Michigan - Belle Isle Park

Belle Isle Park

Somewhat road related, but these bridges are for pedestrians. Even the road bridge's decorative railing isn't related to the vehicular function. The island is extraordinarily nicely restored for a city with so many problems.

Fun facts as you drive around. But I want to stop.

First stop, James Scott, who bequeathed his fortune to construct This Fountain in 1923. Well, that's gotta be some fountain if it cost his entire fortune.

Here's one approach to the fountain to end all fountains. Everything's in marble, and parts are gilded. That'll sure cost you. Of course at one time the angry heads, angry fish, and miniature angry lions were all fountains themselves, resulting in a cascade of water between the stairs. I think the little black things in the middle are angry frogs. Why so angry?

Angry head closeups. I don't think the fish was intended to be multicolored - just mineral stains from years of use. It's a pretty effect, though. On fanatically close inspection, it doesn't look as angry anymore, although it looks rather duckbilled.

Parts of the fountain that actually work. There are a ton of faces in this thing of all sorts, so many it becomes a game to try to spot them all. The last photo had a number of intriguing facets to it so I broke it down bit by bit:

From bottom to top, a look at some of the many faces. The Pegasi are not urinating, those are baby frogs between their legs. It's hard to find an angle that's not suggestive.

A different gargantuan, well situated fountain. I never got to check out whose fortune built this one.

To the right of that fountain, you saw a Spanish-style building with a red roof. Here it is - the old casino. Unfortunately, you're not allowed inside, but that doesn't stop me from having photos there anyway.

The quasi-Greek theme from the fountains continues into the casino, which was built in 1908 and isn't a casino in the modern sense, but rather a center for public events. It's in shining condition and still hosts events today - for example, it can be booked for weddings. Things were fairly empty and quiet when I was in there (but not completely), so if anything was going on that day, it was much later on, or else a cleanup from the night before.

Some of my favorite details are on the otherwise pedestrian second floor.

Old-typeface plaque on the exterior.

Guess where.

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