Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Building? Previous Next
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Defendbrooklyn
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Username: Defendbrooklyn

Post Number: 756
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 8:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is the large brick building behind Ford Field? It looks like a factory of some sort...

Sorry to devote a thread to this one silly question but i need to know...
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6441
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 9:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you are referring to the attached building to Ford Field's immediate south, that would be the Hudson's Warehouse. Ford Field was built to incorporate parts of that warehouse into the stadium project.

A nice example of adaptive reuse... although I'm not sure there's much use of much of the space just yet.

If you are talking about another building to the south of Ford Field with the smoke stacks... then I'm not sure if it's an Edison station or the downtown power station that generates steam for downtown buildings.
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Living_in_the_d
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Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 128
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 10:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, it's actually a power generating plant that heats and cools both stadiums and a few more structures near it.
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Defendbrooklyn
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Username: Defendbrooklyn

Post Number: 757
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 11:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks...
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Rsa
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Username: Rsa

Post Number: 1424
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 12:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

not a power generating system, does not provide cooling, and serves quite a bit more than just the surrounding business.

it is the main boiler center for downtown's regional heating system. [there is another for midtown and new center on willis, between woodward and cass.] it provides heat for many of the historical buildings downtown (guardian, penobscott, etc.) and many new ones (lafayette towers, ren cen, etc.).

i don't have the specifics with me, but i believe it is the second or third largest regional heating system in the country (second to indianapolis, i think) and is one of the oldest, having begun installation around 120 years ago. this is also the source of the steam you see coming up from manholes.

here is a link to the company that took it over from DTE about 5 years ago: http://www.detroitthermal.com/ overview.htm

there was another steam generation plant torn down for the expansion of cobo, i believe. i know someone else on here can tell you more about that than i can.
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Michigansheik
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Username: Michigansheik

Post Number: 282
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 11:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i heard most of the steam we see coming up from the manholes these days is actually leakage from Detroit's water system hitting the hot steam pipes.
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Hamtragedy
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Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 111
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 7:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That steam coming out of the streets is similar to what's called a "blow-off valve" found in many older houses that have radiators, and are integral to running steam heat. The blow off valve on the radiator creates that "hissing" sound when a certain PSI is reached, which essentially chases the cold air out, (which causes steam to turn back to water) allowing the entire radiator to get hot. The blow off valve abruptly stops (when operating properly) to retain that steam. (By the way If your radiators are "banging" they are 1) expanding/contracting, or 2) not properly level...make sure your radiator is leaning slightly towards the shutoff valve (the one coming out of the floor) which allows the condensed water to drain back towards your boiler. Houses settle, the floor around your heavy cast iron radiator has too!

Similarly, the steam coming out of the street is necessary to minimize condensation (steam turning back to water), and keep the system running efficiently. Trapped cold air won't heat anything, so the system is constantly removing that cold air and replacing it with steam via these vents in the middle of Woodward, Cass, Canfield, Brush, ....
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 125
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 7:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is slightly off-topic, but there is a sculpture I have always liked in Cambridge MA that is (intentionally) on top of one of those valves. When the steam is venting, it gives the sculpture an altogether more sinister appearance.

http://www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/ CAC/public_art_tour/map_11_pri vate.html
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Bobj
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Username: Bobj

Post Number: 4215
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Again, slightly off topic, but what ever happened to all the plans for Ford Field - House of Blues, a hotel, retail??

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