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Riverfront new constructionGuito1314 03-25-09  12:52 pm
Archive through March 26, 2009Eastsideal30 03-26-09  5:08 pm
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Retroit
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Post Number: 1056
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If Randolph Street is at the top of that Sanborn Map and Bates Street is at the bottom, I think the building in question would be where the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Co. is, just a little above where that "dot" is.
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Lilpup
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The ferry building is too far west - it was where the curve in the riverfront is now:

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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup, I think that curve, or notch, to the north-east of the Ford Auditorium was created when the land was "built out" between Ford Auditorium and the river. It is co-incident with the end of Bates Street. The Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company would have been to the north-west of this notch, where the open space is between the Ford auditorium and the PLC building.
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 7:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Okay, I just figured out what that Sanborn says below "Detroit & Windsor Ferry Co.": "Bob-Lo Steamers Dock." That would be abeam the south-western end of the RenCen Parking Garage, to the north-west of the end of Bates Street, and along an extension of the Tunnel Entrance (toward the river). This all lines up with the photo that Bigtreble posted on the other thread.
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 7:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a postcard with what I believe is the red-roofed "Pavillion" of the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company:

http://boblosteamers.com/boblo img/displayimage.php?album=ran dom&cat=0&pos=-537
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Lilpup
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That 'notch' is to the SOUTHeast of Ford Auditorium and is the ferry property - the Sanborn states ferry DOCK

http://farm4.static.flickr.com /3652/3388827100_f012a30350_b. jpg
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 8:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, Lilpup, you're saying that the ferry dock was south of that notch?

I think it was to the north of it.

Here's another drawing of that pavillion:



http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/amuse.asp?id=300&type=2

It looks like there was an extensive use of pilings. Could those pilings and crossbeams be what are being interpreted as a "building"?
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 8:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's unlikely that it would be a basement being so close to the water, and a foundation would not need all those "crossbeams"; it would just need a perimeter.
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Lilpup
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 8:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That last pavilion posted is Boblo, not the ferry. Boblo was at the foot of Woodward, not near Bates.

That notch was where the ferry (NOT Boblo) dock was.
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 8:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup, Bob-Lo and the "ferry" were the same. The dock extended from the foot of Woodward northeastward toward Bates. The actual gangway was just north of Bates.

If you look at the center of the PLC, you'll see the little circle representing the smokestack. If you look at the last drawing I posted, you'll see the smokestack in the background. These two smokestacks line up.
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Lilpup
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 9:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, they weren't the same. There was a separate ferry that ran between Detroit & Windsor. These Windsor runs pre-dated Boblo and ceased in 1938.

(Message edited by lilpup on March 26, 2009)
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 9:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Sanborn map reads "Detroit & Windsor Ferry Co., Bob-Lo Steamer Dock"
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Bibs
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 9:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I work in tower 400 at the RenCen and I have an aerial view of this site. Steel beams were driven into the ground and they are now pouring what appears to be footers for the buidling.
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Lilpup
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Retroit, you're on the wrong side of Ford Auditorium. You can see the square Bob-lo pavilion on the left hand side of the photo I posted http://farm4.static.flickr.com /3652/3388827100_f012a30350_b. jpg

The foot of Bates was Wing's Wharf and then later the Walkerville & Detroit Ferry dock before they moved over to Joseph Campau. The original ship's mail boat (a la the Westcott) also ran from there.
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Retroit
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 11:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Okay, Lilpup, I see the building you are talking about now, the one south of the foot of Woodward. I wasn't even looking that far down-river. If that is the same Bob-Lo pavilion as the Sanborn map, then that Sanborn map is WAY off scale. Look how narrow Woodward is...and the buildings north of Woodward don't line up. Either that Sanborn is all effed-up or there were 2 Bob-Lo docks. Is it possible that we are talking about 2 different eras? Mine circa 1922, yours circa late '60s?
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Stosh
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The building I think is the one uncovered comes from the latest (1910-1951) Sanborns. It's between Randolph and Bates on the riverfront, just before the bend of the docks going west.





Note the bend in the river here:





And the photo from another poster on the forum:



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Stosh
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 11:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By the way, the Bob-lo docks mentioned were long gone when this version was printed. A building said 1942 elsewhere on the map.

Bob-lo docks when I grew up were at the foot of Woodward as I remember them.
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Retroit
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 12:00 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's too far up river, Stosh. The Public Lighting Employees HQ would have been almost exactly between Bates and Randolph. The "archeological dig" building is just north (northeast) of Bates.
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Stosh
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 8:10 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The assumption that I made that Randolph paralleled the existing Renaissance drive, is wrong. The Detroit Windsor Tunnel ran down Randolph at the river, see below.





Plotting where Randolph WOULD be now is fairly easy using Microsoft Live maps. It shows the line where the tunnel enters the river. It is directly below the parking garage, which lies west (sort of) of where Renaissance drive now is.

Tunnel entrance to river

There's a shorter span between where Bates and Randolph were then, versus the same comparison between Bates and Renaissance Drive now.
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Lilpup
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 9:04 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are these Sanborn maps available online somewhere?
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Retroit
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stosh, there is a bit of a disparity between the location of the tunnel on the Sanborn and the location on maps.live, the maps.live showing it to be further southwest. I would be more willing to trust the Sanborn, as it appears that they have given more attention to detail.

The Public Lighting Employees Club HQ was where that long, yellow brick building is in the recent photo.

The "older" Bob-Lo Pavilion would have been just above that green Porta-John in the center of that recent picture.

The notches in the shoreline are misleading because they changed over time. I would not use them as a point of reference. It is much safer to use extensions of the roads (as you've discovered with Randolph).

I'm pretty well convinced that that "archaeological dig" is the substructure (pilings and joists) that held up the boardwalk. If someone in the RenCen can get a better view (during coffee break, of course) to confirm that what we are looking at are not vertical walls/foundation, but rather crossbeams, that would clinch it.
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Krawlspace
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup -
I've been looking for Sanborn maps for a while to have in my archives, but can never seem to find where copies can be made for personal use. I have even entertained the idea of trading some photos or postcards or last resort some $$ to a kind forum member who has copies to take a trip to Kinkos...
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Gnome
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


ford aud site


Looking down Woodward at Jefferson. Ford Auditorium site, pre-construction. Site for City Hall has been cleared in lower left.


ford aud parking


Building of underground parking garage for Ford Aud. Mariner's church/ Randolph St. on far left.


 atwater and randolph

Atwater and Randolph, existing (Tunnel Access?) building on left.


atwater and randolph alt view

Alt view

All pix from WSU Library found by searching "Ford Auditorium", "Atwater" "Lighting"
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Stosh
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 1:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's 3 views of the Bob-lo site. It's part of the dock probably, you are correct.

First is from the period of 1942-1955. Dock building is gone. Notice the location of the lot, directly on Bates street.





Next is from 1923? It shows the Bob-lo dock in it's location directly on Bates.





Then is the view from 1897.



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Douglasm
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 2:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Throwing out a guess, since it's been nearly forever since I've been along the riverfront, but didn't the Georgian Bay Lines have a building at that location?
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Stosh
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 3:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Krawlspace, are you local? Or in Michigan? libraries across the state have access to the Sanborn maps at their locations, just need to check around. They are downloadable as PDF's,and can be sent to your home computer or even stored in a pen drive if needed.

Hope that helps your access problems some.
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Mikeg
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 8:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Information on how to access the Sanborn Maps using a Detroit Public Library computer:
http://atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/76017/85573.html
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Bibs
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 10:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While riding the elevators today at the RenCen,I took a closer look at the site. I noticed the orange fence around the older footer. Detroit archiology at it's best!
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Kennyd
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 2:03 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This section is from a panoramic view of 1908. There's a ferry parked in front of the ferry dock.

Atwater E of Woodward
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Gnome
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 6:32 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

bibs, Bigtreble - what is stopping you from walking over there and asking a question? You might learn something. The management people don't actually chain you to your desks ... and you do leave the building every now and then.

What are the chances of walking over there and finding out what those things are?
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Stosh
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 8:59 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Probably no decent photos of the dock around, but here's one of the steamer Columbia from that time period.





I know this probably isn't the dock that is in question, but it gives some idea as to the construction technique.





I wonder if those piers were replaced at some point with a stronger version. I'd be inclined to think so, if they were original, by now they'd be rotted.
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Krawlspace
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stosh-
Yes I am local... live in Detroit, east side. Would Burton have these, or should I just ask at the main desk? Is there a charge to acquire them in PDF? I didn't think you could get PDF files from the library. Thanks for the tip!
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Retroit
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 11:08 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bibs (or any other first-hand observer), could you describe the nature of the structure in question? Does it look like stone walls or wood framing, or post & beam, or pilings & joists?
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Huggybear
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 11:25 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a picture. Looks like cement. I think the I-beams are new.

They only moved the headstones!


They only moved the headstones!
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Retroit
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 12:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh wow! That completely shatters my theory! LOL! That looks very modern, and in excellent condition.
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Bibs
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Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 10:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The I beams were driven into the ground over the last 6 weeks. Then footers were poured. The area in question, surrounded by the orange fence, appears to be new footers from an arial view at the 13th floor but I'm not 100% sure. I'd have to walk down there to be sure. I'm working like a fool so I really haven't had the time to investigate.
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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I took a schitload of pictures today. I don't know if they'll do any good. It will take a while, as I need to resize them.


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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Gnome
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nothing new about that concrete. good pix
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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think those will help much. Probably should have jumped the fence. Too bad there is a police mini-station within sight, with cops standing outside watching me!

The only conclusions I can draw are:
1. The concrete could be old
2. It didn't appear in as good condition once you got up closer
3. There were a lot of doorways (of course). Some were arched, some were boxed
4. Some of the passages seem quite narrow (approximately half the width of other doorways)
5. The doorways are not all centered
6. For some strange reason, they are only putting the I-beam footings in this area and in newer area closer to the RenCen
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Sstashmoo
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 8:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Secret store rooms for illegal booze during prohibition? Would explain no record or readily available record of it. Would be cool if they found a tunnel going to the river.
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Stosh
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 8:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What did that sign say in the second from last picture? Some sort of terrace project?
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Mikem
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 8:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why don't you just ask one of the construction workers?
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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 8:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No construction on Sunday.
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Retroit
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 9:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sad to say, I didn't even notice that sign when I was there. Here is a better view:


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Stosh
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 9:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that this is it:

November 4, 2008
Port Authority begins construction on terminal just west of RenCen
Another big chunk of the transformation of the Detroit Riverfront is now underway. The Detroit Wayne County Port Authority has broken ground on its dock and terminal building that will be situated between Hart Plaza and the Renaissance Center.

The two-story 21,000-square-foot facility will hold a tourist processing area, ticket counters, restrooms, the port authority's office and a public plaza with space for educational interpretive exhibits on topics such as alternative energy and homeland security.

The main purpose for the enterprise is the ability for Detroit to host a variety of vessels that currently have no place to dock on the U.S. side of the river, including Great Lakes cruise ships and water taxis. The second phase of the project will include a docking wharf for this purpose.

Currently, old wooden piling is being removed. Structural steel should start going up in January and the building enclosure is expected to be complete in July.

The $15 million project is being funded with federal and state funds via Sen. Carl Levin and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Until site construction is complete -- an estimate being May 1 -- RiverWalk pedestrians and cyclists are being route along Atwater around the construction site. Directional signage has been installed.

A rendering of the building can be found here.

Source: John Kerr, Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, Steward Klaus, White Construction and Andrew Holewinski, Braun Construction
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

http://www.modeldmedia.com/dev elopmentnews/portauthority1670 8.aspx
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Stosh
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Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 9:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's what's being built:




http://www.portdetroit.com/newsevents/recent_news/publick_dock_render.htm

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