Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Lee Plaza Update Previous Next
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 425
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.176.190
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 8:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was driving past Lee Plaza and they have it fenced off and blue tarp blocking the view into the immediate area. There were work trucks on the other side of the fence.

I was in the same area a couple weeks ago and there were people who appeared to be working.

Anyone know what the deal is over there?
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 426
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.176.190
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 8:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Forgot the pic.

Sorry it is so small and crappy, I had to keep shrinking it to get it past the filter



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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3630
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 9:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm glad for any little extra protection, but there isn't much left to protect. lol
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Erobtheone
Member
Username: Erobtheone

Post Number: 21
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 12.146.72.169
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 10:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The stolen lions are still standing tall here in Chicago. They are protecting townhomes that sell in the $600k range! I will try to snap a few pics to post.

Erob
Chicago by way of Detroit
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Hornwrecker
Member
Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1113
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 63.41.8.166
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 10:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perhaps the scrappers wanted some privacy, with all of the forumites trying to take their photos.

Damn paparazzi!
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Chris_rohn
Member
Username: Chris_rohn

Post Number: 227
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.220.233.37
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 9:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

demolition prep?
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Dag
Member
Username: Dag

Post Number: 207
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.188.238.215
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 10:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Most likely demolition prep. I am sure we have heard something if it was otherwise.
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Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2924
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.17
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 10:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't suppose anybody here would think to just call the Detroit Housing Commission and ask them directly what they plan with the building?
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 4094
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.229
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 10:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As soons as they bring the those missing lion heads the better.
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 130
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.5
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The current condition of the Lee Plaza is a crying shame. In 1975, my (late) great aunt was living in that building, and even then it was starting to deteriorate due to age and neglect. But I still remember visiting that building and being totally amazed at how magnificent it must have been in its heyday.

Only in Detroit would a place like the Lee Plaza be allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. If that building was on Manhattan's upper west side, there's no telling what apartments there would be renting for.
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Supersport
Member
Username: Supersport

Post Number: 10031
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.118.137.226
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Only in Detroit would our city council be more concerned about people driving while talking on their cell phones.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1789
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Only in Detroit???? Man, you need a history lesson. This stuff happens everywhere the market for a building stops functioning. everywhere in the world and sprinkled throughout time. Once there is no market to sustain the building it collapses. Otherwise the Mayan ruins would still be occupied. Castles would still be functioning in Durope. There would be no ghost towns out west and around the world.

You may be able to argue that Detroit is the worst in the city in this country, but hardly alone. Look at Gary, Flint, Baltimore, or even LA.
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Upinottawa
Member
Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 343
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 198.103.184.76
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Forgive my ignorance, where is the Lee Plaza located in the city?
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Dag
Member
Username: Dag

Post Number: 208
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.188.238.215
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gary, if we could pick and choose where Lee Plaza was I am certain it would have fared much better. The surrounding neighborhood has seen heavy disinvestment thus making it a less than viable location. It simply does not really seem feasible to maintain that amount of housing stock when there is such a void in the surrounding commercial and economic area.

Basically, I am sick of people using phrases like, "only in Detroit." I am certain if there was this amount of disinvestment elsewhere we would see a similar situation with any other building.
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Apbest
Member
Username: Apbest

Post Number: 17
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 216.11.6.41
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/b u/?id=147471

Rosa Parks neighborhood...bordered by Lawton and West Grand Boulevard
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Njmikey
Member
Username: Njmikey

Post Number: 16
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 168.238.128.4
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Renting for?? IF that building was on Manhattan's upper west side it would be co-ops or condos selling for well over a million dollars for 2 bedroom units.
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Dag
Member
Username: Dag

Post Number: 209
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.188.238.215
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ottawa, it is on Grand Blvd near the corner of Lawton on the west side.

http://maps.google.com/?ll=42. 359178,-83.100779&spn=0.002121 ,0.004839&t=h&om=1
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Dag
Member
Username: Dag

Post Number: 210
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.188.238.215
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am just a day late and a dollar short today.
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Machoken
Member
Username: Machoken

Post Number: 1225
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 207.145.38.104
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I haven't heard that neighborhood being referred to as the 'Rosa Parks' neighborhood. Is that the official name?
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Mikefive
Member
Username: Mikefive

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 136.181.195.56
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 1:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rosa Parks is United Way Community Services Subcommunity that particular area falls into.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1037
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.20
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 2:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have no idea what that neighborhood was like "back in the day" but building something that big in an otherwise two-story neighborhood seems like it might have been a bit of folly from the start.
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Viziondetroit
Member
Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 431
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.42.23.2
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yeah that does seem kinda odd to have something like that in an area full of single and multi family homes.
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2403
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 128.36.108.81
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 2:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Northwest Goldberg.
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Billybbrew
Member
Username: Billybbrew

Post Number: 163
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 2:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, but don't forget the prestige of living on "The Boulevard" back back in the day. And it's really not that far from New Center..
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1420
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.238.170.39
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't forget right up the street is the LaSalle Park neighborhood. Some very fine homes just north of the Blvd. C.L. Franklin and several other notables (Rosa Parks was mentioned above) used to live there back in the day.

If this is indeed a demolition, the folks over at Northwestern HS have got to be relieved. There are always kids hanging out around the alley there afterschool, up to no good.
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 131
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.5
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The phrase "only in Detoit" is merely a metaphor, it is not meant to convey the notion that economic decline and disinvestment occur Only In Detroit. I'm well aware that other cities have experienced similar situations. Sheeesh.

Ndavies, I hate to have to be the one to break the news to you that the Mayan and pre-medieval European civilations collapsed for reasons entirely different from those that caused the near west side of Detroit to fall into its current state. Although, you may have a valid point with regard to the ghost towns of the Old West.

Both East and West Grand Boulevards were prime real estate at the time of the Lee Plaza's construction. It's really not all that inconsistent that the LP should be located where it is any more than Indian Village and Boston-Edison are located where they are.
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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3636
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We need not assume that it's a demolition or a renovation. It is probably simply something to minimally secure the site for the time being. The city has recently tried to sell this property of, so who knows.
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Detourdetroit
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Username: Detourdetroit

Post Number: 200
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.255.167.18
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there are other high density buildings nearby...the y, the senior citizens home (can't remember the name), there are at least several apartment buildings and few other high rises. Lee Plaza is one of a kind unique and it would be our collective loss to let Lee Plaza slip through our fingers...but kudos to NDavies for putting it in perspective historically...the difference between Tulum or ancient Rome and Detroit is that we have no recompense or response for our demolition machine. The lack of market rationale has some merit, but why does that have to ruin Lee Plaza's chances over the long term? Is there a middle ground? There definitely is a market and resources for our friends the Adamo's, Homrich's and Ferguson's of the world. Why do we offer scant public resources to rid ourselves of "blight" when investment could be used to secure, market, and creatively recast such architectural assets - even in the interim without a market or tenants- to help guide and inspire our future endeavor? but i suppose the market for creativity in Detroit doesn't carry much water either...
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1790
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nope, both European and Mayan buildings fell due to the same reasons. Those buildings became economically unsustainable to those societies. They outlived their usefulness. The source of sustenance dried up and the people moved on. The societies changed and the buildings no longer fit into the then modern life.

Lee plaza was built at a time when there was reliable mass transit, a neighborhood to support it and people willing to live there. Just as all the Mayans moved out of their cities due to the lack of food, lack of services, and a huge upkeep problem as the population dwindled, so did the people from the Lee plaza.

Economic realities change. If a building's economics can't withstand the change, it will fail. It's been happening ever since man moved into his first cave.
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Detourdetroit
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Username: Detourdetroit

Post Number: 201
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.255.167.18
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 3:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

but what's cool about those other places is that often (though not always granted - fire, barbarians, ethnic cleansing, errant munition explosion, pillaging, rebuilding, etc., etc.,) structures are allowed to remain. Sometimes for hundreds (or thousands) of years--often with little or no economic input. Over time they can be recast, reused, rebuilt, renewed etc. over time and with a cumulative and creative bent. Sometimes, new economies grow out of things that most people deemed to have no value. Jane Jacobs observes this mechanism in the renewal and regeneration of cities as organisms. There is no doubt that Lee Plaza was built with both an economy and a sense of asthetic. Why we can't allow the latter to rekindle or inspire a new former is beyond me. It is not unique to Detroit, but it is especially poignant here... to say simply that it's the economy stupid eliminates the spark that crackled in that first cave.

(Message edited by detourdetroit on May 04, 2006)
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1791
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's a very rare occurance for a Structure to remain. They only stay if they stay economically viable, there is no other use for the land or they are way too costly to tear down. The ruins of Rome only remained because they were concrete. Way too difficult and costly to remove. If they had been created in the last 100 years they wouldn't have survived. The colleseum would be suffering the same fate as all the stadiums in this country. We now have technology to tear that stuff down that was not cost effective until the last 100 years or so. The obsolete buildings made of lesser materials are long gone.

(Message edited by ndavies on May 04, 2006)
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 132
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.5
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 5:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

(Rolling my eyes, yawning and tsk, tsk-ing)...

Ndavies sez:
Lee plaza was built at a time when there was reliable mass transit, a neighborhood to support it and people willing to live there. Just as all the Mayans moved out of their cities due to the lack of food, lack of services, and a huge upkeep problem as the population dwindled, so did the people from the Lee plaza.

I sez:
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Let's try to resist the urge to over complicate a very simple set of circumstances, shall we? If what you say is true, why are neighborhoods like Boston Edison, Lafayette Park, Rosedale, Palmer Woods and Indian Village still in existence, still viable and thriving? Aren't those neighborhoods susceptible to the same lack of services, lack of mass transit, crime, etc. as the rest of our beloved city? Damn right. The difference is the majority of the properties in those neighborhoods have been properly maintained through the years and not allowed to decay, hence they have retained their value, hence the good citizens of Detroit are willing to buy those properties and live in those neighborhoods, crappy services notwithstanding.

If the previous owners of the Lee Plaza had properly maintained that building, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Pure and simple. The building would have continued to attract the kind of tenants that would help keep the place livable, despite the surrounding area. Sure, there are other factors that cause properties to fall into disrepair, but it all starts with proper maintenance and upkeep. If you get that part right, a lot of that other stuff becomes a non-issue.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1792
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How do you properly maintain a building with no one willing to pay enough in rent to pay for that maintenance.

It is the same senario we see all over the city. BE, IV and all the top end neighborhoods remained because people were willing to pay the painfully low prices these homes sold for in recent history. For every BE,IV,Palmer woods there are 10 other neighborhoods that didn't survive.

So many other neighborhoods were destroyed because people weren't willing to pay the price in either rent or purchase to keep these homes going.

If no one is willing to pay the price to live in those building they will fail.
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Viziondetroit
Member
Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 435
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.42.23.2
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 5:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The success of a neighborhood depends on the mentalities of the owners/residents.

If the owners don't care, usually the residents don't

If the residents don't care over the time the oweners don't care either...

You get enough people in a given area to think on the same level and you have the Urban Prairie a la Detroit style.

Sad but it happens too often.
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2568
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.205.251.98
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I noticed this last week and got this picture yesterday.

lp
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2569
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.205.251.98
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 6:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One argument is that masonry destablilzed by the scavanegers is a threat to passerbys...

I hope.
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Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 606
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 6:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You hope that passerbys are threatened by falling masonry or that that's only the extent of the Lee Plaza's problems?
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Viziondetroit
Member
Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 436
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.176.190
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 6:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In some spots of the building it looks like they just pryed the stones out to get in. Who knows what's going on with it.
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 133
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 70.141.181.78
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi again, Nd...I guess you just made my point. I have lived in buildings in Palmer Park and Indian Village that were every bit as old as the LP. But these properties were (and I hope, still are) very well maintained, therefore they were able to consistently attract the type of tenants you referred to; ie. people who are able to afford the rent, who care about their living environment, and who have a tendency to want to live in an urban environment. Keep the place well managed and livable and the "right" tenants will find you. Don't allow the place to deteriorate in the first place and you won't have to worry about a bunch of riff-raff tenants ruining your property.

Look at the phenomenon of former industrial and commercial spaces being converted into lofts as an example. Once those places have been properly renovated, the landlords don't have to look very hard for the right tenants because the "right tenants" find them instead.

Viziondetroit said it right; if the owners and/or residents don't care, the place usually becomes a dump in very short order. IMO, that's what happened to the LP.
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623kraw
Member
Username: 623kraw

Post Number: 899
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.224.200
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 6:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That single fence (which needs to be double) is about 20 feet too short and lacks double loopings of razor wire. It's not only a waste of money, but it's too little too late...
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Mauser765
Member
Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 781
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.54.10
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 9:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like a death fence to me.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1793
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 9:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes Gay, but just renovating a building will in no way insure it's survival. Their were plenty of well maintained buildings in the city that went to shit due to lack of customers for that building. If you built a brand new 100 story skyscraper in detorit it would either drain all the people out of the surrounding buildings causing them to fail or it would go out of business due to the inability to service the debt. Just maintaining a building is not enough. there has to be sufficient market base to rent to. If it was just as simple as providing a well maintained building Detroit would be building them by the thousands to draw people in.
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Machoken
Member
Username: Machoken

Post Number: 1233
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 207.145.38.104
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 10:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Their were plenty




quote:

in detorit it




quote:

not enough. there has



Umm, I know it's Friday and all, but come on. I guess I could just ignore your posts in the future. :-)
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Renf
Member
Username: Renf

Post Number: 41
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.43.197.95
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 10:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is another description of the Lee Plaza
building on West Grand.
http://detroit1701.psc.isr.umi ch.edu/LeePlaza.htm
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56packman
Member
Username: 56packman

Post Number: 253
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 11:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Goddammit--the Lee Plaza is NOT an Art Deco building. (we've been through this before)
I just looked at other buildings on that site--they have a very limited, under-informed vocabulary of architectural styles. And this is a college?
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Matt
Member
Username: Matt

Post Number: 1042
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 208.49.95.12
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 1:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can't we just disassemble it and reassemble it downtown? ;P
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Iheartthed
Member
Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 52
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 68.40.50.194
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My instinct says that building is a goner.
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Detroitstar
Member
Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 24
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 35.8.144.6
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Matt, I like the idea. It could be on Mega Movers on the history channel. lol
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56packman
Member
Username: 56packman

Post Number: 254
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In about one month it will be "Art Wrecko"
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Sharmaal
Member
Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 796
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 136.1.1.101
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Duh Duuuunch!
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Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2925
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.17
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any takers on yet on calling the Housing Commission?
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Mauser765
Member
Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 783
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.123.143
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 3:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Goddammit--the Lee Plaza is NOT an Art Deco building"

Whattaya talking about ? ? You realise that you are contradicting the opinion of the AIA on that assertion, right ?

Just for old times sake (since you seem to have debated this before) what is your criteria for Deco, and what style do you say the LEEP exterior is ?

Charles Nobles two other notable structures are the Kean Apartments on Jefferson, and the Elwood Grill. Both of those are indisputably Deco.

No picking on Ren either..
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1686
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 4:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Isn't the Elwood Art Moderne?

(Of course that is a fuzzy distinction.)

The Kean is a great art deco building though.
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Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2051
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.150.189
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 4:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No point in arguing about Art Deco.... the 1920's were such a hodge-podge of styles that one could argue ad nauseum over some of them.

First of all the Lee Plaza may have some Art Deco influences. But it also has some French Chateau influences (rooftop), some Italian Renaissance influences (1st floor medallions, arches and 2nd floor balustrades.

Even the Keane Building has some non-Deco accents (twisting columns are Italian Baroque).

The United Artists Theatre has Art Deco mixed in with mostly Spanish Gothic.

So now to get back to the original argument... only the Elwood is pure Deco. The others are an eclectic mix of styles including Art Deco. So there's no point in trying to pigeon hole some building into a specific style.
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Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2052
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.150.189
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitstar, I too was thinking Mega-Movers when it came to the Lee Plaza. Too bad they couldn't move it down Grand Boulevard to somewhere between the Fisher Bldg. and Henry Ford Hospital. It would make an awesome addition to New Center, especially in the height department.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 256
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 6:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Italian Renaisance. Look at the onrimentation on the street level. Go inside (forgotten Detroit images)--nothing remotely deco there. Screaming Italian Ren.
The Elwood is mostly art moderne. True art Deco (a term coined in 1968) features highly stylized floral ornamentation often set against dramatic geometric shapes, very angular. The true art deco period was from 1925 (when the Paris exposition that introduced this style to the world occured)until 1932-33. The later 30's buildings that featured flowing, soft curve surfaces, simple in their ornimentation are the art moderne style. Bill Porter used to teach a class at CCS to instruct the youngins' what these styles are, and what they are called. Every building built between 1920 and WWII is not art deco.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3648
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, the Elmwood is Art Moderne, which is a much more streamlined version of Art Deco. It includes emphasis on softening corners with curves, and even less emphasis on decoration that Deco.

IMO, Lee Plaza is primarily Art Deco (the main shaft of the building) with other motiffs of other styles at the base and the roof. But, the main shaft of the building is definitely Art Deco.

Actually, most high-rises built during this time were Art Deco since it's hard to completely uniform such tall buildings in these other styles. IMO, Art Deco sort of morphed into an exclusive high-rise style with other styles being secondary and accents.
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The_aram
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Username: The_aram

Post Number: 4848
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.124.8
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's think about it this way. Is there really that much to save in the Lee Plaza as it is right now? I mean, just stand in front of the place and really take a look. Bricks around the gaping windows are ready to fall out of place, there's got to be water damage like crazy from there not being a single intact windowpane in the entire structure, there's no roof to speak of, nearly every piece of ornamentation has been stolen or removed (and I know there are lions, etc. in storage that have been recovered, but that's only a small portion)...

It's a beautiful building from the exterior, or at least was, but it's doubtful it could be economically feasible to pull it off. When you look at other large-scale rehabilitation projects, the challenge of replicating, replacing, or recovering significant portions of the facade and roof just isn't there. Doing that, plus completely revamping the interior, in that neighborhood, cannot possibly begin to approach a break-even point in terms of cost/square foot. Though that's just my guess.

The security of the building has definitely gone severely downhill in the 3 years I have been observing it, with this being the first real step in a long time to somewhat secure the building. Unfortunately, it comes after everything that could be stolen or destroyed already gone.

Steve brings up a great point in calling the DHC. Has anybody done so? If not, as usual, all we're doing is rushing to conclusions without trying to procure the basic facts. Unfortunately, I'm not getting my hopes up for a rehab of any kind. But would be interested to see if there are concrete plans of imminent demolition, or if this is some haphazard attempt at securing what's left.

Which brings me to another point: How in the hell could you demolish a building of that size without beating the hell out of the apartment building next door, or doing some damage to the high school? If they're going to demo it, might as well be during the summer when there's not the danger of having students all over the place across the street.

Just my 2 cents.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3652
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, the current state of the Lee Plaza, I'd think, would make it easier to either renovate or demolish. It's a clean slate. Too much more stripping, though, and it gets to the point of where it would be unfeasible to renovate.

Currently, it appears to be a perfect shell, with facade still relatively in tact, to modernize. I could even imagine them just using the frame and recladding the entire thing as a modern-styled building if they don't decide to save the facade.
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The_aram
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Username: The_aram

Post Number: 4851
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.124.8
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 8:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's an interesting idea, but could you do something like that and retain the use of historic tax credits, as I'm sure would need to be done for a project like this? Filling in the lion holes and such would definitely make the building -not- look like its original appearance. Anybody want to clear me up on that?
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 153
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 9:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's amazing how ornate the building once was. I like the canopies over the windows.

Lee Plaza
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Motorcitymayor2026
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Username: Motorcitymayor2026

Post Number: 783
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 24.231.189.137
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 9:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

wow..

thanks for the pic Hysteria, i had never seen a photo of what Lee Plaza looked like in its best days...pretty stunning
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 155
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 9:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No kidding. The above pic is a not too good copy (found on-line) of a post card I have. I don't have a scanner but the original shows much, much more detail.
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 243
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.242.218.76
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

I like the canopies over the windows.




They are canvas awnings. Before air conditioning, having awnings, especially on west-facing windows was one of the best ways to keep your home cool in the summer. In the photo, notice that the awnings are all on the west side rather than the north facing front of the Lee Plaza.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3656
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 11:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aram, you make a good point. But, that's only if the a potential developer would seek historic tax credits. Though a distant possibility, the structure may very well find a developer that has a bit more money and would not need that specific tax credit (there are so many other's out there, too). But, modernizing the facade does seem kind of far-fetched since the historic tax credit is a one of the larger credits (if not the largest)
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 785
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.69
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 1:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So everyones prepared to say the AIA is incorrect ? Thats bold, thats all Im saying.

Moderne and Deco are the SAME THING ! Ugh. The term "Art Deco" is derived from the 1924-25 Parisian "Exposition International des Ats-Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes". The catalogs from those shows detailed all the original defining aspects of Deco/Moderne -which was a reaction to Art Nouveau.

Deco has two distinct basic aspects, one "feminine" and one "masuline" . The masculine aspects cover the streamlining that you see in auto design and industrial designs. The feminine aspect covers the more decorative usage, things as lotus and flower patterns.

Deco also is comprised of several ancient influences, which occured due to discoveries that coincided with the Deco period. King Tut, Egyptian escavations, Aztec and MesoAmerican, African - Deco absorbs all these influences as design elements. These ancient cultures all inform Deco.

Its about more than rounded edges and chevrons, you know...
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623kraw
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Username: 623kraw

Post Number: 901
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.224.200
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 8:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanx for the credit Hysteria - It took me three days to colorize that postcard scan. I have my original, somewhere, which I can't seem to locate at the moment. I will try to post a link later...
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 162
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 10:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

623kraw, good work. The picture fully served its purpose when it was needed. Thanks

(Message edited by hysteria on May 06, 2006)
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Benjamin
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Username: Benjamin

Post Number: 138
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 142.46.10.251
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 5:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It strikes me that there are only four ornamented floors on the building - in other words only four floors really worth saving. Is there some way to preserve the bottom two floors, and remove the best of the ornamentation from the upper two to aid in a new, much shorter tower - in other words to preserve a five or six story Lee Plaza?

Benjamin A. Vazquez, U.E.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 447
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.176.190
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Benjamin,

I don't think that is possible...
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 786
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.24.152
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 8:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was by the LEEP site about an hour ago - talked with the owner of the building across the alley and just east of the building. (used to be connected to the parking structure that is now a dirt lot)

He had no info on whats going on as far as demo or rehab etc. but was very bemused by the barbedwire fence and blue tarp. His point was that the blue tarp only conceals the scrappers as they do their work. He also said he witnessed several scappers routinely going in and out of the building per usual, simply by slipping under the cyclone fence.

(their entry to the building on is on the eastern side, it goes down into the basements. This is still not sealed off. )

This man says that he also witnessed kids from the high school constantly going in and out of the building to party and to "socialize" if you know what I mean.

So - looks like a 50 foot razorwire fence STILL isnt whats called for. Im wondering if they even resealed the open front door.
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Itsjeff
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Username: Itsjeff

Post Number: 5861
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.242.213.167
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 8:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Have they tried posting a strongly worded sign?
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Shark
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Username: Shark

Post Number: 222
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 65.43.32.155
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is why the USA didn't sign that land mine treaty back in '97. I think some of those would do the trick here.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 449
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.176.190
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 9:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I mean damn.. is there anything else left to steal in there?
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 787
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.27.186
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2006 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They are taking sinks and fixtures, and still prying out whats left of the terracotta ornamentation under the windows. Working daily, as has been the routine for the last year - so there must be plenty of materials with value left in/on there.

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