Friday, August 07, 2009

Cass Tech to be Demolished

DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb mentioned today on "Inside Detroit" that the district will be using stimulus money to demolish the Old Cass Tech building. Alumni previously stepped in to forestall demolition plans when the new high school was completed. However, no redevelopment plans have ever been put forth and this time around the school's fate seems sealed.


The Loosh said...

This is lame. Cass Tech is one of the tallest high schools in the country, and really beautiful in its own right. Seems like the stimulus package should be used to make progress, not regression.

Anonymous said...

As a graduate of Cass Tech, I have mixed emotions about this plan. The old building is dear to my heart, but it is also an eyesore at this point. Without some type of renovation SOON, tearing it down may be the best course of action. The current students deserve better than to have a neglected building so close to the new facility. Hopefully, DPS will use the land to benefit Cass Tech students in some way.

A dubs said...

I agree, I have mixed emotions about it as well. The state that it is in right now is pretty sad. If no one has a plan to renovate it, it does need to come down. It's becoming a safety issue for the students.

Greenfield said...

Let me guess, this is going to be replaced by a "grassy pocket park", huh? lol

A dubs said...

I heard baseball and softball fields.

Rich E said...

Perhaps some of those same alum who so passionately fought to "SAVE" the old building (many of which pressed to have it replaced with the new monstrousity) could come up with a plan to renovate it into something useable. Maybe the best and brightest of Cass Tech grads who love the building so much, can do volenteer shifts guarding it from the parade of homeless, vandals, scrappers, graffiti "artists" and urban "explorers" that have no problem entering the building at will. If there is that much "love" for it than come up with a plan and put your money where your heart is.
I am all in favor of saving historic structures and beutiful historic buildings. I can see both Cass Tech buildings from my apartment, and love the old buildings character. But that character is being chipped away daily, with no effort on the part of DPS or the alumni association to keep it from happening.
The reality is that many of the alumni are doing pretty well in life now (former mayors, motown stars, sports figures, ceo's and business people). They could put their collective assets to good use and do something about the buildings condition, but they don't. Leaving the status quo only delays the inevitable insuring that those of us who live in this neighborhood have to watch the building and surrounding area erode because of the idealized fondness of alumni who don't have to live with their obstructionism. At least those who loved old Tiger Stadium put their money where their hearts were.
So to those who want to keep it around so much can PUT UP OR SHUT UP.
And maybe the land could be used to create a drop off pick up for students whose parents park 5 wide on 2nd ave and Ledyard Sts. (completely blocking traffic)to prevent their precious kids from having to walk "god forbid" a block and a half to get in the car. You know the kids that currently go to Cass, and have to watch the building rot on a daily basis, that will be their "fond" memories of the old Cass.

Cass Tech Junior said...

As a current Cass Tech student, I think it's about time they tear this building down. I can understand why the alumni has mixed feelings about this and I really think instead of building a new school, they could have just fixed the old one. DPS complains about not having any money, well if they hadn't wasted it on useless things then we probably wouldn't have to buy our own textbooks for AP English now.

JL said...

Wow. All I can really say is wow. First at the fact that there are current students who have to purchase their own textbooks. I am a proud graduate of the class of 2005, the last class to be in the building. And I'm one of the individuals who has mixed feelings. Mostly because if I were in the financial position, I would indeed devote a significant amount of time to determining and planning an appropriate use for such a beautiful building. I just watched a number of YouTube videos of what the building looks like now and I'm terribly distraught by the reality. I can't help but recognize that unfortunately, it should come down. Yet, I'm disappointed in the folks who talked about fighting so hard to keep it. They were TALKING about this concept in 2003 when I was a junior in high school.

The plans were torn from the beginning. When the designs initially became public, that's when the controversy about the fate of the old building began. In the blueprints, the space where the building is now was drawn out to be baseball and softball diamonds. And from the looks of it, despite all the conversation...that's exactly what it will become.

I'm tired of this in our country, though. We tear down our quality buildings that stand at being nearly a century old with solid infrastructure and replace them with our mediocre construction that will be lucky to last fifty years. When I was in high school, the conversation was that this building cost the city $120 million. Those dollars were allocated to build new, because it was believed that it would take more than that to renovate the old building. I know I didn't see the feasibility study, but for some reason, I just find that very difficult to believe.

Anonymous said...

David, 1967 grad...It's often sad to see a physical part of one's past disappear, especially a positive part. But let us remember the living products of that grand old building are living and producing all over the world. Our days there will remain forever enshrined in our minds as we grow older, and that...will never be demolished. Hail and farewell to the old CTHS, just as others bid the old Commerce High School that was once right next door.

Anonymous said...

To David '67. I bet you'll never return to read this, but here goes:

I'm sorry you're feeling morose over your lost childhood.

I'm sorry that you moved on to "better things" and probably don't even live anywhere near this rotting corpse.

I'm sorry that you probably will never choose to do anything to help "the old neighborhood".

I'm sorry that you don't care about the people who have to live and suffer here (probably because you're white).

I'm sorry that you moved out of the city "that you love" out of fear of blacks.

I love Detroit too. But I don't go on sites like this and do nothing. Get after the DPS for screwing up. Tell Mayor Bing (bet you didn't even know who the mayor was) to tear down all these buildings.

Detroit needs to quit being a "Renaissance" city and start all over again. A good start would be to let Devil's night be every night - with controlled burns of rotten abandoned homes and buildings. There's not enough money to hire demolition companies.

If the military came in with flamethrowers and napalm, it would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Renaissance means to be reborn and start again.

Detroit IS the renaissnace city.

It deserves to be.

The city will rise and thrive again once people realize that VIOLENCE and the destruction of historical buildings is not the way to save anything.

Im sorry that you feel it is your place to ad-lib for someone else's thoughts.

"fear of Blacks" you wish. (probably cause your black.) p.s. you deserve that. this is online you dont know who David is or what he looks like. Get off your high horse and join the rest of the population who are moving past racial and sexual differences.

Im sorry that you dont have "better things" to do other that bash on a mans past.

yes, destroy rotting and dangerous buildings that is about the only thing i agree to. Not buy burning and bombs, this isnt a third world county. Get real.

Enjoy the city, save the city.


Jana McNair said...

Detroit is in no position anymore to be worring about saving all the old historic buildings, look at the Train Station! This city has SO MANY MORE issues. It breaks my heart to see beautiful structures go to ruins but it also breaks my heart to see all the mentally ill homeless that have nowhere to go, a failing school district and poverty. Maybe we should invest our money and ideas into plans to help people not buildings. I think that Detroit is beyond being able to make arguments for saving structures, the fundamental structure of the city itself needs attention.

Anonymous said...


Consider this, there is a reason we travel to architectural meccas e.g.rome, barcelona, paris, delphi. Those places maintain there physical history, architecture and are not solely reliant on an ephemeral history of story telling.

In additon to the stories that can be told about a place, the original cass building (excluding the pathetic addition) WAS a solid and teachable piece of architecure.

My simple point is that we should value the history our buildings contain enough so that the design brief for the current and newer building should have been tethered (like an ambilical cord) to the future use of ole cass tech.

As a design professional, i think the creative folks consulting dps could have found a creative way to at a minimum keep the exterior shell of the building and maybe creating some magestic convocation center inside.

think crystal palace.

**De'ja Karmyn-Joyce** said...

I am a 2006 Cass Technician and I just think that the building was a historical building in the city and should not have been torn down, but then again with all the rubish and decay the building was going into the pits anyway. I don't know.. I guess my feelings are mixed just like everyone else. It is just going to seem weird to ride pass and not see my high school anymore. We can't tear down memories and thats what makes the building so special.

Admin said...

It's a shame to see another historical building go, but like Jana said a few posts back, Detroit has it's hands full already. I was browsing through youtube videos earlier and I came across this Detroit video. It shows the worst areas in Detroit and the extent of the destruction, and it's just incredible.

A Tour Of Detroit's Ghetto: Part 4