Photographer's Note

Opened one month ago, the new Campus Martius Park is the latest addition to the rejuvinating downtown Detroit landscape. Originally military grounds the name goes back to an Ohio military ground and, of course, all the way back to Rome's Campus Martius, the monumental field where such landmarks as the Pantheon, Horologium and Mausoleum of Augustus could be found.

This area is the point from which the original baroque plan of the city was designed to converge on. Today major streets still radiate out in a spoke pattern. Woodward Avenue moves to the northwest, Gratiot to the northeast and Grand River to the northwest. To the west Michigan Avenue begins its voyage to Chicago where it becomes the "Magnificent Mile".

After the Compuware Building was built it was decided a new park needed to be built to replace the old Campus Martius which had become cluttered with asphalt and concrete. The new park resulted in a quaint oasis in the heart of the city. In the summer it will be covered in grass and dominated by a fountain. In the winter some of the grass becomes an ice skating rink for 250 and the fountain base is the home of a tree. The Compuware Building (In a photo of Mike Chachich) dominates the square to the north with its lobby easily accessed from the square. To the east is the Steve Yzerman Mural. And to the southwest the Penobscot Building towers over the square a few blocks away.

The Penobscot was Detroit's tallest building for decades. Today it's the third tallest but it's giant neon globe still stands prominently 200 meters above the night skyline. In the winter the structure of the mast is covered in white lights so that it imitates a giant, 150 ft (50m) tall Christmas Tree high above the city.

Here in the square is the official city Christmas Tree. In the summer a 100 foot tall fountain will shoot out in place of the tree. But in the winter it is the tree surrounded by water cascading at the base. Because the water is heated it can stay on year round despite temperatures dropping well below 0 degrees celsius.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all from Detroit.

Exposure time was actually 10 seconds but it is not in the drop down menu.

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2679 W: 164 N: 2696] (7296)
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