Detroit, 9 March 2018

Zug Island

I have been staying in Detroit for almost two weeks now and have sent several e-mails with requests for permission to go on Zug Island – in the name of the art, of course – or to get more information about the island or the companies that have their factories on there. None of the persons in charge have answered any of my messages. Not even my official papers, my proof of residence from the Department of Education and Culture of the Canton of Zug, seemed to impress them. I am sure there are different reasons why private people like me are not allowed to enter this lot, mainly because of security. However, no response is quite unprofessional and conspicuous in my opinion. It makes me be even more curious.


Meanwhile I visit Zug Island on the map app on my iPhone, having a bird’s eye view of the island (look for the 3D-mode). You definitely have to check this out. The details are amazingly numerous the closer you zoom in. As Apple owns the copyright, I am not allowed to show you a picture of it. So, please do some little research on your own for once.

On my way to Downtown I spotted a unique bookstore. Its name is John K. King Used & Rare Books (901 West Lafayette Boulevard). That store made my day. By entering the building you plunge into a different world. It is Michigan’s largest used and rare bookstore and is completely uncomputerized. I was impressed by the knowledge of the staff  and by the way they take care of the maintenance.


Thousands and thousands of books are stored in the building. Unfortunately, we found only one single book which mentioned Zug Island. Here is picture of that page (Detroit Free Press, The Detroit Almanac, 300 years of life in the Motor City, edited by Peter Gavrilovich and Bill McGraw, 2006).
It is worth mentioning, at the time of printing in 2006 when National Steel was in charge of Zug Island, it was possible to tour the island.



John K. King Used & Rare Books

Later in the evening, I met some people in a bar. One of them is an engineer who is working in the construction industry. He allowed me to quote him, as long as I do not mention his real name. Let’s call him Gus. It was him who has also built Zug Island, he said. »I am a business man. My job is to benefit me and my shareholders. We have got some of the big power houses in this state«, Gus said. »Technically it is our job being loyal to where our money comes from.« Gus told me that his wife is working in the power industry and makes over a million dollars a year. »I make a little bit more. We have chosen to be downtown Detroit. Why in the world would anybody want to be back in downtown Detroit? Think about that.« During the week Gus and his wife stay in one of his several condos in downtown Detroit. Over the weekend they stay in Fenton, which is about 60 miles away from Detroit.

When we left the bar to go to another one, Gus showed me a building and told me it was totally abandoned not long ago. Gus and his wife have invested 40 million dollars on renovation and now own three condos in it. »Detroit is a good place to be. It’s safe. Construction is good. Life is good. Detroit is coming back very strong.«

If you fancy buying a lot or a house in Detroit, check out the following link. For just a few dollars you can buy a real estate.

Detroit Land Bank Authority – Building Detroit

Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-10 um 20.24.16

Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-10 um 20.25.17

In the second bar of that night, we met a bartender who allowed me to sound record his statement about Detroit. I would like to share an extract of his statement. By the way, he has never heard of Zug Island.

Here is a photo I found in the John K. King bookstore. There is no information on the back of it. No date, no name, nothing. I like it anyway. That’s why I bought it. It might be a picture of a boy who grew up in Detroit in the early 1900s. Maybe he was a witness of incredible growth of economy in Motor City Detroit by that time.


I finish today’s blog with a sound recording of a video which is presented in the Detroit Historical Museum. Compare that with the bartender’s statement. Isn’t it fascinating to realize that Detroit might be back again 100 years later?

Detroit Historical Museum




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