How to get away from it all, right in the heart of Detroit


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Historic Fort Wayne

A visit to this sprawling, star-shaped military fort in Detroit's Delray feels not only like a trip out of town, but a trip back in time. Built on about 90 acres of land after the war of 1812, Fort Wayne once served as a line of defense for any aggression from Canada, which was under British rule. Today, it's a place for people to take in some history while viewing old military architecture that can't be found anywhere else in the region. Guided tours chronicle the various uses of the land over the years, starting with its origins as a native American burial site 1,000 years ago, through its 125 years as an army base, and its more recent use as a temporary shelter for Detroit families following the 1967 riots. Features open for visitation include the original limestone barracks building constructed in 1848, the star fort built in 1845, the restored Commanding Officers house, the Spanish-American War guard house, an ancient Native American burial mound, and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum. The complex fell into disrepair after the city came to own it several decades ago, but a renovation effort is underway. The vision for Fort Wayne's future involves renovating about 30 military buildings using them to house community and cultural organizations and other tenants.

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