Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Beauty Along the Flint River

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The Flint River water crisis was still nearly three years into the future when I made these images of the Flint River in downtown Flint, Michigan.

For years the Flint River has been one of the most polluted in the state as a result of decades of dumping industrial waste into it.

Then the waterway made national news in 2014 when Flint began drawing its drinking water from the river. News stories told of high levels of lead in the blood of children and residents were given bottled water to drink.

The top photograph shows Riverfront Center, which is now part of the University of Michigan-Flint complex along on the Flint River.

The 16-story building has academic space, student housing and banquet/conference facilities. Owned by the Upton Reinvestment Corporation, it was donated to UM in 2015.

Prior to that UM had been using the building, which houses the business school. Upton had purchased the building in 2009. It had been built in 1981 as a Hyatt Regency Hotel and soon became a landmark building in downtown Flint.

The bottom photograph shows the Garland Street-Beach Street bridge over the river in downtown. The building in the distance is the Northbank Center on the UM campus.

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