This post was authored by M.J. Galbraith.Photographs by Lauren Piippo.
HGTV fans, history buffs, and architecture nerds alike descended on Corktown this Sunday for the 2012 Corktown Historical Home and Garden Tour. We shuffled together through other people's homes, which were open so that strangers could geek out over details like what year it was built and how the current owners are re-purposing original mid-19th century lumber. Even a couple mounted police officers showed up, clomping down Bagley and Leverette streets. And really, what says 1834 Detroit like having to dodge horse droppings left in the middle of the road?
This year's tour featured seven homes, two lofts, an apartment, two archaeological digs, and a guided tour of the Ponyride building, where the famous face of Slows BBQ runs a small business incubator. Phil Cooley's tour of the Ponyride was a definite highlight as he and some of the building's tenants ushered small groups from work station to work station as the craftsmen explained their denim, letterpress, and iron works businesses.
As unique as each Corktown home appears from the outside, the interiors are that much more varied. Some meld the modern with the historic while others opt for a look more in line with the building's 19th century roots. Nearly every single house, loft, and apartment did, however, have old maps and photos of Detroit in their living rooms and entryways. These people love their Detroit history, folks. Any stroll through Corktown will show how we're better off for it, too.