Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Goodbye to Arts and Crafts Previous Next
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 706
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.90
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 2:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.detroitfunk.com/200 6/02/artscrafts_rip.html

Thanks again to Aram who alerted me that the Arts and Crafts school is currently being demolished.
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Everydayislikesunday
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Username: Everydayislikesunday

Post Number: 180
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 68.41.153.99
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 2:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i was wondering when they were going to start that. didnt they implement an "emergency demolition" order a month and a half ago?

that's irrelevent though....it's sad to see so much history being razed. thanks for the pics!
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 707
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.90
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 2:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, this is not a sudden nor a hasty demolition. Scheduled, as well as probably long overdue. Too bad nobody could get it together to do the work to save this structure.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1155
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 2:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This posting has brought tears to my eyes!!! Even though it was inevitable, I hoped that demolition would not happen. I'll stop by to say my goodbye Friday afternoon on our way downtown.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1676
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.84.183.189
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 3:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dr. Dorothy Kostuch of CCS, who just recently passed would be so saddened to see this building go. She worked tirelessly to preserve & document so much of the CCS history- to which she was a very huge part. This building housed so many memories for so much of the artists in the area- not just CCS, but Pewabic Pottery & Cranbrook as well.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 5271
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.228.209.75
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 9:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://internationalmetropolis .com/?p=71

I knew demo was coming. They threw up the death fence last week.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 820
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.18
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 10:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

makes me sad and angry.

meanwhile @ 201 E. Kirby: CCS touts their 100th anniversary with banners all over campus, pretty fucked up if you ask me...celebrating history, while simultaneously giving a big "fuck you" to it

k=Kind of makes me ashamed I went to school there really. I learned so much about the arts and crafts movement, buck stratton, pewabic, et al there...and their very own piece of that history is left to be plowed under

Bill Porter is likely an unhappy man today.
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Pam
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Username: Pam

Post Number: 66
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 67.107.47.65
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 11:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did any part of that zodiac mural get salvaged?
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 785
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 66.2.148.159
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 1:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 708
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.54.203
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 8:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.detroitfunk.com/200 6/02/ac_demolition.html

These are the final demolition photos.

To answer questions, yes, absolutely the owners tried desperately to save the zodiacal murals. Yes, CCS was at the site yesterday asking about salvaging anything possible. No, CCS has not owned this building in several decades. It is not fair to blame them or curse them for not preserving it in recent years. It was let go a long time ago. CCS had to fight for its own survival throughout the 1990's and were lucky to survive with their endowment, accreditation and current property intact. The current institution still has a large struggle on its hands to maintain momentum. Many people who work there now dont even know what Arts and Crafts was.

The murals were fragile and could not be recovered intact.

I have to say, unlike other demolitions, the company that handled this one were top notch professionals. They were freindly, helpful, and respectful to onlookers who took an interest. I asked one man to grab a roof tile for Kathleen and he was happy to do so. A professor from CCS wanted a stack of bricks, and they were happy to give him some. Very nice people.

(AIW - I grabbed you a brick)
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1156
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 8:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dave and I spent more than two hours at the site today. Despite the cold and drizzle, we managed to be there when the facade finally came tumbling down. It was an awesome, yet sad, site to watch.

The demolition crew were very nice, providing details and, as Mauser noted, helpful in procuring one of the intact roof tiles for me. (Thanks again, Mauser, for that!!) And the guy running the excavator machine was a demolition artist!! He was amazing to watch...from the most delicate operation to retrieve a small item to absolutely smashing or crunching a larger piece.

We also enjoyed our conversation with one of the developpers, who shared some of the background of this demolition as well as stories about some of the other sites he owns and is renovating.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 863
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.222.11.226
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 8:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know if there are any plans for the building next to the Arts & Crafts school building; the one that faces Woodward? It looks to be nearly 100 years old, but has a nice Deco/Streamline facade (presumably added when the avenue was widened in 1935-36). That one looks salvageable to me.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 5272
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.228.209.75
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fury, that one is getting rehabbed into condos, and the Arts & Crafts site will be used as the parking lot. They've been working on it slowly for about the last year.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 3:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We talked to the developer about the building that faces Woodward. He mentioned a restaurant on the street level with condos and a penthouse on the top 2 floors. Yes, they are planning to add another floor to the existing building. And they expect to reproduce the original arched windows as well.
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Andrew69
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Username: Andrew69

Post Number: 12
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.231.150.17
Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 5:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Other than the picture above, does anyone have any pictures or a resource for pictures of this building when it was still in use?
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 793
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 216.203.223.72
Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 6:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found that at the NY Public Library website by accident searching for OCF stuff. They also had photos of sets for plays staged there, but no other building photos.

I should have captioned the photo "Entrance to Playhouse"

Use the SEARCH FORUM function on the left; there was just a thread about this a couple of weeks ago and there may have been some other old photos there.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1682
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.84.183.189
Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 7:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I went back to the site today and snared myself a few remembrances of the place too. I never knew how heavy 18 bricks were to lug around, especially in that muck, goo & debris. Like Kathleen said, the demolition crew there was very accomodating and just warned me not to get hurt there.

And there's no shame in saying that CCS should move ahead and celebrate its 100 year history. This building fell into a seriously bad state of repair ages ago and around the time when CCS was seriously strapped for cash. At what point is it worth saving this building to see the entire school go under; it would've been a losing proposition for CCS to try and rehab this building. And then for what purpose? The main campus (yes, a real campus) is blocks north.

And for anyone that hasn't stopped by CCS to see how revered some of its history is, please do before one criticizes so harshly. In the atrium of the WB Ford Building, there are artifacts galore from the Society of Arts & Crafts, momemtos from the Watson Building, Witherall Street items, catalogs, brochures, a shovel used for a dedication, mugs, t-shirts and all sorts of things from all eras of the Society to its transformation to CCS.

The Animation Department even made a mini-documentary on the history. There's currently a class running NOW on the history of CCS that's been sold out. The Student Government purchased a time capsule. There are faculty Shows running now and another one opening next weekend in the Center Galleries.

So simply put, CCS hasn't abandoned any of its history. It's sad to see a part of its history go like this, but I'm sure there are other people, like myself that have gone there, gathered bricks or had recollections of what it must've been like and there's a bit of mourning. But CCS must also move forward... and if anything else, its path will be guided by its proud & noble legacy.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 709
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.44
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 5:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The only problem I have with CCS claiming that it is 100 years old is that it simply is not. The Society of Arts and Crafts (in Detroit) was founded 100 years ago - in 1906. It moved from Farmer street to the Watson street structure in 1916. It was not until 1926 that the Society stopped being an artists studio shop and art display showroom, and became an art school. So at the very best, CCS can claim that it is 80 years old.

The Society of Arts and Crafts was not the same thing as the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts. The original Society was very similar to what the Scarab Club is today, a building with studios and show space.

The school of Arts and Crafts was born 80 years ago, not 100.

(This is also if you consider CCS to be the "grown up" entity of the early Arts and Crafts school. I do not.)
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1686
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.84.183.189
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 5:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess it's all fuzzy math at this point. It's all relative I guess because some could argue that CCS itself really didn't come into its own until the 70's when it started granting BFAs.

I guess they can celebrate its roots but in its truest essence and namesake, I can see how one can argue CCS can barely even celebrate the name "College" for Creative Studies, much less the Center for Creative Studies- College of Art & Design and all of the other incarnations prior to.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1160
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you are interested in the Society, their building, and how the arts and crafts movement here in the Detroit ties into much of what we celebrate today through the people who were involved with the Society, then this is the book for you.

"Art and a City, a history of the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts" by Joy Hakanson Colby. It was published in 1956 by Wayne State University Press.

This book provides a 50-year history of the Society, and includes photos of the building exterior and interior as well as some of the exhibits hosted there over the years. Yes, it was commissioned by the Society, but Joy Hakanson Colby was, at that time, the Art Editor for The Detroit News, and 50 years later is still writing about art for them. (That's an amazing feat in itself!!!)

The book is a bit hard to find, especially here in the Detroit area, but a current check of www.abebooks.com shows 12 dealers offering the book at prices ranging from $16 to $150. http://dogbert.abebooks.com/se rvlet/SearchResults?an=joy+hak anson+colby&y=8&tn=art+and+a+c ity&x=63



(Message edited by Kathleen on February 05, 2006)
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 710
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.149
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 4:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the hook up on that book Kath - thats really a good source. Written two years before A&C moved the school to Kirby.

Via Scripps, Arts and Crafts is strongly tied in with the history of DetNews.

(interesting side note: the Woodridge Scripps house lot owner is shopping for developers to buy that plat of land)
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1733
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 69.47.101.255
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 5:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone strolled by lately and seen what's left over now??
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Leoqueen
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Username: Leoqueen

Post Number: 1034
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 8:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I havent been there yet. But thanks for the brick, Smogboy....I am going to have a little brass plate made for it and install it with honor in my office.
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1570
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 8:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nothing is left of it.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 853
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.18
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 10:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it is a flat dirt lot...saw it yesterday :-(

smog, thanks for balancing my reactionary statment above with a good dose of reality. Its still a shame that all the A+C's history could not be preserved in the face of its celebration.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 713
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.24.164
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LeoQueen - I have one of the terracotta tiles set aside here with your name on it. I gave one to Todd the other day.
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Mauser765
Member
Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 714
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.24.164
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

" In the atrium of the WB Ford Building, there are artifacts galore from the Society of Arts & Crafts, momemtos from the Watson Building, Witherall Street items, catalogs, brochures, a shovel used for a dedication, mugs, t-shirts and all sorts of things from all eras of the Society to its transformation to CCS. "

Smogboy - I was unable to locate the display that you are describing here - a little help ? Is it not there during the scholastics exhibit ?
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1735
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 69.47.101.255
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

During the Scholastics exhibit, those folks take over the entire building and then some. While I understand the importance of Scholastics and all, it does seem to consume CCS at times. So I'm hoping they'll put those showcases out immediately after the run of Scholastics. There were quite a few showcases. I was amazed at the colored pencil set that they had from Walter B. Ford's desk among the artifacts. They even had some old catalogs, postcards, registration brochures and all sorts of odds & ends of the many eras of CCS.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 1736
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 69.47.101.255
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 2:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"it is a flat dirt lot...saw it yesterday

smog, thanks for balancing my reactionary statment above with a good dose of reality. Its still a shame that all the A+C's history could not be preserved in the face of its celebration."

I was hoping to go snag a few more dozen bricks from the place if the mountain of bricks were still there. And don't sweat it at all, Gravitymachine. CCS, like all institutions have to make some tough (and sometimes unpopular) decisions at times. Unfortunately when hard times hit, the Society of Arts & Crafts building was shed. Again, it hasn't been forgotten but I think CCS needs to look forward and hopefully not have to go through tough times where we have to start shedding iconic buildings like that (I think they're pretty entrenched in the current location pretty well now!). Call me an optimist but in the light of it all, CCS has done pretty well for itself on many fronts.

(Message edited by smogboy on February 14, 2006)
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 715
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.24.141
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 3:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To expand Smogboys point, take the City of Detroit and certain structures it has sacrificed recently in the name of progress. The City has equal stake in the historic equity of Arts and Crafts, as well as Motown Complex, Lee Plaza, Madison Lenox and Hotel Statler. The list goes on. You can slam the City on some things, but in the larger view you have to appreciate the hard decisions that sometimes need to be rendered. Mistakes will be made, and those mistakes will be criticized with towering hindsight.

CCSCAD survived the 1990's and managed the transformation to the College for Creative Studies. But barely. Many of us sacrified a large part of our education during that time to help keep the school alive. In the final analysis, the preservation of the institution was worth more than bricks and mortar, irrespective of the historic weight.

You might say that in some ways the same can be said for Detroit.

A good thing to question at this point is the pressure that the City put on the owner to demolish immediately, while the owner was still concerned with preserving parts of the structure and murals for CCS.
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Detroit_stylin
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Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 2478
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.202.227.12
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 5:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Berry Gordy was not concerned int he least with preserving that building...
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Leoqueen
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Username: Leoqueen

Post Number: 1042
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 9:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you so much Mauser for the beautiful tile....I am going to treasure it forever! It will sit next to my brick!
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Chalu64
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Username: Chalu64

Post Number: 35
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 68.40.108.8
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Months ago, I spoke to someone close to the owner of the building on Watson. She stated they were going to rehab the building. I'm very disappointed and curious to see what is built in it's place.

Smogboy, remember that Friday way back in the 80s when we 'broke' into the building? I remember finding invoices from the 20s from Grumbacher and other artists supply companies.

It's a sad day indeed.
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Mauser765
Member
Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 716
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.127
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 8:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Berry Gordy was not concerned int he least with preserving that building..."

This just isnt true. I guess you could say Gordy was not very concerned in general, but his company (Cherrylawn) was going to rehab those buildings until last minute pressure before the almighty football game came from the powers that be.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 493
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 9:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

POI: The destruction of the Motown building was a very reassurging for a friend of mine who is seriously considering buying one of the Crosswinds lofts in Brush. He lives near family in Royal Oak, but wants to live, i.e. own a home, in downtown. He considers Brush Park as much a part of downtown as Greektown. I know, I know. I guess the good news is the demolition of the building does have a positive aspect or two. However, he probably would have just as reassured had the building been renovated.

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