Updated 6 April
By now, you’ve probably read the press and followed the buzz on Chrysler’s two-minute epic advert during the Super Bowl. I was one of the tens of millions of viewers that caught a glimpse during the broadcast, and one of a few hundred thousand that got a slight lump in my throat.
But many viewers, including my Detroit-living self, weren’t completely aware of everything they were actually seeing during the spot. So, I figured I’d break it down frame-by-frame and offer some commentary, links, and background on all of the glorious bits of the D being showcased here.
(Note: I’ll continue to update the list until it’s complete; if you have insight on some of the empty timeslots, please let me know (either via comment or twitter) and I’ll include it.)
0:04-0:09 — I believe we’re seeing the Marathon Oil Company — or Detroit Salt — plant at Fort Street and I-75 near River Rouge. The sign for “J.L. Lasser Crane Company” was actually digitally altered — J.J. Curran Crane Company actually exists.
0:10-0:11 — Clearly on a northbound trend here: I-75 North, mile marker 44, just having crossed over the bridge past River Rouge.
0:12-0:13 — Unknown. Speculating that it’s somewhere near Wayne State’s campus because of the radio tower in the reflection of the window panes.
0:14-0:15 — The old Detroit Edison plant on Willis Avenue in Midtown.
0:16-0:17 — Unknown.
0:17-0:19 — Detroiters know this well. It’s the old flagpole from Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull in Corktown.
0:20-0:22 — Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit. The modern-looking building in the background is the Compuware Building.
0:23-0:25 — Unknown, but I *think* they’re heading toward the Wayne County Building on Randolph Street, Downtown Detroit.
0:26 — Unknown. Somewhere in the vicinity of the People Mover.
0:27-0:32 — Monument to Joe Louis, located at Jefferson and Woodward, near Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit.
0:33-0:35 — Diego Rivera’s famous fresco, Detroit Industry, found at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Midtown.
0:36-0:37 — Unknown.
0:38-0:41 — The Penobscot Building near Campus Martius. At the time of its completion (1928) until 1977, it was the tallest building in the city. (Thanks, Russ Hickson!)
0:44-0:46 — Marshall Fredericks’ Spirit of Detroit, Woodward Avenue, Downtown Detroit.
0:47 — Eminem’s bling. (Any coincidence to the fact that the previous clip was of a sculpture designed by a guy named Marshall?)
0:48-0:49 — St. Josaphat Church at I-75 and Warren.
0:50-0:51 — Unknown.
0:52-0:53 — Unknown. I’ve been looking all over the internets, trying to figure out which Detroit-area high school has the Fighting Aces as a mascot. Thoughts?
0:54-0:58. Yep, that’s Metro Detroit’s very own Alissa Czisny, US National Champion figure skater, showing off her stuff at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit.
1:00-1:01 — Unknown. Possibly on Woodward by the Shops at Kresge?
1:02 — Looks like that dude’s crossing at Congress and Woodward in Downtown Detroit.
1:03-1:05 — On the bridge to Belle Isle.
1:08-1:09 — Unknown.
1:10 — Unknown.
1:19-1:20 — Unknown.
1:22-End — Fox Theatre, Foxtown. An icon of the city, a staple of the Motown movement. The choir selected for the commercial is the “Selected of God” repertoire; they apparently were selected in a nationwide competition.
For those that claim Detroit is a city devoid of character, look no further than the twenty-eight incredibly diverse venues listed here. From this, fires that create steel were borne.