Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tourist Time

See the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet! Or, more appropriately for today, a Ford.

This first photo features the Ford Rotunda in Dearborn, Michigan. This building had it's origins at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair; at the Fair's end, it was moved and rebuilt with more permanent materials in Dearborn, and opened on May 14, 1936. It was intended to resemble a stack of gears. Inside were murals and changing exhibits, and it served as a gateway for tours of Ford's River Rouge plant. The Rotunda closed during WWII, and did not reopen to the public until June 16, 1953, in celebration of Ford's 50th anniversary. That explains the 50 giant candles atop the building in this picture! Sadly, this building was destroyed by a fire in 1962.

This lady in pink is posing in front of the magnificent Niagara Falls. Formed by the same glacial forces that created the Great Lakes (a mere 10,000 years ago), Niagara Falls straddles the border between the United States and Canada, and consists of three separate cataracts; Horseshoe Falls (in Canada), American Falls (guess where!), and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls, also in America. Over 6 million cubic feet of water falls over the crest of these cascades each minute! Erosion causes the falls to recede by about one foot each year, and it is said that in 50,000 years they will cease to exist. So you'd better hurry!

I hope you've enjoyed your mini-tour!


Nanook said...

WOW-! The Ford Rotunda is quite the stunner. Too bad it's no longer here to ogle over.

Now I finally have the answer as to why my last visit to Niagara Falls was less than satisfying: I wasn't wearing my hat-! (Note to self for my next visit there).

Rich T. said...

I've never seen that magnificent Ford building before. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sad to read that the Rotunda burned down in 1962. I guess when you celebrate a birthday using 40ft candles (and you know your older brother will sneak in a couple of those sparkler candles that don't blow out while you are trying to make a wish) you can expect the fire department to get a call 9 years later.

Bill in Denver

Snow White Archive said...

I want one of those hats in the 2nd pic...and one of those cars in the 1st.

Surprised to hear it was destroyed by fire. Looks fairly bombproof from the outside.

Melissa said...


Speaking of hats, I would LOVE one shaped like that Ford building.

outsidetheberm said...

While not as grand, the Ford Rotunda from the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego still stands in Balboa Park. In part based on this structure, it's an impressive building on its own.

Worth a visit!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I tried wearing a hat for a while, but it just didn't seem to work for me. Maybe I needed the rumpled gray suit as well!

Rich T., you're welcome!

Bill, my mom is always the one who sneaks in those trick candles.

Snow White Archive, apparently the fire was a result of some roofing tar that was being warmed over an open flame, catching fire, and nobody noticing until it was way too late. Such a shame.

Melissa, are you a Canuck (perhaps an ex-pat)? Or is Niagara County in New York? If only there was such a thing as the internet to look up such things. As for hats, my Devo energy dome is close enough to the Ford Rotunda for me!

ousidetheberm, I was not aware of the building in Balboa Park, I'll have to check it out someday. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That Ford building is so amazing. So dynamic and beautiful. Wish it was still there.
Gents, those hats are still available! I recently bought one. I must admit I do look rather snazzy.