I was riding my bicycle west on McGraw Street over the weekend. On the right, just past Livernois Avenue, is an active fire station, which is not that unusual to see. However, directly next to that station is a two-story brick building that is no longer in use. I don’t know what this old brick place was used for, but judging from the ornate medallion mounted above the door, it was a city building of some sort. It could have been a police station at onetime, or a small school perhaps.
The vintage building’s windows and doorway are now boarded up and painted on the boards are a variety of colorful murals. The bright paintings found on the plywood window coverings are hand painted headshots of people from an array of ethnic and historic backgrounds. On one of the boards there is a painting of an early settler that could be Detroit’s founder Antonie Cadillac.
Another features a Middle Eastern woman with most of her face covered by a decorative scarf. There is one painting that has the style of early Aztecs or Native Americans. Yet another looks to be a Detroit Tiger baseball player, with a featureless face that could be any player on the team past or present.
I see plenty of painted window coverings on my rides throughout the city. However these six covered windows and single doorway (with decorative arched brickwork) are quite cool. They seem to represent the city’s vast cultural heritage and Detroit’s 300 plus years of history.