a Child,My Parents owned a restaurant off Woodard Ave & I know when I'd see St Josaphat,That We were almost Home.That started My admiration with The Church.But I think I read somewhere that it's on the National Registry for either age or because it was a stop on The Underground Railroad.Something like that.I just know for sure they were trying to raise money to repair the steeples & I donated what I could afford at the time.That was last year.Not even sure if the fundraising is still a current goal or if They reached it.

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