Post Number: 855
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 5:05 pm: || |
I just wanted to know if anyone has any information on the Wurlitzer building. It seems to always play second fiddle to its more popular neighbor, the Metropolitan building.
I once heard that the owner in the 1980s fell down the elevator shaft... is that true?
I believe it is currently owned by Paul Curtis, who bought it for around 200k around 1995, and is asking over 2 million for it!
It's not even listed in the AIA guide to detroit, even though it's a marvelous building built in the Renaissance revival style.
Post Number: 3140
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 6:41 pm: || |
"I once heard that the owner in the 1980s fell down the elevator shaft... is that true?"
Sure was. The owner and his wife lived on the 8th floor, had converted it to a loft area. Early one morning just about 1980 he went through the open doors of the elevator shaft and had a great fall, the elevator wasn't there. Appropriately, the ground floor was leased to a religious book store, so he had plenty of icons around for his last second. Can't remember his name; I'll put the fog to work and post if it comes to me.
Didn't surprise me too much. The elevators in that building were always getting stuck and acting up in strange ways.
Post Number: 1702
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 7:05 pm: || |
....that had to suck
Post Number: 203
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 11:53 pm: || |
Things were looking up after that.
Post Number: 2347
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 4:52 am: || |
The last I heard was that the current owner is a Bloomfield Hills attorney who is behind on his property taxes.
Many years ago, I had a lawsuit defending the building owners when a lady suffered injury in an alleged elevator plunge of a few feet which was suspect to say the least. I believe that back then they had corporate owners, not the individual I refer to.
Post Number: 856
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 10:26 am: || |
ray 1936, do you happen to know a rough date on that event so that I could get a newspaper source? It sounds pretty horrific!
Post Number: 3142
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 1:34 pm: || |
Andy, I can only pin it down to about 1980, give or take two years. The fog in my brain lifted; the man's name was Nick Jenin, and his wife's name was Ann. Good people.
Ooops, just found him on the social security death index. This will help (cut/paste!):
Birth Date: 2 Sep 1905
Death Date: Feb 1978
Social Security Number: 369-01-2718
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Michigan
Post Number: 1928
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 5:45 pm: || |
Maybe the attorney will lose the buidling in taxes and finally someone can take a shot at renovation without having to pay a multi-million dollar price tag for the building.
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 6:12 pm: || |
I have walked through this building within the last 2 years. I was told then that I could buy it for under $1,000,000 if I was serious. It is beat up but could be AWESOME luxury apartments. Every floor is easily 3000sf w/10ft ceilings (or higher). Very open floorplan, check it out.
Post Number: 860
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 9:51 pm: || |
still in fairly beautiful condition inside though the basement is flooded!
Post Number: 341
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 10:41 pm: || |
Maybe you can get a discount on the purchase price due to the human excrement which has resided in the entryway for the last two months. Unfortunately, the homeless find it a suitable rest area.
Post Number: 1077
|Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 11:49 pm: || |
Docmo, someone cleans it up regularly, it's just that someone keeps excrementing it back....
Post Number: 94
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:18 am: || |
That was not very smart...putting someone's name, birthdate, and SS# out for any and all to see. Even though they are dead, couldn't a new identity be created with the info? If not, I apologize for the post.
Post Number: 704
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:33 am: || |
Any interior pics of this building? I really like it, too. One morning about 5 years ago a friend and I were taking pictures of it and the guy who owns Small Plates came out and talked to us about the building. We'd have checked out his establishment, but instead we wandered well out of the area for the rest of the day. It's a lovely building, but it must be in terrible shape if it can be purchased for under a million dollars, I should think.
Post Number: 2277
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 9:07 am: || |
A DY member posted about this building sometime last year, he, in a professional capacity had examined the building and stated that water had worked its way between the face brick and the structure and froze, pulling the brick away, making the salvation/restoration difficult if not economically improbable.
Post Number: 11792
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 9:22 am: || |
Sorry, professional capacities have no place here.
Post Number: 1391
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 9:32 am: || |
Grumpyoldlady-- Anybody can look up old SS numbers on the death indexes, so I wouldn't worry about Ray1936's post.
Post Number: 359
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 9:48 am: || |
I remember reading maybe ten years ago or more that the building had all the copper wires and anything else of value pulled out of it by scrappers. Plus the basement being flooded and full of all kind of toxic stuff including PCBs from electrical transformers. This was long before the current scrapper plague.
I worked next door at the "Hartz Building" in 1978 and 1979. I remember the Wurlitzer building was mostly vacant then (I seem to recall a sign for Travelers Aid Society on the ground floor but it didn't look like they were ever open) and seemed like it looked like it had been vacant for several years. So this beautiful building has probably been out of commission for longer than the Book Cadillac.
(Message edited by Gianni on May 19, 2008)
Post Number: 1262
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 11:25 am: || |
+detroit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&g l=us, 34 page PDF survey in HTML form Document created by New Detroit
Interesting collection of various downtown buildings. wurlitzer, hartz,Savoyard, etc.
Building Name:Wurlitzer BuildingBuilding
Address:1507 Broadway Street, Detroit, MI, 48226
Physical Description:13 Story, White Terra-Cotta
Special Features:Rated in top Architectural Design Downtown
DetroitHistorical Significance:Part of Grand Circus Park Historic District
Current Use:VacantRental Rate (If applicable):N/A
Space Available for Lease/Type:N/A
Parking Availabilitypera House Garage & Street Parking
New Use Potential:Condos/Lofts/Office &Retail
Major Improvements Needed/Cost: N/A
Contact Person/Manager/Phone No.: Paul D. Curtis - 313 331-5265
Owner/Entity Name:Wurlitzer Building, LLCComments:
Post Number: 6513
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 12:07 pm: || |
He missed the elvator and got the shaft, that's what jjaba's remembers.
How about a shoutout for the those Wurlitzer Organs in theaters and churches?
Post Number: 2282
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:24 pm: || |
Jjaba--a little bit of very arcane data for you:
the Wurlitzer organ that used to be in the Punch and Judy theatre in Grosse Pointe was once a store demonstrator at the Wurlitzer building.
Post Number: 6728
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:27 pm: || |
So what originally happened in this Wurlitzer building? I have an old Wurley electric piano, very cool. They sold them there? Built them, imported them? Wurlitzer also made Juke Boxes I think, right?
Post Number: 6844
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:47 pm: || |
I believe that Wurlitzer made the organs in their HQ town of East Tonawanda, New York.
56packman, is that correct?
Post Number: 2283
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:52 pm: || |
Wurlitzer began in 1856 by importing German violins and selling them from a store in Cincinnati. From there they bought a piano factory in North Tonawanda, NY and the company headquarters moved there. In 1910 they began the manufacture of pipe organs, becoming the best known brand of orchestral pipe organs for silent film accompaniment. They made band organs for merry-go-rounds, orchestrions (a large cabinet containing a piano, drums, tuned percussions and organ pipes, played from a paper roll), player pianos, non-player pianos. They purchased a piano factory in DeKalb, IL to make their piano line.
Wurlitzer moved into the manufacture of jukeboxes in the 1930s as the pipe organ division was slowing down due to the advent of sound films. Wurlitzer also made phonographs, radios and refrigerators for department stores to "brand."
During WWII they made airplane parts and radar equipment. The pipe organ division was discontinued in 1942.
After WWII they began the manufacture of amplified reed organs which in time were just electronic organs. In the 1970s there were Wurlitzer stores in shopping malls selling pianos and organs. They designed and built their own electric piano, basically after the Fender-Rhoades, some musicians preferred the Wurlitzer due to its "dirty" sound.
The company floundered in the early 80s when the home organ market died a sudden death.
The name is still being used by a German firm that makes replica jukeboxes and there is an Asian piano being marketed under the Wurlitzer name today.
Post Number: 6735
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:56 pm: || |
Thanks Packman. Yeah that electric piano is sweet. This is what I have:
That's from the web, but it's exactly that.
Post Number: 863
|Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 6:51 pm: || |
thanks for the history pacman. so was the building here offices?
Post Number: 2289
|Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 11:25 pm: || |
No, a big, vertically arranged store, offices on the upper floors
Post Number: 2293
|Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 11:39 pm: || |
I have swiped the data which Grumpyoldlady scolded Ray1936 for posting and am now masquerading as a 102-year-old guy with excellent, April-fresh credit but not a lot of spare time.
I think I'll hire a foxy stripper and charge it to my brand-spanking-new Gold Card.
Thanks, Ray; you're a pal!
Post Number: 866
|Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 10:38 pm: || |
just some info I discovered. according to the skyscraper page, Wurlitzer is about 151 feet, and the 109th tallest structure in Detroit... kinda interesting...