Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Ford Auditorium Renovation That Wasn't

It was revealed in today's indictments that there was a plan in place back in 2003 for a theater developer to purchase Ford Auditorium from the city and renovate it.

Derrick Miller was the point man for the city on the deal and is said to have like the offer. Following the meetings the developer commissioned artist renderings, developed a renovation proposal and obtained insurance quotes and an assessment on asbestos removal for the renovation.

After a great deal of time and money was spent on the proposal, Miller and the developer met again. At this meeting the developer was told that he needed to hire Bernard Kilpatrick in order to complete the deal with the city. The developer refused and deal collapsed.

Friday, December 03, 2010

10th Annual Broderick Tower Restoration Article: Deal pending to turn Broderick Tower into apartments

The Free Press is reporting this afternoon that a deal will close within the next week to finance the conversion of the Broderick Tower into 120 apartments.  The upper floors, with views of Comerica Park, are expected to be some of the most expensive rentals in Downtown Detroit.

For years now Michael Higgins or Fred Beal have declared that renovations are just around the corner so take this news with a grain of salt.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Does the Castle Building Have Secrets?

There seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding fire and the immediate demolition of the Luben Apartments.

At first, one would assume that this fire was not unlike other house fires in the neighborhood.  Perhaps a squatter started a fire inside to keep warm, fell asleep and a stray ember ignited a floorboard?  There has been talk of two people living in the back of the building for the past few weeks, which is where the blaze appears to have started, so that theory sounds plausible.

However, I heard another rumor on the scene today.  Supposedly, the building was purchased recently with the intention of rehabilitating it but the owner went bankrupt.

The speed and manor in which the building was leveled is what is raising the most questions.  The demolition team was already on the scene before the fire department had even left.  Despite vigorous protests by neighborhood residents, the fire department insisted that the building had to be taken down to protect arson investigators that would return at a later date.

Armed police were on the scene while neighbors shouted at the demolition company.  Dust supression was not used to prevent asbestos and other particles from becoming airborne.  Apparently this job had to be done fast!  Only the front of the building was ordered to be demolished.  The facade was the only architecturally interesting feature of the building. Naturally, being seen as the only justification for saving the building, that was the first section to be toppled.  The rear of the building remains standing and the rubble is still burning.

Was this an unfortunate accident, an insurance claim, or some sort of land clearance?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Castle no More

Brush Park suffered another loss this evening.  Luben Apartments, my favorite of all of the remaining buildings in the neighborhood that have not been rehabbed,  has been demolished by the city.

A fire, probably caused by squatters, broke out early Sunday morning destroying a large portion of the early 20th century structure.  DFD officials claimed that the building needed to be demolished in order to protect arson investigators that will be looking into the cause of the fire.  *Photos ASAP*

Detroit Funk's Coverage

Friday, October 08, 2010

Detroit 1-8-7 Scene By Scene: Nobody's Home/Unknown Soldier

This week after I noticed a home in the cultural district cut into a sequence that took place in Brush Park, I decide to go through my archives and try to match ABC's shots scene by scene.

William Milliken State Park
William Milliken State Park
John J. Owen House (Incidentally, Fredrick Street is NOT in Brush Park)

263 Edmund, Brush Park
287 Alfred, Brush Park
Brush Park
Patterson Terrace, Brush Park
Atwater Block Brewery
Franklin Street/Dequindre Cut

Friday, September 24, 2010

Plan B for Globe Trading Company Complex

William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor has received a $25,000 grant from Coca-Cola, the American Parks Foundation and the National Park Foundation. The money will be used to turn the Globe Trading Company building into a 17,000 square-foot play area.

Instead of converting the space into market-rate condominiums and retail space, the building will contain a rock climbing wall, playscape, obstacle course and a state-of-the-art archery range.

It remains to be seen where the additional funds needed to complete this project will come from.


It turns out that the plan only calls for a portion of the building to be used for the playscape. A private developer will develope the rest. has posted a few renderings of the  building developed by the DNRE.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Spaulding Court Revival

You may remember last fall that Faded Detroit pointed out the clean-up work going on at the neglected Spaulding Court apartment complex in Corktown. In August crews began doing renovation work at the site. They plan on rehabilitating two apartments at a time.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

All that Remains

The Lafayette Building is no more.  Welcome to your new pocket park to be named later.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dumping Ground

Now it can be revealed. The real reason the Statler Hotel was demolished was to provide a staging area for big budgeted Hollywood films. As was the case with Red Dawn, the Statler site is being used to store movie props and fake debris for Transformers 3.  It's a same they could not have used one of the Macedonian parking cartels fenced in lots instead.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Following upon the presumed theft of  the bronze Edwin Denby plaque from the Brodhead Armory, scrappers might be at it again.  Today I noticed that the Dedication Plaque to the "Gateway to Freedom" sculpture at Hart Plaza is missing.  The sculpture is a memorial to the Underground Railroad and has a companion piece entitled "Tower of Freedom" which is located in Windsor.

Maybe, the plaque is being repaired or replaced and was not scrapped.  However, things being what they are right now, I am not all that hopeful.

After Hours

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Texas de Brazil Coming to Compuware

The Brazilian churrascaria-style steak house chain is slated to open April May, 2011 in the former Borders Books location inside of the Compuware Building.  Texas de Brazil provides fixed-price dinners for a 50  to 60 item bar of salads and appetizers, plus all-you-can-eat roasted meats, continuously carved off long skewers onto guests’ plates by servers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Plan To Turn Free Press Building Into Condos Revived

It looks like Detroit Paper Place 2.0. is finally, slowly, moving forward.  The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved incentive financing on a $70 million plan to turn the vacant Free Press building into residential apartments, office and retail space, as well as a health club on the upper floor.

The project still needs to find market rate financing, but the developers are hopeful.  They believe that construction will begin in 2011.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Loss in Rivertown

You had to see this one coming. The back of this building at Franklin and St. Aubin collapsed prior to March of 2009. The city finally got around to demolishing it this past May. All that remains is a hole in the ground.