Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Favorite Ruins Previous Next
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Thegryphon
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Username: Thegryphon

Post Number: 23
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was just wondering what everyone's favorite downtown Detroit abandoned building is. Why is it your fav., what would you do with it, & how?
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Kenp
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Username: Kenp

Post Number: 984
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mine has been the Book Cadillac for years, but they ruined my hopes and dreams by renovating it.
UA theater is now my favorite ruin. I would love to see that restored similar to the Opera House. The Davids are a close 2nd and 3rd, Lafayette 4th.
Welcome Thegrypon!
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2225
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My future one will be the 'former' Wayne County building.
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Civilprotectionunit4346
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Username: Civilprotectionunit4346

Post Number: 610
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My favorite Ruin right now is MCS. Wish that would get restored to it's former glory.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 308
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

2nd MCS

American Hotel
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 487
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Madison-Lenox.:-(
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 2000
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My problem is that I'm just old enough to remember most every building in Detroit having been occupied and maintained (to varying degrees)and do not find abandoned buildings novel. I did like spelunking theaters in my youth, saw many a neighborhood movie house (and a few downtown) right before they met their end. In every case except the Avalon (Linwood and Davison) the buildings were in very good shape the week they were demolished, unlike our stock of forgotten hulks documented by the Korhmans and Neos of today.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4343
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like alot of what's been torn down...

but right now I like the brownstone/apartment house building at Erskine and John R. (will surely be rehabbed soon), the YMCA (I'm pretty sure that's what it was) designed by Robert O. Derrick at the corner of E. Jefferson and Garland/Marquette, and St. Agnes Church. Oh yeah, St. Martin's Church in the far east riverfront neighborhood, too.
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Baltgar
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Username: Baltgar

Post Number: 95
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I could go with everyone favorite and put the MCS, but I am going to switch it up and throw out the Metropolitan. What a great facade.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 264
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mine really has to be the MCS. Its huge, decayed, and really in need of restorations. Probably the building that best shows the plight of Detroit.

The Lee Plaza is another one of my favorites that is often overlooked. A once great hotel built out in the neighborhoods.
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Thegryphon
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Username: Thegryphon

Post Number: 24
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 7:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks a lot KENP,
My personal fav. is the Metropolitan too BALTGAR. It's such a stately building. I would make it a loft development & buy the parking lot across the John R. on Farmer. On that lot I would make a glass parking structure(like the Blue Garage @ Metro) with Griswold style penthouses above the Woodward facing buildings with views of the CBD. I think I am a little obsessed :-)
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Lefty2
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Username: Lefty2

Post Number: 912
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 9:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the former wayne county building, thats cold.
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Yooperindetroit
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Username: Yooperindetroit

Post Number: 10
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 9:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I second the Metropolitan Building...It seems it would be a beautiful building to restore and turn into loft apartments with retail on the bottom floors. The area around it seems to be improving, but nothing happens to this building. Anyone have any information on the Metropolitan Building?
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Pgn421
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Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 273
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the building at Cass and Grand River, I cant think of the name of it.
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 490
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^The Grand Army of the Republic? That's one of my favorites as well.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2565
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, being a Civil War buff, I gotta go with the GAR building also.
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Wood
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Username: Wood

Post Number: 11
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I heard scrappers hard at work in your YMCA the other day, Mackinaw.
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401don
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Username: 401don

Post Number: 210
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In about a week it will be the Book Tower followed by my favourite abandoned casino - the original MGM Grand.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5956
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Briggs Stadium, hands down. So many memories there.

jjaba even knows a joke about the place. Wanna hear it?

jjaba.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1780
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

same as jjaba all though in my time it was tiger stadium
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Joeyp1982
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Username: Joeyp1982

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the broderick tower
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5958
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 11:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bennett, Navin, Briggs, Tiger. Same place, right.

jjaba.
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Baltgar
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Username: Baltgar

Post Number: 96
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yooper - Lately, I have been picturing the Metropolitan as recording studios with only a few residences. After reviewing some of the past forums on the Metro, it seems unrealistic (in any real estate market) to develop the whole building into lofts. First there is the parking issue, then you got the sides facing buildings with not much of a view and finally the low ceiling prevent typical HVAC systems. Though, if you limit the residences to the front of the building and then put the recording (sound proof) studios in the back where a view doesn't matter as much. Also, you could knock out a few floors for a cathedral/loft interior look in the residential section. This would also help with the low ceiling HVAC issue. The recording studios could supply the lost income due to putting in less residences. You could market it to the hip hop and techno markets. Yes, only a pipe dream but one can hope.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 2001
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 11:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why don't y'all go to an Army surplus store and get a surplus Geiger counter, walk around the main floor of the Metropolitan bldg. with it and see if you still want to make it your crib.
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 208
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 12:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My parents never really took me downtown much when I was younger, so I don't have many memories of downtown including Hudson's.

My wife's parents grew up near Jefferson and Chalmers and told me about so many things and buildings that are no longer there. How they could ride to school or across town on the streetcars, etc. By looking at all the older pictures of places no longer there; seeing the parking lots that took their place, really pissed me off. That's how I began to appreciate the architecture we have left and a desire to support it's comeback.

You could say I don't have a favorite ruin. I'd rather have a long list of valued, restored, and reused buildings that are the envy Chicago, New York, Paris, and London.....
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Hamtragedy
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Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 47
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 1:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lucky enough to get inside the Vanity Ballroom in the mid 80's. Someone tried to run it as a nightclub. Intact enough, not alot of broken windows, old neon clock hung on one of the walls at one of the bars. Floor was decent despite a few buckets set out. Heard stories from Grampa about "a dime-a-dance."

Hey, Mackinaw & Wood. I noticed the copper roofs at both the YMCA and Lee Plaza came down within a week of each other during December of 2005. Lived on the first block of Bewick during the 70's, worked in the New Center as a teen in the 80's. Remember both buildings being operational.........
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1402
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 1:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MCS...I can only dream of the day that someone rehabs this jewel
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6139
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 1:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK... for those not familiar with the object of 56packman's subtle humor.... :-)

The Metropolitan Building was once a toxic waste site of sorts... they made watches with dials that glow... due to Radium! They used radium to make glow in the dark watch dials way back when (20's/30's?), and there were/are some hot spots in the Metropolitan building.

But wasn't that taken care of by the EPA or some other group??
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Sciencefair
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Username: Sciencefair

Post Number: 44
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Metro's neighbor, the Wurlitzer Building is cool too. I think a project involving both buildings with an addition between them on the corner of Broadway and John R could be interesting.

As to the recording studios, it would take a big name like Eminem or getting Berry Gordy on board for it to succeed. There are a lot of studios in the area, just not as high profile as one might expect.
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Clermont
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Username: Clermont

Post Number: 22
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes i was inside the vanity ballroom for a concert/ dance event in the 80's, although i thought it was the early 80's. was glad to finally see the inside of the place.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4615
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 2:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba, didn't you take a girl to Briggs Stadium to watch a ballgame one time? I seem to remember some such story.

johnlodge - trying to subject everybody to jjaba's oldest joke again.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 774
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 4:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eaton Tower
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Thegryphon
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Username: Thegryphon

Post Number: 26
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 6:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Metro Building was cleaned up. Prior to Super Bowl there was talk of a conversion to lofts. The city cleaned up the waste left from the jewelers to sweeten the deal. The plan fell through, and the Metro Building is still vacant to this day.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6146
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 6:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Judging by the number of requests for visits... the former Michigan Theatre has to be at the top of any list of Detroit ruins.

In 2008 so far Michigan Building owner Tony Pieroni has gotten a dozen requests from different groups (folks outside of Michigan) that came for the set up and premier of the auto show, and had heard about the former theatre space... and wanted to visit it first hand.
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Crystal
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Username: Crystal

Post Number: 94
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 6:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MCS
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5963
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gistok, there's enough Detroit ruins for everybody's taste. But jjaba went with Briggs Stadium, given his decades of pleasures there.

jjaba.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5964
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 7:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michigan Theater. Adaptive re-use or ruins?
jjaba could argue that atleast the place is being used as office and parking. It is Pure Detroit though, tear out paradise and put up a parking lot.

jjaba.
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 338
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry about my ignorance. But whats the boarded-up building on the North side of Alexandrine, 1 block West of Woodward. Could be a cool looking building.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 310
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 6:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lee Plaza

Statler
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Living_in_the_d
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Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 10:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Russell industrial complex
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Kid_dynamite
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Username: Kid_dynamite

Post Number: 456
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 10:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Russell industrial complex"

How is that ruins???
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2084
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess Anderson's Gardens does not qualify as the structure is no long standing.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5973
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba knew The Rock loved Andersons Gardens. He was quite a swinger with Lowell back in his youth. jjaba damn near got runover by The Rock in his Cadillac when jjaba went to WSU Grad. School, 1963-65. jjaba thinks her name was Lucimae, fresh from the Ashland, Kentucky hills.

jjaba.
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Zephyrmec
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Username: Zephyrmec

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Put me down for the GAR bldg. If you get the chance, check out the Eastern States Penn in Philly, gotta be one of the top 5 in the US.

http://www.easternstate.org/

(Message edited by Zephyrmec on January 16, 2008)
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Skylark
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Username: Skylark

Post Number: 18
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Michigan Central Train Depot is my favorite ruin. It always makes me think back to its glory days when people traveled by rail to and from Detroit and graced the grand halls dressed in their finest. Even though the place is mess now I still feel the grandeur.
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Hybridy
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 200
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 9:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lee Plaza
when i drove into town on 96 for the first time i seriously thought it was a new building that was about to get windows.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 1092
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 3:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would be the MCS, but since that's not downtown, I'm going with the UA, too.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2086
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 7:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If we are dealing with "current structures" only, I would voice a vote for the Farwell Building in Capitol Park. Beautiful old ornate lobby, Tiffany glass etc. Now but a tarnished jewel.
I often wonder what its final fate will be.

jjaba--WSU grad school students are know to be jaywalkers. You get hit, it's your fault, not mine.
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Flanders_field
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Username: Flanders_field

Post Number: 15
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 12:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Michigan Central Depot, that I worked in from 75-82, I am VERY sad to see the state it is in now, but I still have some fond memories working there, even despite the lack of AC in the summer, when my paperwork sometimes would stick to my arms when working in a hot and humid office that had only fans to try to keep cool with, esp on the sunny side of the building. I would sometimes go to the top floor (13th) where the old paper records were stored, and saw waybills dating back to the late 1800s.

I worked in many departments there, and remember using keypunch machines to create IBM punchcards to use for the computers.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 6004
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 12:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent post, Flanders Field.

Johnlodge, yes, jjaba did take his girlfriends to Briggs Stadium for day games when he went to Cass Tech.

He sat way up in Sec. 24, upper deck. He kissed them on the strikes and they kissed him on the balls. (With a nod to Soupy Sales for that one.)

So many memories and now you know why.
jjaba.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 408
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MCS.

It would also be nice if Lee Plaza would get renovated. I don't think people realize just how good the views are from up there.
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Thegryphon
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Username: Thegryphon

Post Number: 29
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 5:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What about the Fisher Plant? I love those old factories. You don't see new factories with more than one floor. The old Detroit factories are so tall and impressive. The problem is they are all so isolated, surronded by blight. I don't ever hear about factories being rehabilated as new factories, imagine the rumored VW plant in Detroit or the Fisker hybrid plant.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11296
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 5:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

None, they are all sad and embarrasing. Certainly nothing that would make me want to consider a favorite.
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 347
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 6:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whats the old boarded up building on Forest just west of Chene that says something like "Don Polska" on the stonework?
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Durango
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Username: Durango

Post Number: 85
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 10:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Ford Factory in Highland Park. It's still a beautiful building.
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J_to_the_jeremy
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Username: J_to_the_jeremy

Post Number: 43
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I really like the old downtown synagogue, something about it's sneaky location and rainbow windows.
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Detroitdecor27
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Username: Detroitdecor27

Post Number: 36
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess I agree with a lot of the other posters. Mine is a tie between Lee Plaza and Michigan Central. My grandparents had their wedding reception at Lee Plaza and the train station well not much has to be said to describe it's beauty.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 575
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Patterson Terrace in Brush Park. Something about that building intrigues me.

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/5/123616.html?1199284460
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Thegryphon
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Username: Thegryphon

Post Number: 33
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 6:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yeah wash_man, those "ghetto palms" (tree of paradise) add a look of mystery. But seriously it is a very cool blding.

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