Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Bye Bye United Artists building? Previous Next
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 2134
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 5:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There have been crews in there all week tearing walls out and It seems to be the trend this month in foxtown to clean house. I wouldn't be surprised if the old girl was next.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 618
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 6:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It wouldn't surprise me either. But there's also a slight chance this could be signs of a renovation prep. Interior demo is usually the first step.
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Barebain
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Username: Barebain

Post Number: 34
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 7:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wish more of these old buildings were cleaned out rather than torn down. One of the biggest pains in trying to rehab these beasts is seeing through all the crumbling non-loadbearing walls, suspended ceilings, debris, bird crap, rotting carpet, etc. and figure out what really needs to be done to rebuild them.

I just said this in another thread, but I feel like Detroit's stimulus money would be better spent scraping these things clean and prepping them for future development. As we all have seen, tearing them down for some mythical future project is a crap shoot at best, and a completely futile exercise and waste of money at worst. Anyways, how else are going to get all those fancy out-of-town journalists and johnny-come-lately artists to come and document our 'ruins'.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6217
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 7:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Folks have been working on the United Artists Building for quite some time now... all hush-hush.

Would it make sense to put a new roof on the structure if it were to be torn down? Ditto for tearing out non load-bearing walls?

I'd like to hear from some of our demo/restoration experts on this one...

But the folks working on this appear to have been sworn to secrecy.
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Big_baby_jebus
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Username: Big_baby_jebus

Post Number: 110
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 7:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cant tare it down, to much historic architecture that has been stabilized just to knock it down.

Stop wasting my time...please
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Lpg
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Username: Lpg

Post Number: 123
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 8:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wife worked there 68-71 when it was AAA HQ. She worked on the 9th floor. The decor varied from floor to floor. Her area was tile floors and open design. The legal department had carpeting and paneling, along with soft music. Quitting time was split up in 3 shifts on days. 4:30-4:45-5:00 pm. That was done so the wait for the elevator was not too long.
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Michiman
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Username: Michiman

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here are some photos of it. There are also other buildings on the site. Go to places, and then scroll to the bottom of the page.

http://forgottenmichigan.com/

(Message edited by michiman on March 13, 2009)
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 9:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Although the Illich family is all about publicity, so don't you think if they had something firm for a rehab, don't you think they would let the press know so they could have some positive pr? Of course, maybe it is prep work trying to convince someone to rehab/develop it. But my fear is demo prep.
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1971
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 12:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Would it make sense to put a new roof on the structure if it were to be torn down? Ditto for tearing out non load-bearing walls?


Did a new roof go on?
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Russix
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Username: Russix

Post Number: 209
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 12:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Illich doesn't pay out of own pocket to demolish 1 story buildings, now he's going to secretly pay to demolish something he's been grooming and cleaning for atleast 3 years? I know they been working on this building for awhile but I don't think their in any hurry. He's planning that this will be profitable once the streetcars are stopping a block away and the Red Wings are just north.
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Sharmaal
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Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 869
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Labor is cheap right now. Maybe they see this as an opportunity to prep it for rehab in a better economy.

During a recession, most people hunker down. That's when you should invest.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6220
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Although the Illich family is all about publicity, so don't you think if they had something firm for a rehab, don't you think they would let the press know so they could have some positive pr?



LOL... Bob... sometimes I honestly think that the Ilitch's don't bother with the messy task of "PR"! Their actions have proven this over and over again.

I think that what they are doing is "not letting the proverbial cat out of the bag". If they were to announce a rehab of the United Artists Building and the Fine Arts Building... it would just drive up nearby land prices (that they don't already own) even higher.

And yes the building has a new roof. Check the DetroitYES archives for a "Crane at the United Artists Building" thread. (Cute play on words, since the long dead architect of the building/theatre is named "Crane".)
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D_mcc
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Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 1730
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 5:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let them buy it an tear it down...
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 956
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 8:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Although the Illich family is all about publicity, so don't you think if they had something firm for a rehab, don't you think they would let the press know so they could have some positive pr


Maybe they're taking a page from apple's book - Develop in secrecy, and don't announce what you'll have two years from now, announce what you'll have tomorrow (or a month from now at most).

Look at the dedicated following apple has - how many websites are dedicated to figuring out what they're doing next? (Oddly enough, what we are doing in this very thread is not much different from what they do)

Obviously exterior work would be obvious - but the most time consuming of any project is usually the interior, which can be done more or less in secrecy. The restoration could be announced right as exterior work begins, meaning a much shorter 'burn-out' time. (When a project goes on for years, interest wanes - it was apparent even with the B-C. Imagine if it opened just a couple months after the first public announcement!) But the most important question is, what about work permits? I would think this would prevent any real secrecy, but like any bureaucracy, I would not be surprised to find there are ways around such things.

Personally, I've often thought how cool it would be to unveil a fully restored theatre to an unsuspecting public.

This also would dovetail nicely with the land price issue that Gistok mentions.

And Sharmaal hits it right on the nose - this is the PERFECT time to invest.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 1804
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 8:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't give the Ilitches that much credit, Scott.
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Gotdetroit
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Username: Gotdetroit

Post Number: 208
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scott, hate to burst your bubble, but there's no way they rehab the inside of a building that large without drawing boatloads of attention to the fact they are doing so. Hanging one refuse tube out a window every 6 months or so does not a "inside restoration" make.

If they were rehabbing the inside, you'd know all about it by now. Whether the Ilitches wanted you to or not.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 620
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 9:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well they can't be rehabbing at the moment. In order to renovate, you have to gut it to the concrete. The UA is filled with mountains of rotting plaster and debris. What they are doing at the moment makes sense.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6223
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 11:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll see if I can take some photo's from one of the top floors of a "nearby building" next time I'm downtown...
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3rdworldcity
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Username: 3rdworldcity

Post Number: 1356
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 10:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did anyone check to see if anyone pulled any permits covering the work that's being done there? I'm told that no demolition, rehab or construction permits or any other permits have ever been pulled. If you check with Building and Safety you'll probably be told that they're merely "evaluating" the place to determine whether it can be rehabbed or demolished. Only in Detroit.
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Showstoppa
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Username: Showstoppa

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why is it that Detroiters feel we need to hold on to the past. I say tear down every old/ abandoned building downtown. I dont care how old it may be. This is the only city in America that has abandoned skyscrapers !!
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Leannam1989
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Username: Leannam1989

Post Number: 223
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 11:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"This is the only city in America that has abandoned skyscrapers !!"

Doubt that. You telling me Cleveland has no abandoned buildings Downtown?

I know here in St. Louis we have a couple buildings still empty. One (Arcade-Wright) began interior demo (for rehab) and the rehabbers went bankrupt, so it's sitting empty. A couple other small buildings are empty, as well as the large Dillards and the urban mall (an oxymoron I know).

Anyway, not sure about skyscrapers, but I doubt Detroit is the only major city with empty buildings Downtown.

I know in St. Louis some buildings sat empty for 30 years before being rehabbed. Obviously it's a different city. But to me it seems, as long as passersby are not in danger, might as well board up the building until economic conditions get better. You can always tear the building down later if you don't get a tenant. But I think America in general is too quick to demolish buildings that could be used again. We don't make buildings (or rarely do) that are that beautiful anymore. And these buildings were built to last. Unless the building is teetering or about to collapse, I don't see any reason to tear it down.

And I feel like the tide is turning. Americans are beginning to appreciate these old buildings again.
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 603
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 11:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leannam, your instinct is correct. The Sterick Building in Memphis, though painted an odd tan like color, is a very nice building that has been vacant for a long time. The Hotel Chisca, also in Memphis, may not be considered a skyscraper, but is about 8 stories and also vacant.
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Gthomas
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Username: Gthomas

Post Number: 178
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 11:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree also...everybody complains on how chicago wipe out most of historic skyscraper for post modern skyscraper was a bad thing. I don't see the bad....look at how beautiful downtown and surrounding neighborhood are. They have a beautiful skyline and a vibrant downtown filled with modern lofts, condominiums, major retail and restaurants. A strong shopping district called Magnificant Mile along michigan av.

The remaining historic skyscraper should be turned into residential apartment, lofts, hotel or condominiums. If u want to attract office workers, build modern and tall. Look at what One Kennendy Square building did to attract office workers.....if Detroit build more modern I guaranteed you will see more businesses relocating to the downtown and surrounding areas.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 623
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Chicago example isn't always the best. They did tear down a lot, but a large number of skyscraper or highrise buildings were spared. It's just that they are buried between all that po-mo. Yeah, there was the Masonic and Morrison Hotel, but most of the significant structures are still standing. Areas cleared extensively were mostly industrial or lowrise commercial structures. A lot of it didn't stand out. I would say if the Book were in Chicago, it would definitely still be standing.

Examples of areas now filled in with Condo towers:
http://img409.imageshack.us/im g409/8622/getimageidx1uf7.jpg

Some of it rehabbed, quite a bit filled with towers:
http://img511.imageshack.us/im g511/2378/wabashnorthofchicago rivwu1.jpg

Finally, Michigan Ave. Highrises still stand (some you may recognize). Most of the lowrises have been demoed and replaced by towers.
http://img247.imageshack.us/im g247/2461/michiganave1921mg2.j pg
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Buckster1986
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Username: Buckster1986

Post Number: 30
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 12:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You don't have to tear down something to make it modern. Look at the New Middle School in Royal Oak...built in 1927. They basically gutted the thing and now it has the state of the art amenities with the classic look.

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